I really wanted this to be good. I like Cynic as much as everyone should, and this band obviously is crafting music based on their formula, but with a more aggressive edge. A large dose of balls is what the prog metal genre needs, so this seems like an inviting recipe, but this record falls short for reasons that should be its strengths. At times, the band takes a really antimelodic turn and it sounds as if Immolation is forcing their way through a Cynic album ("Knowledge Curse," "Every Straight Lie"), but instead of the haunting quality that should be developed through that idea, instead the results heavily annoy. This is partially due to the chorus laced guitar tone that should be effective in beefing up a testosterone-starved three piece lineup, yet instead sounds often out of tone and grating. Some of the multitracking used covers it up and there is some interesting guitar interplay, but so much of the record is pitchwise in the higher register which robs the record of depth. The vocalist has a good snarl going for him, but the passion just doesn't seem there. The bass player however is on his own planet, and rarely follows the guitars, which makes for some replay value. It's as tight as a three piece should be, but despite the progressive edge, the entire production feels like a throwback to when metal lacked extremity. Regardless, it has more heart to it than what's been passing off as death metal nowadays, but once you've heard Necrophagist's Epitaph album, there's no reason to hear another prog death album again. The bar has been set, and I hate to slam an album out of comparison, but goddamn. After I'm done reviewing this pile of metalcore in front of me however, I may just be reaching for this album again.
The High Price of Confidence