From their humble beginnings in the Floridian death metal scene,
Cynic is now regarded as a prog death metal innovator,
even with a relative dearth of recordings over their career.
Early lineups pursued a straightforward death metal style,
but by 1993 the band was experimenting with progressive songwriting,
fusion influences, guitar synths, and altered vocal effects,
all of which can be heard on Focus,
now regarded as a landmark release in the field of
For various reasons, the band decided to end it there, breaking up
soon after the album's release.
For years and years rumors of a possible reunion persisted,
while the various members participated in all sorts of musical
projects both metal and not.
Finally, in 2007 the duo of Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert regrouped,
pulling in two old friends from the early days to round out the new band,
and Cynic was back in action.
Less, er, focused on the fusion/prog metal of the debut,
2008's Traced In Air nonetheless continued to push the envelope of
ecletic extreme metal.
By 2014 the band was reduced back to the core trio of Masvidal,
Reinart and Sean Malone,
and they released Kindly Bent To Free Us that year, and again
the band went quiet.
Kindly was considered their swansong for some time, well before
the unfortunate passing of both Seans in 2020.
Yet Masvidal continues to keep the flame alive, with a new lineup
and new album in 2021, Ascension Codes.