CYNIC — Demo 1991 (review)

CYNIC — Demo 1991 album cover Demo · 1991 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Demo 1991" is the fourth demo recording by US technical/progressive metal act Cynic. The demo was recorded for and released by Roadrunner Records in 1991 and was initially only meant to be a promo for the label to decide wether or not they would sign Cynic (which they eventually did).

The demo features demo versions of "Uroboric Forms" and "The Eagle Nature", which would both be re-recorded and included on Cynic´s 1993 debut full-length studio album "Focus", and the third track "Pleading for Preservation", which is exclusive to this demo (although the outro section was used on "How Could I"). The demo versions of "Uroboric Forms" and "The Eagle Nature" sound a bit unfinished and doesn´t feature the vocoder vocals, which made them what they are on "Focus", but it´s still obvious how well playing Cynic are and how many intriguing songwriting ideas they had. They´ve moved from being a technical Bay Area thrash metal influenced act to being a technical/progressive death metal act and the style they play here is much more interesting and unique than what they had produced before. It´s interesting to note that guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal has also changed his vocal style and now delivers aggressive snarling semi-growling. This would be his one and only extreme vocal performance as he would stop performing extreme vocals after this demo, because he realised he was hurting his vocal cords.

"Demo 1991" is well produced, the performances are high level on all posts, and the songwriting is unique and intriguing. Cynic took the final step forward with this demo and cemented their position as one of the seminal technical/progressive death metal acts from the late 80s/early 90s. The demo is still a little rough around the edges, but you still get a good idea of the brilliance of Cynic. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.
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