Here’s one from the vaults that all but the most dedicated heavy music geeks in South Florida have probably forgotten about. And those guys were possibly all at that recent Opeth show at the Fillmore. (I’m not going to pretend I knew about them this whole time; thanks Juan from Torche for tipping me off.)
Cynic was a Miami-based band started just over 20 years ago by frontman Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert. Thanks to soon-ensuing series of technical, sweeping metal demos, by 1991 the band had landed a major deal with Roadrunner Records. But of course in 1992, Hurricane Andrew happened, setting the recording back further. The band’s only full-length album to date, Focus, was released in 1993 to some critical acclaim, but the group disbanded a year later.
That’s not terribly interesting in itself, but a few other things are.
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First, Masvidal and Reinert met in elementary school – and were still just in high school when the swirl of publicity and label bids reached a head. Second, in the early Nineties, both also played briefly with the Orlando-based group Death, heralded as one of the most influential groups in (American) death metal.
Thanks to that association, as well as later projects like Portal and AEon Spoke – and, of course, to the prodigious information acceleration of the Internet – fans have rediscovered Cynic, and now revere their abortive existence as nothing short of legendary. Seriously – the band played a series of highly anticipated festival gigs around Europe in 2007, which went so well, Masvidal has announced the band is working on its second album, fifteen years after the first. The band will also play the holy grail of metal festivals, Wacken Open Air, in Germany this summer.
Proof of the Internet-based thirst for more Cynic is the above video, one of a series documenting a show the band played in Davie in January of 2004. This clip captures “I’m But a Wave To…”, the fifth track on Focus. For comparison, also dig this clip of the band performing it last year in Norway at the Hove Festival. – Arielle Castillo