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Cynic - '91 Demo - 60%

ConorFynes, July 5th, 2011

At last, Cynic emerges.

'Demo 1991'- or also known as the 'Roadrunner Demo'- comes after a stream of three demos which each hinted at the talent and skill of Cynic, but were often too caught up in Death worship and poor recording quality to really make much of a lasting statement. Finally, now at the age of twenty-one, Paul Masvidal comes out with a demo that finally starts showing his band making music that treads out from underneath the shadow of Death and gets something more original going on. While earlier recordings could be easily likened to the style Death played on 'Scream Bloody Gore', Cynic takes a much more technical route with this one, and even features some mellow spacey guitar work; the likes of which would be more heavily focused on with the band's debut full-length 'Focus'. Virtually every aspect of Cynic's sound has been improved here, finally creating an experience that is musically worth returning to and listening again.

While most demos are plagued by poor recording quality, Cynic has finally achieved a sound that is still not perfect or even great, but is fair enough to not impede the music too much. Although it would have been nice to be able to hear the bass playing a little more, Cynic's studio production is fair enough here. The actual music here is also quite good, and Cynic is starting to develop a more unique sound in their riffs and technical instrumentation, although the robotic vocals that many associate with the band are still not heard here. Perhaps the best thing that Cynic has going for them at this point are the great solos of Masvidal, which even by this point, outdo the sort of leads that Chuck Schuldiner of Death was doing. Suffice to say, Cynic would still only get better in the future, but 1991 would be the year where Cynic's music would start to blossom.