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Hey comrade

What will it be like on the day we face our mortal life

We’re all given the misfortune of loss

But that’s a gift we call impermanence
—Cynic, "Nunc Stans"

Describe Cynic here.

A cynic is a follower of the ancient Greek philosophy of Cynicism, which taught that people should live a life of virtue in agreement with nature...

Oh, you mean Cynic the band.

Cynic is a band from Miami, Florida. Their music could best be described as a combination of Progressive Metal, Technical Death Metal, and Jazz Fusion. They were formed in the late 1980s by guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert (both of whom played in Death at one point) as a Thrash Metal band. A notable early member of Cynic was bassist Tony Choy, who later joined fellow Florida group Atheist. After recording several demos and developing their style more towards their current sound, they signed to Roadrunner Records and recorded their debut album Focus, considered a landmark of Technical Death Metal.

Cynic broke up in late 1994 and the members went on to various other musical projects. Paul and Sean reformed the band with a new line-up in 2006; this was followed by extensive touring, a second album, Traced in Air, and an EP, Re-Traced.

In late 2010 Paul and Sean decided to continue Cynic as a duo and use guest musicians on future recordings. A third album is planned for a 2011 release.

A notable element of Cynic's sound is the use of a vocoder on most of Paul Masvidal's vocals, giving them a robot-like quality. This was originally for practical purposes - Paul was in danger of losing his voice while recording Focus - but has since become part of their signature style.

Discography

  • '88 Demo (1988) - first demo
  • Reflections of a Dying World (1989) - second demo
  • '90 Demo (1990) - third demo
  • Demo 1991 (1991) - fourth demo
  • Focus (1993) - first album
  • Traced in Air (2008) - second album
  • Re-Traced (2010) - EP with re-arranged versions of four songs from Traced in Air plus one new song
  • Carbon-Based Anatomy (2011) - EP
  • The Portal Tapes (2012) - a reissue of the demo recorded by Portal, a band formed by members of Cynic in the nineties after the latter broke up

Tropes

  • Book Ends: Traced in Air begins with the song "Nunc Fluens" and ends with "Nunc Stans", which are two philosophical views on the nature of time.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: From Focus onwards, the band's album artwork has consisted of various paintings by the psychedelic artist Robert Venosa. It's quite possibly some of the most colorful art you'll ever see in a metal album.
  • Development Hell: They've been a band for 25 years and have only released two albums.
  • I Am the Band: Paul Masivdal and Sean Reinert are the only consistent members, and the rest of the lineup is constantly shuffling. Currently, the band consists only of the two of them.
  • Lighter and Softer: Re-Traced, though not in a bad way. Lyrically Cynic tend more towards positive lyrics about philosophy and spirituality than many of their peers.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Re-Traced uses some of the same paintings as Traced in Air, but reduced to line drawings.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of it ranges around 7-9. Re-Traced is closer to 3-7.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
  • Soprano and Gravel
  • Technical Death Metal

 It was not death

It was not life

It was love
 

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