Half Notes: Cynic – Traced In Air (2008)

I don’t know exactly what kept Cynic apart for a decade and a half following 1993’s groundbreaking Focus, but the band returned almost as if little time had passed — still technical, still heavy, and not a little bit weird and jazzy in places … maybe even “beautiful,” some odd minds might call it. What made this band so special was that these guys possessed a skill so few metal bands like this do — a sense of subtlety. There was brutal and heavy in equal measure with the delicate and intricate. That said, was it a sign of the times that the “tech” in this album doesn’t seem quite so technical? Had metal advanced so much since their first album that it caught up to what they were doing? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure it matters too much: It was simply great to have them back.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.