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What is there to focus on anyway? - 17%

Funeral_Shadow, September 28th, 2005

I really went out of my way to get this so called "legendary" album... at the time, there weren't remastered versions of this album. Apparently, I have the original version of the CD and I definitely was expecting some extra-ordinary stuff from this album being I heard so many grand statements about this CD. Once again, I was wrong and this isn't "the progressive death/fusion" album ever...

In the booklet of this album, there is a statement at the top of the lyrics that read something like "the music here represents artistic emotional expression..." Cynic indeed had a vision in creating this album but I'm definitely not seeing it clearly. It's very mediocre death metal mixed with very melodic breaks and jazz-filled drumming and very cheesy sound effects. Cheesy isn't even the word to describe this album in whole... I wouldn't even consider this death metal at all. Why anyway; just because there are distorted guitar sounds and a guy singing some "sissy" sounding death growls? If anything, this is indeed progressive metal with fusion thrown in there. It's like Dream Theater with a very fusion experimental feel to it.

I'll give these guys one thing: they have great musicianship. You could tell that these guys took sometime to arrange each song to be what it is. It's not like they just sat in the studio and thought "so what should our next song be like?" Another thing I'll give these guys is the lyrics. Indeed they're very poetic songs and I can sense some meaning in most of the songs. Oh and the production of this album is superb for an early 90's release. Every instrument can be heard crystal clear (for the most part, you can only hear the bass loud and clear over everything else, and in this case, this isn't really a great thing being I feel metal should be more guitar oriented and not bass oriented.) Though, this all still doesn't amount to these guys making a great release.

To be honest, I can't think of a worthy song on this album. Every song indeed is well constructed, but none of them appeal to me. The robot-like vocals really kill everything to begin with, and the sissy-death growls don't make anything better at all. The riffs are very mediocre and you can't "feel" them (if this truly was death metal, then you can feel the riffs through the earphones/speakers of your playing device!), the bass lines basically dominate over everything (killing the "metalness" to the CD), and the drumming is the only decent thing on this album. This basically sounds like some early 80's new-wave CD mixed with some metal in there.

Don't believe the hype behind this so called legendary CD! There are better progressive death/fusion/jazz metal bands out there. Cynic, I would say, is the lesser of all the death/fusion bands of all. Try picking up an Atheist album, later Pestilence or Death's "Symbolic" album for great progressive death metal with jazz influences in them.

This, in other words, is sheer garbage.

Ear Candy: Nothing.