Published Feb 14, 2014Cynic has been in a constant state of flux since the release of their 2008 album Traced in Air. They've stayed progressive, but have grown more melodic and spacey with each subsequent EP. What we get from Kindly Bent to Free Us is a sort of culmination of the experimentations of the last three releases.
The dynamics are top notch, shifting masterfully from a melodic tone to a heavy, empowered voice. "Infinite Shapes" perfectly exemplifies this, with the guitar gracefully shifting from a smooth, textured introduction to a relentless, distorted climb, back to a distant, slow pulse that highlights Sean Reinert's jazz-inspired drumming. This musical diversity is present on pretty well every one of the album's eight tracks, from the slow, triumphant buildup of "Endlessly Bountiful" to the instant gratification provided by the heavy riffing and uncompromising bass pulse of "The Lion's Roar." This manages to make up for the album's somewhat flat production, which lacks the crispness of their previous albums.
This isn't the band's triumphant return to their death metal roots, but part of an evolution that takes lessons from the band's last three albums and mixes them together to create a beast stronger than the sum of its parts. (Season of Mist)