Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us – (Season of Mist)

Living up to its name.


Those were the days when Cynic was a favorite in Death Metal like Death, Atheist, Sadus and Pestilence. Those were the days of aggressiveness. Those were the days when Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert broke the paradigm of Death Metal along with the master Chuck Schuldiner and recorded the definitive masterpiece of technical death metal called HUMAN.

Since their insipid return in 2008 with the album Traced in Air the band showed that they might as well be interred in the forgotten past. But there are fans for what they did in that album, and a whole cult was formed with the always fake “death metal” brand in it ranging from Metalcore/Deathcore fashion to a pseudo “progressive rock” claimed by bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Animal as Leaders, TesseracT and the ludicrous deathcore/metalcore that bears the title of one of Cynic’s songs: Veil of Maya.

This is neither progressive nor jazzy. This is in consonant with modern deception of the pseudo progressive rock (dude, please, go listen to some Pink Floyd, Genesis, Frank Zappa and Yes, for fuck sake!).

This is not complex music; it’s just hipster sound for hipster minds, the PC internet generation.

First song like True Hallucination Speak tries so hard to emulate the great Dream Theater to no avail.

Second song The Lion’s Roar is even more subpar, some change of phrases/tempos so naïve that any teenager with some skill can emulate.

But let’s not be so unjust: Kindly Bent to Free Us is a song that has some quality and function well as a “chill out” moment for a hard day of work.

Notwithstanding the progressions of Infinite Shapes are disingenuous and serves only as a juvenile assertion that they belong to something very metal: so metal that the sophistication cannot be understood by ogres like me. Yeah boys and girls, you are the future of metal. Please Russia, nuke the west!

Moon Heart Sun Head is an honest number but still I cannot believe that the voice behind the song, Masvidal, used to be my teenager idol.

Gitanjali is a pseudo-Beatles number with lots of neo-beatnik iPhone generation of “rock”: “Goodbye to all of you / It’s useless to refuse the muse / Let’s carry on for future generations gone” What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Gitanjali is collection of Indian poems set up to lend a blasé atmosphere to the pseudo-intellectual play of words.

The rest of the work is not worth mentioning except that the boring vocals are getting worse by each passage. No real progressive stuff, neither noteworthy instrumental passages, just sterile calm music for tech pundits.

(Daniel Death)

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