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I'm Chris. I'm 22 years old and I'm into a large variety of music, from Metal in its many forms (mostly the extreme ones) to Goth and Postpunk, Reggae, Jazz, Prog, Techno, Ambient and Film Scores. This is where I rave about albums I really like, and other stuff.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Cynic - Demo 1991 (Roadrunner Demo)

Cynic - Demo 1991
Progressive thrash metal
1991 Roadrunner Records


Discovering the demo material of Cynic was something of a minor revelation for me, being only really familiar with the Focus album. At this point Cynic was quite a different band, though the evolution of their demos does give a hint at the direction they were headed. The first two demos from '88 and '89 are more rudimentary if still enjoyable thrash, the '90 demo an explosive shot of hyper speed, uniquely melodic technical riffs and relentless drumming that in my mind comes out on top of enough full albums by other bands. On this demo the sound is veering more towards death metal and coincidentally is the one that secured them a deal with Roadrunner I think, it would explain the name anyway.

By this point the classic Cynic lineup had been established, with bass as on the previous demo being handled by Tony Choy, an astonishingly gifted bass player who was apparently the only one capable of filling the gap in Atheist left by the insanely skilled Roger Patterson. His playing also blends seamlessly with this incarnation of Cynic, he wouldn't have worked on Focus but I would have loved to hear what a full length recorded around this time would have sounded like. There are three songs, two of which later appeared on the debut. They are noticeably different from the Focus versions, as well as the added appeal of hearing them in these far more brutal incarnations. The version of "Uroboric Forms" in particular just destroys, in some ways I prefer this to the album version though it is the most similar to the one on Focus. "The Eagle Nature" is quite different, the most bass intensive of the three songs, without the clean break in the middle and a different ending. The final track "Pleading for Preservation" is the most energetic and driving one, with relentless melodic thrash riffing bursting out from a relaxing clean intro, and an ending that was later reworked into "How Could I" on Focus. Paul's vocals are absolutely awesome, savage and fitting the music perfectly. No vocoders yet. Of course, if you're familiar with this band you know the instrumental performances are just out of this world. If not, then listen and be duly blown away. There are just some insanely fast riffs in this demo, and the degree of technical skill is nothing less than highly impressive while still being completely emotive. The solos especially are quite frankly, just wonderful.

Despite its short length this is absolutely worth tracking down, sadly there has yet to be an official release of the Cynic demos but this is an essential listen for fans and anyone into early 90s death/thrash.

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