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Cynic: Uroboric Forms – The Complete Demo Recordings

At a time when the future of Cynic is very much in doubt, huge kudos to Century Media for officially releasing on CD & LP, for the very first time, all the original four demo recordings spanning 1988-1991, all in one set. That's right, nearly 1 hour or vintage, early Cynic, easily one of the most influential technical/progressive death metal bands ever. In addition to that, the cover artwork of Uroboric Forms was done by Manuel Tinnemans (The Devil's Blood, Necros Christos, Bölzer), and the vinyl has been remastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel (Iced Earth, Dissection, Tiamat, etc.) for the best possible sound for that medium. Yes, it's a reason for Cynic fans to celebrate!

Though of course the title track and "The Eagle Nature" were included on the groundbreaking debut Focus, for some, much of these early cassette demo recording will be heard now for the very first time. The sound quality is pretty damn incredible for the most part, especially the 1990 & 1991 tracks, with many of the tunes not that far removed stylistically speaking from what Death were doing at that same time, Cynic not yet diving into some of the more spacey sounds that would appear on their debut just a few short years later. "Pleading For Preservation" and "Lifeless Irony" simply crush with plenty of intricate guitar riffs, acrobatic rhythms, and effective growls from guitarist Paul Masvidal. Who exactly appeared on these recordings is probably anyones guess, as a host of musicians came and went through the band during this time period, including bassists Tony Choy & Mark Van Erp, guitarist Jason Gobel, and vocalist Jack Kelly, but Masvidal's long time collaborator Sean Reinert was of course behind the drum kit alongside the guitarist, the duo forming a partnership that lasted on and off for many years. The rampaging, technical arrangements of "Cruel Gentility" and "Thinking Being" are just jaw dropping, showing just how far ahead of their time these guys really were. As the set starts to dip back into the late '80s recordings the production values start to decline and you can hear the band in more of a raw state still trying to find their way. Tunes such as "Extremes", "A Life Astray", "Agitating Affliction", and "Once Misguided" are actually more of a mix of thrash and hardcore, far removed from the progressive death metal act they would eventually morph into, and you'd be hard pressed to guess this was Cynic if you heard these songs going in blind. "Weak Reasoning" even has a bit of early Iron Maiden influence thrown in for good measure. As an extra bonus to this collection, two more versions of "Uroboric Forms" and "The Eagle Nature" are thrown in, recorded during Brian DeNeffe of Viogression's audition with the band in 1992. These are also of a pretty raw nature but a curious listen, DeNeffe giving it his all but it's obvious he wasn't a good fit as vocalist.

For any Cynic fan Uroboric Forms – The Complete Demo Recordings is going to be a no brainer purchase. Considering the bands questionable state here in 2017 and the fact that there's been so little output from them during their entire career of stops and starts, this is a very welcome collection of rarities indeed.

Track Listing
1. Uroboric Forms
2. The Eagle Nature
3. Pleading For Preservation
4. Lifeless Irony
5. Thinking Being
6. Cruel Gentility
7. Denaturalizing Leaders
8. Extremes
9. A Life Astray
10. Agitating Affliction
11. Once Misguided
12. Weak Reasoning
13. Dwellers of the Threshold
14. Uroboric Forms
15. The Eagle Nature

Added: February 5th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2981
Language: english

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