Gordian Knot

Cynic Drops “The Lion’s Roar” Lyric Vid

Cynic Drops “The Lion’s Roar” Lyric Vid

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:

Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy Review

Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy Review

Well, since the release of Traced in Air, I can’t think of a band that has higher expectations for their next full length than Cynic. Really, I don’t know a single non-Cynic fanboy among the reviewers that I frequently read, and this is because their two records are fantastic. The EP they released last year (Re-Traced) was a neat little foray into other styles and I really loved it. But I don’t think that anyone is quite ready for the band to stay in those other styles. Carbon-Based Anatomy is raising questions as to whether or not they will come back to the techy metal for which they’re supposed to be known.

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Steel Druhm needs to ramble on for a bit so kindly bear with me, or else! As a life long metal fan, I can look back and pinpoint those few truly special albums that blew me away upon release and continue to feel magical after decades of listening. Right at the top of that very short list are two classics by Fates Warning. Hailing from Connecticut, they released three albums in the early to mid-80s that really embodied the American take on the traditional NWOBHM ethos and at times sounded quite like vintage Iron Maiden. Of those three albums, 85’s The Specter Within and 86’s Awaken the Guardian were their masterworks and any fan of classic metal really needs to hear them immediately if not sooner. After so many years, both easily stand the test of time and I find myself going back to them frequently. The main draw, aside from the expert songwriting, are the vocals by John Arch. The man had a one-of-a-kind voice, killer range and the ability to write hyper-intelligent lyrics. When he left the band following Awaken the Guardian, Fates Warning sank into mediocrity and I lost all interest. Arch himself left the music business entirely and I always hoped he would resurface and grace us with his voice again. He finally did in 2003 with the short but excellent Twist of Fate EP, which I hoped was the start of a serious comeback. Well, it took another eight long years but he finally has resurfaced again for a collaboration with his old Fates Warning guitarists Jim Matheos (OSI, Gordian Knot), Frank Aresti and other Fates alumni, bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Seven Witches) and drum lord Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Riot, Iced Earth, Rob Rock). So does this mega reunion bring back any of the potent magic from days long gone? Well, it seems that isn’t a fair question since Sympathetic Resonance is quite a different animal than Fates Warning. It’s way more modern, proggy, convoluted and heavier than anything their old unit attempted (I was actually surprised how heavy some of this material gets). Overall, its very polished and aggressive progressive metal from old dogs that obviously have plenty of life left in them.