After reading Angry Metal Guy‘s review of this EP, I decided to give this EP a go. He gave it a 3.5 out of 5. Personally, I’d give it a 4.
For all intents and purposes, this EP isn’t metal. Cynic seems to have ceased being a metal band since their last EP; Re-Traced. The distortion’s there, the intricate drumming is also there. But the metal riffs are gone. It seems that Paul Masvidal, the driving force behind Cynic have gone out of the metal headspace and into a meditative realm of thought. The biggest banner that indicates this is The Space for This; the second song off of Cynic’s second album Traced in Air.
Perhaps it’s deliberate that The Space for This’ chorus “can I be the space for this” is exactly the same as Eckhart Tolle’s philosophical utterance. Tolle himself is what I call a philosopher. After having been an intellect in his early adult life, Tolle suffered long periods of suicidal depression which led to his epiphanous “inner transformation”. It is from this experience that he wrote several monographs on spiritual improvement which promotes peacefulness in spite of the frantic nature of (post) modern life. And, it seems that Cynic’s mastermind, Masvidal drew hefty inspiration from Tolle as well as all things spiritual. Come to think of it, putting the terms “Tolle”, “spiritualism” and “meditation” in one bracket doesn’t sound off at all.
With the above in mind, it’s easy to understand where Cynic (or at least Paul Masvidal) is heading in terms of music. It seems that Masvidal & Co. are intent on creating music that blends their past metal sensibilities and their newfound understanding of spiritualism (or perhaps Masvidal’s own personal mindset).
Musically, Cynic’s Carbon-Based Anatomy sounds very eclectic. The intro and interludes sounds as if they’re from Delerium’s Karma album. And some of the riffs are vaguely reminiscent of The Gathering’s The West Pole. Both of which are have intersecting soundscapes.
Having been familiar with “atmospheric” music since adolescence, Cynic’s Carbon-Based Anatomy fits right into my musical sensibilities.