The progressive rock metal band known as Cynic was first formed out of Miami, Florida. In 1987, guitarist (and later singer) Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinart paired up and released their first recording in 1988 (‘Demo). As soon as Masvidal went to vocals, guitarist Jason Gobel was added to the band, and not long afterward, bassist Tony Choy. Later on, keyboardist Tony Teegarden also joined Cynic. Before earning a contract with Roadrunner Records, Cynic already recorded four demos. It wasn’t until after signing a contract with Roadrunner Records in did they record their first full-length progressive rock album (Focus), which was released on September 14, 1993. Teegarden performed as the growling lead vocalist as Masvidal issued concerns about losing his own voice at the time. Since its release, the album has been regarded as a landmark release for the progressive metal genre. Sean Malone, who played fretless bass throughout the album, added an atypical approach towards the heavy metal music scene, which inspired many rock bands to adopt similar styles to their own music.
Despite Focus becoming so successful as an album and Cynic’s explosive debut as a promising metal band in 1993, they disbanded in 1994. It wasn’t until 2006 the band came together again. In 2008, Cynic released their second studio album (Traced in Air), which was released through the French record label (Season of Mist). The album was followed by an EP (Re-Traced) in 2010. In 2011, the band’s second EP (Carbon-Based Anatomy) was released. On February 14, 2014, the band’s third studio album (Kindly Bent to Free Us) was released. When Reinart left Cynic in December 2017 due to an uncertain medical future, this left Masvidal was the only founding band member left. Reinart died at the age of 48 years old on January 24, 2020. Less than a year after Reinhart’s death, Sean Malone died at the age of 50 on December 7, 2020. Still the frontman of Cynic, Masvidal is now accompanied by Matt Lynch on drums and Dave MacKay on bass and keyboards. The full discographic resume coming from Cynic includes a total of four studio albums, two EPs, and two compilation albums.
10. True Hallucination Speak
November 2008 saw the album (Traced in Air) released after a few setbacks. From it, the song (True Hallucination Speak) shines through as the only track from the entire album that truly stuck out among critics and fans as a standout piece. This isn’t to take away the performance level of Cynic’s third studio album release, but to highlight how close to the hearts True Hallucination Speaks are to their fans as they admit throughout different forums how it makes them remember fondly Sean Reinart and Sean Malone, both who passed away in 2020 less than a year apart.
9. Box Up My Bones
Fans of Cynic find their song (Box Up My Bones), which comes from their 2011 EP (Carbon Based Reality), as an emotional favorite. Death metal fans, whether they regard Cynic as a favorite band of theirs or not, find themselves relating to the messages they perceive from the delivery of this song. The comments section of many playlists that feature Box Up My Bones from Cynic often has someone sharing a memory about a loved one who died. This is also a highly emotional piece for fans of Cynic who are still reeling in the reality that Sean Reinart and Sean Malone are no more.
Fans of Cynic consider the purely instrumental song (Textures) as an addictive favorite. Coming from their debut album (Focus), the lyric-free piece strictly focuses on the musical talent of every musician involved.
7. King of Those Who Know
Coming from their 2008 album (Traced in Air), the song (King of Those Who Know) is considered a “trippy classic” among the fans of Cynic who also point out it’s a pleasantly non-demonic death metal song that deserves critical acclaim.
6. Evolutionary Sleeper
Creative drumming is the most common comment delivered by the fans of Cynic throughout the different message forums when it comes to describing the song (Evolutionary Sleeper), which is part of their 2008 album (Traced in Air). Metal bands of today who credit Cynic as what influenced their music style of choice, also regard Evolutionary Sleeper as one of the “it” pieces that inspire their own songwriters to come up with material pieces of their own.
5. Adam’s Murmur
Coming from their 2008 album (Traced in Air), is the song (Adam’s Murmur) that is considered a huge favorite among Cynic’s fans. While the critics didn’t seem to care for it, the fans made it perfectly clear what they think about those critics and their opinion.
4. Celestial Voyage
Cynic’s debut album of 1993 (Focus) is what put this band on the map in the heavy metal music scene. The song (Celestial Voyage) is agreed by critics and fans alike that it literally takes them on a celestial voyage, fully engaging in the spirit of progressive metal music. Also regarded as death metal, this song continues to draw Cynic fans back to the “good ol’ days” before band members went their separate ways for 12 years.
3. Integral Birth
The 2008 album (Traced in Air) owes the song (Integral Birth) credit for playing an integral role in winning the favor of the fans despite the critics actually put the entire album down. Fans of Cynic everywhere are in agreement it is one of their best song performances throughout their entire discographic portfolio. The uniqueness of Cynic’s contribution towards the death metal genre is what stands out the most among metal music fans, which includes how they feel this song is performed.
2. How Could I?
(How Could I) is the one song fans of Cynic are most faithful to, especially when they criticize video streaming platforms for taking it off their channels. Every bit as explosive as Cynic’s 1993 album (Focus), this critically acclaimed favorite is often remarked as the inspirational favorite among metal bands who are following in their footsteps.
1. Veil of Maya
The debut album (Focus) saw Cynic’s 1993 introduction to the metal music genre literally be classified as “epic” among many music fans and critics. The song (Veil of Maya) is consistently requested the most often by the band’s fans when listening to a radio station that caters to the metal music genre.