The band was formed in 1987 and had a 1988 demo. The group toured with Malevolent Creation using the Cynical Creation monicker in 1989. Cynic is better known for having its members avoiding the band itself in favour of other groups. Early on a death metal band, the band changed to the point that many considered Focus new age music. That sound did not find favour with metal fans and even with the help of a female growler while on tour with Cannibal Corpse and Sinister the band quickly decided to call it a day. Canada’s Epidemic Records released an earlier cassette album and the members were often in demand as session musicians. OSI featured members of Fates Warning and Dream Theater alumni.
No surprise, the band (now featuring Paul Masvidal - vocals and guitar, Sean Reinert – drums, Tony Teegarden - vocals and keyboards, Chris Kringel – bass and guitarist Santiago Dobles) reunited in 2006 and announced shows for 2007. Simultaneously, Choy and Reinert joined former Pestilence singer/guitarist Patrick Mameli in a new band called C-187. The group cancelled its appearance at the Maryland Death Fest in 2007. It turned out the band would claim that it was not ready for live performances yet. The band arrived in Europe for the summer however.
Predictably, bassist Tony Choy of Cynic and drummer Peter Wildoer of Darkane have joined Patrick Mameli in the resurrected Pestilence. Tony Choy who had played with Pestilence before was also recording a new album with Cynic. Pestilence is also recording for an album on Mascot Records. The band itself signed with Season Of Mist. A new album from the band was expected in October of 2008. Traced In The Air was the title and was preceded by a European tour. Season Of Mist Records pushed back the release of Cynic’s comeback album, entitled Traced In Air, by a month to the end of November. Also released on the same day would be the Traced In Air Collector's Box, which would only be available for order on-line and limited to 1,000 copies. It featured a DVD, a USB keychain, stickers and posters. Cynic And Meshuggah toured North America together in February, 2009. Guitarists Tymon of Cynic and Michel Nienhuis, bassist Robin Zielhorst also of Cynic and formerly of Blue Man Group and drummer Stef Broks of Textures formed a new band called Exivious. The band’s sound was described as metal/jazz fusion. The American Cynic released a new EP called Re-Traced in May, 2010. It featured “reinterpretations” of four songs from the band’s Traced In Air album plus several previously unreleased songs. Cynic asked bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier to leave the band in late 2010. The logistic of the Dutchmen living in The Netherlands made coordination difficult apparently. The two would focus on their band Exivious instead. Cynic was working on a new album. Season Of Mist would issue Cynic’s new EP, entitled Carbon-Based Anatomy, on November 11th of 2011. The title was interesting given the members’ involvement in Death’s Human album, which essentially is synonomous with Carbon-Based Anatomy. The group recruited Max Phelps on guitar and vocals and Brandon Giffin on bass for the band’s North American and European tours of late 2011 and 2012 in support of the Carbon-Based Anatomy EP. Cynic would release a new album, Kindly Bent To Free Us, on February 14th, 2014 through Season Of Mist. It was recorded at Perfect Sound studios in Hollywood, California with engineer Jason Donaghy. In a summer interview with Los Angeles Times, members Paul Masvidal (guitar and vocals) and Sean Reinert (drums) came out of the closet. Cynic would headline 2015’s Euroblast festival on October 3rd in Koeln, Germany. Paul Masvidal and bassist Sean Malone had hired drummer Matt Lynch of jazz-fusion project Trioscapes for the show. Drummer Sean Reinert had earlier announced that the band was breaking up due to personal and artistic differences. Cynic's Uroboric Forms - The Complete Demo Collection was released on February 10th 2017 through Century Media. The new line-up of the band released a digital track titled Humanoid to start 2018. The band was issuing Humanoid on limited edition 10" vinyl in late 2018. Mythical Human Vessel was a trilogy of records written and performed by the songwriter and guitarist Paul Masvidal. They are the first independent solo releases on his imprint, Masvidalien Records. The band re-released 2008's Traced In Air. Called Traced In Air Remixed in 2019. It featured new dubs and remixes.
CYNIC - TRACED IN AIR - SEASON OF MIST
Add Cynic to the list of the bands that should have just let bygones be bygones, but naturally and nevertheless has deemed it necessary to reform. Let’s face it and call a spade a spade. This Florida-based band has always been a media darling and never quite a favourite among metal fans. This is not because, stating the obvious, the band is not metal necessarily, but stems from how bands which go out of their way - and Cynic does a lot of that - to not be metal get praised ad nauseam in the sell-out fifth column media in the hopes of turning metal enthusiasts away from true or powerful heavy metal and onto something weaker and more defiled - a la the reviewers themselves.
Joining every single band that ever existed and slid into bankruptcy only to return this side of the century, Cynic’s comeback has landed through France’s Season Of Mist and comes with so much hype that Obama himself is about to bow down to these guys in terms of sheer exaggeration, build up and false exhilaration. The album’s name is somehow evocative of titles by England’s Threshold, but unlike those progressive metallers these progressive, er, rockers cannot hold a tune if their lives depended on it. Staccato spastic shakes stir strenuously as the stop-and-go music, über technical riffs and jerky rhythms make one yearn for the kind of straightforward and tuneful melody only Primus could provide. Seriously, being technical is never a cause for discreditation. Fusing barely-metal passages with jazz-fusion, however, is both abhorred and undesirable in true/smart/honest metal circles. From the start of Nunc Fluens to the last moment of Nunc Stans one is left with the treated to so much space rock debris that the mind is conditioned to crave something coherent and metallic like the last Tiles album.
As silly as this reformation and the marketing of this music to metal fans are, the vocals of Paul Masvidal almost take the cake. His effect-laden voice is digitized to shimmering imperfection to further the absurdity. The in-and-out-of-digital effects delivery using something the band calls 'an android' is fitting in so far as this belongs in the progressive digital atmospheric industrial new age bin. The addition of the occasional growls is hardly any relief.
In a conversation with me Tom Angelripper of Sodom mocked the reformation of Celtic Frost and wondered whether he should disband and reform Sodom for his group to get any credit or see success. He could have been talking about Cynic. To be sure, Traced In Air is very likely the work of genuine and steadfast individuals who like what they do and have a passion for their art, but for a metal fan to want this or like this is nothing short of ludicrous and a sign of exposure to marketing and snake oil salesmen. - Ali “The Metallian”