Now in stock - the limited edition colored vinyl version of Cynic's incredible new album Traced In Air, in a full color gatefold package with a full color printed inner sleeve with expanded artwork.
There aren't many bands that could drop just one debut album in the early 90's, have it turn into an instant masterpiece, then break up almost immediately after and achieve almost mythic status in the metal underground. Even fewer that could reform fifteen years later and record a follow-up to their now classic debut and have the entire metal scene anticipating it like it's the Second Coming. That goes to show just how immense and influential Cynic's Focus was when it came out in 1993. The Florida band's first album was unlike anything else coming out of the Floridian death metal scene back then. The closest antecedents were Death's Human and it's weird, disharmonic guitars and the jazz-influenced death metal of Athiest. Both of which, it should be noted, included members of Cynic. Cynic's music was an utterly unique fusion of progressive rock, jazz fusion and death metal with bizarre robotic vocals and played by total virtuosos. Their experimental, avant-garde progressive death metal was groundbreaking and enormously influential on the development of all of the proggy extreme metal that followed this album - we certainly wouldn't have bands like Behold...The Arctopus, Meshuggah, Candiria or Between The Buried And Me without it.
It's been around fifteen years since we last heard from Cynic, and it's amazing how much buzz and anticipation has surrounded the release of their follow-up album Traced In Air. The reunited band features almost all of the original members, but what would this sound like? A return to the groundbreaking death/prog/fusion of Focus? Alot of us would have been content with that, but in the decade and a half since that last album, the members of Cynic have progressed drastically as musicians, and with the obsessive, ultra-detailed approach that they have always taken to their music, it wouldn't make much sense to simply revisit the same sound that they essentially invented in 1993. Instead, Traced In Air amazingly manages to be just as groundbreaking and fucking mindblowing as their debut, a kind of majestic death/tech/prog/pop, still rooted in elements of technical death metal with insanely intricate guitar playing and pummeling double-bass driven drumming, and still imbued with those astounding prog/jazz fusion qualities, but now there's this gorgeous ethereal pop sound sharing space with the dizzying arrangements and lush instrumentation, and those weird computerized vocals (which were a sticking point with a lot of listeners on the first album) are integrated so much more seamlessly here, while still injecting the occasional death growl. The songs on Traced In Air are so ridiculously catchy, which is hard to wrap your head around at first since this stuff is so complex when songs flow from airy acoustic guitar breaks and awesomely cheesy, virtuosic fusion playing to impossibly dense polyrhythms and futuristic guitar synths and ambient pop.
This album is so amazing, so mindblowingly pop yet so unbelievably complex and heavy, it's absolutely essential for anyone who loves technical, weird prog and avant-garde death metal.