Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us

I don’t know about you, but Cynic‘s 2008 record Traced in Air is one of my favorite records of the decade. I love Focus and think it’s one of the best records in the history of technical and progressive metal. However, I have previously expressed some skepticism as to the motives of this band. While the Re-Traced EP was an experimental take on the Traced in Air tracks and worked really, really well, I was less enthused with the band’s Carbon Based Lifeforms EP. During that one, I expressed some sentiments that have been floating around the underground in terms of quoting an acquaintance of mine:

This EP has grown on me, but I want to remind everyone that this is not like Traced in Air or Focus at all. The metal is basically not here and it’s way more similar to the band members other projects (Æon Spoke and Gordian Knot). And as I was thinking about that fact, I was reminded of a discussion I had with a guy about the Re-Traced EP. What he said was this:

“I think [Re-Traced] is probably a cash-in by a band that, most likely, doesn’t give a fuck about death metal [or metal most likely] and cannot wait to take the Cynic money and record more incredibly boring Gordian Knot records without having to worry about sales, and Exivious can get back together and people will care this time, for their records will include ‘former members of Cynic‘ stickers on them.”

One wonders if maybe the strategy isn’t, instead, to blend these other projects under the Cynic name for the notoriety that the band has and a loyal fanbase that will just buy anything because it’s got the name Cynic on it. From this standpoint, this comment seems less bitchy than I initially reacted to it and more insightful.

Given that Exivious got back together and people care this time, I continue to come back to this. This can be witnessed in my recent Facebook status update “Anyone else notice the careful wording of the new Cynic press-release? “Legendary progressive rock innovators CYNIC.” That, sirs and madams, is a sign that this coming record will definitely not be metal.”

Still—as I mentioned in my CBL EP review—I like a lot of the stuff that Cynic does. And while I want busy drums and heavy, technical riffs, I was hoping they’d succeed. And I’m happy as hell to hear this song, which I like quite a bit. It just dropped today and is called “The Lion’s Roar.” Even though this isn’t exactly what I want from the band, it is pleasing to ye olde angry metal ears.