CYNIC — '90 Demo (review)

CYNIC — '90 Demo album cover Demo · 1990 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Demo 1990" is the third demo recording by US technical/progressive metal act Cynic. The demo was released through Epidemic Records in January 1990. It´s the successor to the 1989 "Reflections of a Dying World" demo and features one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Mark Van Erp has been replaced by Tony Choy.

The demo features three tracks, which are exclusive to this demo (meaning they wouldn´t make it unto Cynic´s 1993 debut full-length studio album "Focus"). Although still rooted in the Bay Area thrash metal style, Cynic show a lot of progression on this demo compared to the first two demos. The technical aspect of their sound is in focus here, and this is generally a highly technical thrash metal release featuring tempo changes and toying with time signatures, and fusion influenced drumming (and guitar solos). Masvidal´s vocals are still raw staccato delivered thrash metal vocals, which get the job done, but not much more than that.

In terms of production values "Demo 1990" was recorded at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida, and it was produced by Scott Burns and Cynic, which means that the demo features a heavier and more meaty sounding production, than most thrash metal demos from those days. Burns had already worked on some of the early death metal recordings by artists like Obituary and Amon (later Deicide), and had a good idea on how to create heavy sounding recordings and the massive production job suits Cynic´s music well.

Upon conclusion "Demo 1990" is a big leap forward for Cynic, but because of the thrash metal riffs and songwriting ideas this still doesn´t sound much like Cynic would just a few years down the line. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
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