Cynic’s previous full length Traced in Air exhibited a more dialed back, accessible version of Cynic, which divided many fans.
After this, they ventured into electronica territory with their remix EP Re-traced and then moving into a much more experimental, atmospheric take on their style with the Carbon-Based Anatomy EP.
So what can you expect from their oddly titled Kindly Bent to Free Us? Straight away, the album exudes a ’70s prog feel, but more in a derivative fashion as opposed to the direct throw back sound that Opeth adopted for Heritage. Paul Masvidal’s vocoder retains its position in the band however it seems the vocals have been mixed back more than the past couple of releases and before you ask, no, there is no growling. What remains consistent however is Sean Reinert’s tasteful but clever drum style (with a nice live production), Sean Malone’s adventurous and melodic bass playing and of course, Paul Masvidal’s stunning guitar work.
For those soured by their slightly more accessible turn, this might a good chance to get reacquainted but this certainly leans towards the progressive realm than the metal one. Anyone with an open minded musical taste will enjoy this and it will be a slow burner for a lot of people but come December, don’t be surprised if this turns up in some top ten lists. This is most certainly the culmination of the years Cynic have been spending in the musical laboratory.