Blown away by complexity, mesmerized by simplicity. Traced in Air, Cynic's second debut after being formed 21 years prior, is a valorous effort after the impressive Focus debut. Fantastic instrumental pieces, that trippy vocoder sound, and just beautiful music all together, there is little doubt this album is 5(+) stars. Immediately after being added to my collection, it became one of my favorite prog metal album out of ALL of my albums (which are a lot).
Nunc Fluens is a nice and short little opener, with a building sensation that crescendos near the end into a fantastic instrumental section with subtle background vocals. Right of the bat 2 minutes in, I'm hooked.
The Space for This starts off slow with great melodic guitar, and Masvidal's "vocals" come in. Very progressive, very nice, very epic. Soon it breaks into what we love about Cynic: some jazz fusion epicness. The whole track is amazing, great lyrics, great guitar work, that epic bass, and amazing drums (I am a drummer, I tend to pay special attention to that!).
Evolutionary Sleeper is easily the best track on the album. Similar to the previous track, melodic guitar opens, then breaks into a slightly distorted sound with some amazing instrumentation.
Integral Birth is a slower song once you get into it, after the intro, and into the verses. The chorus is catchy, with a very nice sound going with the guitar. It is very similar to much of Misha Mansoor of Periphery's outside work with bands such as Haunted Shores, as well as the band Scale the Summit's guitar sound.
The Unknown Guest opens similarly as the rest, a great riff, then breaking into harder riffs and more jazzy-fusion-y sections.
Adam's Murmur opens with a vocal piece this time, but then opens into the traditional sound like the rest of the album. There's a melodic chorus, but other than that the track doesn't stick out like Evolutionary Sleeper.
Kings of Those Who Know is the longest track on the album (running just over 6 minutes), with a nice melodic guitar-synth sound and a chorus coming in early on. It is definitely one of the better tracks on the album. Fantastic transitions, fantastic instrumentation, fantastic everything!
Nunc Stans closes the album with slower melodies and riffs, but is still a fantastic track.
Overall, the album is fantastic. Vocoded vocals give Masvidal's vocals (if he has any) that nice touch of experimentalism and his creative guitar playing is a great sound. All the songs are catchy and have great instrumentation. The album is just fantastic. If you see a copy and do not own it, buy it immediately! 5+ stars.