Traced in Air

BY Chris AyersPublished Nov 24, 2008

Fifteen years after groundbreaking album Focus, the (almost) original line-up of Cynic reunite for their second album. Spending the last decade inspiring other progressive metal groups to reach their potential, bandleader Paul Masvidal pours over every detail of Traced in Air, produced by Warren Riker (Cathedral, Down, Santana). With brilliant opener "Nunc Fluens,” the heart-warming presence of the two Seans — drummer Sean Reinert and bassist Sean Malone — is as evident as any Aghora or Sadus interplay. "The Space for This” and "Evolutionary Sleeper” retain Masvidal’s computer vocals and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier provides the complementary death growls. "Adam’s Murmur” and "King of Those Who Know” contain more of an Opeth slant, with fusion/acoustic breaks, dense polyrhythms and guitar synths, while "Integral Birth” and "The Unknown Guest” feature Masvidal’s clean vocals and tangential, Alex Lifeson-esque solos. "Nunc Stans” again spotlights the Sean-squared rhythm section with a more ambient, VAST-like vibe. Though fans will decry its relative shortness at less than 35 minutes, Traced in Air is destined for eternal greatness.
(Season of Mist)

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