November 29, 2011

Review: Cynic-Carbon-Based Anatomy

ComScore It has been some journey for the progressive rock band Cynic.  They released their first album Focus in 1993 to critical acclaim and broke up the following year.  Over a decade later, they reformed and released their second album Traced In Air in 2008.  Carbon-Based Anatomy is their second EP since their reformation and, described by Paul Masvidal as “both a philosophical as well as a musical journey, one that begins in the Amazon jungle on the lips of a shamanic wisewoman and ends in outerspace”, it is destined to wonder.  

 “Amidst The Coals” is a mood setting track that has the feel of staring out into vastness.  The vocals make it sound like a religious or mystic chant.  It gets the listener ready for what is to come.  There is a sense of anticipation is building as if a spiritual journey is about to begin.  “Carbon-Based Anatomy” is like being addressed by a celestial being who is imparting his heavenly knowledge to mortals.  The lyrics touch on metaphysical themes, which make the song all the more uplifting and beautiful.  This is followed by “Bija!”, a short transitional song.  It is low-key and soothing to listen to.  One can image being in an incensed filled room thanks to the chanting in the background.  The meditative quality of the song adds to the spiritual element of the album.  
“Box Up My Bones” is another quality song with and end that sounds like a funeral.  The metaphysical themes are strong in this one as well. Continuing from the end of “Box Up My Bone”. “Elves Beam Out” gets heavier and has a fantastical quality to it that is both weird and alluring.  “Hieroglyph” is a calm lead-out that brings this mellow experience to an end.  The song is hopeful and inspiring.

 Cynic’s Carbon-Based Anatomy is a release that should be sought after by any fan of the genre.  It is the type of album full beauty and awe that should be experienced at least once.  Optimistically, this could mean maybe another full-length album (fingers crossed). With the direction they are heading in, there is no telling what kind of amazing music is to come.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Carbon-Based Anatomy, Box Up My Bones, Elves Beam Out

Brian McKinnon

November 28, 2011

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