|» Cynic 2010 08 05||
The first band of the night was this instrumental trio from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I spent the next half hour absolutely speechless. Very much like a Progressive Metal jam band, it was quite the new experience for this reviewer. I've never seen anyone play bass quite like their bassist Colin Marston. To be honest, even as a bassist myself, I've never heard a bass make the sounds that Colin did. It was a pleasant treat to spend the set directly in front of Colin, watching his fingers dance up and down the neck of his bass. I confess to not having paid as close attention to drummer Jeff Eber or guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, though when I could break out of the trance I had been put in, I was equally impressed with them as I was with the fantastic bass.
The sound quality was perfect for almost the whole night, and Dysrhythmia
truly benefitted from the crystal clear sound. While I admit to being
sceptical in regards to how long a band could hold my interest without
having a frontman, or any vocalist at all, Dysrhythmia proved me wrong
in every regard. In retrospect, I'm not even sure how one could have put
vocals to this musical adventure. Absolutely a band to keep an eye out
for in the future. It is no surprise to me to hear that Colin and Kevin
are Luc Lemay's new recruits in Gorguts. They're certainly worthy of the
7,5 chalices of 10
(sorry, no setlist)
In contrast with Dysrhythmia, this is a band which I had heard quite a bit of positive buzz about prior to the show. I was unbelievably underwhelmed. Whether it is that they were following the technical mastery of Dysrhythmia, that I simply was too excited to finally see Cynic, that their music is simply not my cup of tea, or maybe even a combination of all three, I found very little, if anything, to enjoy during Intronaut's set. I found myself bored throughout their set, and utterly unimpressed. The music droned on, and I felt like most of the songs blended together.
The only sound issue of the entire night presented itself during Intronaut's
set, and that was that guitarist/vocalist Sacha Dunable's vocals were
almost entirely inaudible through the whole set. I commend these four
men from Los Angeles, California for being technically proficient, but
that is nearly the only thing about the set that I can say I enjoyed.
The dual drum solo at the end of Any Port was, at the very least, very
neat to watch and was an epic end to an otherwise bland set.
4 chalices of 10
When Cynic announced a few months back that they would be touring this summer and performing their legendary 1993 album 'Focus' in full, I knew that I would have to attend the closest date. They proceeded to surprise everyone, and pull out all of the stops for the set. In addition to 'Focus' from front to back, they played every song off of their sophomore album, 2008's 'Traced In Air,' as well as two songs from the 'Re-Traced' EP released a few months back and even "Cosmos," a song from the Portal days (Portal being the band that formed after Cynic disbanded in the 90's, with 3 of the 5 band members having been in Cynic.) They played almost every song in their repertoire.
When the lights dimmed, and "Veil Of Maya" began, everyone in the building knew that they were in for a treat. For the next 80 minutes or so, we were lost. It was a magical excursion into the soundscapes created by Cynic's music. With an impressive light show for such a small stage, they captivated the audience for every moment of their set, from the opening notes, to the final moments of "Integral Birth."
It was particularly captivating immediately after the conclusion of the 'Focus' set, as guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal sat down to play "Integral," which is the acoustic 'Re-Traced' version of "Integral Birth." Though I may begin to sound repetitive by using such words as 'magical' and 'captivating', those really do describe it more adequately than any others. It felt almost as if it were over just after it had begun, but it was a night well spent. A night like this, a career-spanning setlist which includes almost every song Cynic has recorded will likely not happen again after this tour.
There has been some criticism in the past that the members of Cynic are not particularly active on stage. This is rather true. However, it would not fit the music if they were. They move around a fair bit, but stage acrobatics would almost be pointless on a show like this, where the atmosphere and technical wizardry is far more important than any running and jumping could ever be. Without being particularly active on stage, Cynic gave Allston one of the best sets I've seen and heard in a long time, with every song spot-on, with barely any (if any at all) notes missed during the set.
8,5 chalices of 10
Veil Of Maya