Progressive music icons CYNIC will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal debut album, "Focus", by performing it in its entirety at two very special live performances in 2023. In addition, CYNIC will pay homage to late members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone as these are the band's first live appearances since the musicians' passings. More anniversary and memorial tribute shows will be announced in the near future.
CYNIC will first appear on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which sets sail from Miami, Florida on January 30 through February 3. Later in the year, CYNIC will perform at the illustrious ProgPower USA festival on September 6 in Atlanta, Georgia. The band's lineup for both shows will feature Paul Masvidal on vocals and guitars, Max Phelps (EXIST, DEATH TO ALL) on additional guitars and vocals, Brandon Giffin (THE FACELESS, THE ZENITH PASSAGE) on bass, and Matt Lynch (NOVA COLLECTIVE, INTRONAUT) on drums and percussion. Lynch has been drumming with CYNIC since 2015 and appeared on the band's latest full-length, "Ascension Codes", as well as the 2018 single "Humanoid". Phelps, who also appeared on "Ascension Codes", and Giffin previously toured with CYNIC during the cycles in support of the "Carbon-Based Anatomy" EP and "Kindly Bent To Free Us" album.
Masvidal comments: "Eight years since CYNIC's last live performance, like a blink of an eye. In this chapter we explore perseverance, overcoming hardship, and the healing power of music."
"Ascension Codes" is a remarkably far-reaching work, and if nothing else, a clear indication that CYNIC has landed in a place of mastery. The album, paradoxically, acts as both swan song and rebirth.
CYNIC recently released a fully instrumental version of "Ascension Codes" via Bandcamp and all streaming services.
Released in 1993, "Focus" is a certified classic. Although that era ended with transformation into the short-lived PORTAL, and then a further splinter toward AEON SPOKE, CYNIC's reunion-era has found them embraced in a way that proves how ahead of the times they were in the '90s. Through monuments such as the "Traced In Air" (2008) and "Kindly Bent To Free Us" (2014) albums, the "Carbon-Based Anatomy" and "Re-Traced" EPs, and a surprising rebirth with the "Humanoid" single of 2018, the CYNIC legacy remains untarnished.
The year 2020 will go down in history as a tremendously difficult time for the global human population. For the CYNIC family, the struggle was not restricted to a pandemic. It was two utterly senseless losses that threw the band's immediate concerns into the background: the premature deaths of drummer Sean Reinert in January, at age 48, and bassist Sean Malone in December, at age 50, were shocking and unthinkable.
Reinert, a founding CYNIC member since formation in 1988, was highly influential to a multitude of young drummers. His work on "Focus" and DEATH's watershed 1991 album "Human" found him sculpting extreme technical metal with a jazz fusion-inspired approach. Now taken for granted, that approach to the instrument and the genre was undoubtedly pioneered in large part by Reinert. Though parting with CYNIC in 2015, his imprint on CYNIC is inescapable.
The death of Sean Malone dealt another horrible layer of tragedy to CYNIC's 2020. In his many years with the band, Malone's virtuoso playing meshed intuitively with Reinert's. Together they formed a nucleus of kinetic, highly capable rhythmic dexterity that fueled CYNIC's celestial aims.