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2.23 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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Demo · 1989


1. Denaturalizing Leaders (3:52)
2. Extremes (2:33)
3. A Life Astray (2:50)
4. Agitating Affliction (3:42)

Total Time 12:57


- Paul Masvidal / Guitar, Vocals
- Jason Gobel / Guitar
- Mark Van Erp / Bass
- Sean Reinert / Drums

About this release

Demo, Self Released

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Reflections of a Dying World" is the second demo recording by US techncial/progressive metal act Cynic. The demo was independently released in 1989. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the release of Cynic´s 1988 demo, as lead vocalist Jack Kelly has jumped ship. Guitarist Paul Masvidal therefore performs vocals on "Reflections of a Dying World" in addition to playing guitar and Jason Gobel has been added as a second guitarist. The rhythm section of bassist Mark Van Erp and drummer Sean Reinert remain from the first demo.

Stylistically Cynic continue to play a technical version of Bay Area thrash metal (aggressive acts like Vio-Lence and Dark Angel), just like they did on the first demo and although especially the drumming by Reinert is on a high technical level, the relatively generic thrash metal songwriting and Masvidal´s raw staccato delivered thrash meetal vocals keep things grounded and there´s little here which sticks after the demo has ended playing.

The sound production is decent considering that "Reflections of a Dying World" is a 1989 thrash metal demo, and you can easily hear all instruments and vocals in the mix. I don´t hear great development since the first demo though and that goes for both the sound production values, the performances, and the songwriting, and this is still far away from what Cynic would evolve into in just a few years. A 2 - 2.5 star (45%) rating is warranted.
Conor Fynes
'Reflections Of A Dying World' - Cynic (3/10)

After a relatively successful '88 Demo', Cynic had introduced itself to the local Florida metal scene with a demo that sported fairly decent sound quality, songwriting and band performance. With this having been said, it comes as something of a sour surprise that the year after, Cynic would return with a second demo that takes the band's strengths from the first and downplays them to something fairly less enjoyable. After a switch up in their line-up, Paul Masvidal takes the reins for vocal work, and there is the addition of a second guitarist into Cynic's sound. With 'Reflections Of A Dying World', the music stays fairly static and unchanged from '88 Demo', but the steep decline in recording quality makes this one something of a failure.

The riffs remain sharply rooted in thrash metal, close to bands like Slayer, or even the fellow Floridan death metal act Death. At this time, Death was a few steps ahead of Cynic and it is clear from the guitar riffs and songwriting that Paul Masvidal was an adherent to the teachings of Evil Chuck. The musicianship is fairly standard for thrash metal, featuring a focus on speed over complexity, and guitar solos aplenty, which on a related note are also the greatest thing that this demo has going for it. Paul Masvidal's growls here are better than Jack Kelly's from the first demo, but not by much. Unfortunately, every sound on 'Reflections Of A Dying World' is brought down heavily by the recording quality, which sounds as if Cynic threw away whatever means they had to do proper recording with '88 Demo' and opted for something much noisier and unpolished. The end result is a demo that may be a step forward in terms of the band's development, but a great step back in terms of enjoyable music.

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  • SilentScream213
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