Cynic – Re-Traced (Season of Mist Records)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

With a whole new generation now finally getting it, Cynic have gone from cult status to the veritable “it” band among the young, neo-prog crowd. Quite the change from a few years ago when it was Focus and only Focus for Paul Masvidal and crew. Then again, when you have an album as immense as 2008’s Traced In Air, you’d at least hope some people would latch onto it. And they have.

Re-Traced (as the title suggests) is four re-interpretations of songs fromTraced In Air, stripped down, devoid of any muscular riffing and time-keeping savvy from drummer Sean Reinart. Proving just how well-written and melodic songs like “Space for This” (now titled “Space”) and “King of Those Who Know” (“King”), Cynic employees a healthy variety of toned-down keyboards, soft drum patterns and Masvidal’s sinewy vocals, coalescing into album highlight “Integral,” the re-worked version of Traced must-have “Integral Birth.” New song “Wheels Within Wheels” (which was aired regularly on the band’s early 2010 tours) picks up where the band left off, with perhaps a more gentle ebb and flow than before.

Not at all mandatory, Re-Traced is just a side view of the majesty that isTraced In Air. Cynic is all systems go, in direct contrast to the mid-90’s when they sputtered out barely a year after Focus. Two landmark albums from one band. All it took was 15 years and a nice break – methinks we won’t have to wait that long again for a follow-up. If not, then there’s a lot kids who won’t be kids anymore by the time album #3 comes out…

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