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Uroboric Forms - The Complete Demo Recordings 1988-1989-1990-1991
(Century Media Records)

CYNIC must be one of the most underrated bands in Death Metal history just because they tried to take the genre in the early 90s to new levels of experimentation mixing some really unusual elements with extreme music. This sweet compilation collects their early works before they’ve released their debut album in 1993, “Focus”: “Demo 1988” (1988), “Reflections Of A Dying World” (1989), “Demo 1990” (1990) and “Demo 1991” (1991). This compilation is titled “Uroboric Forms - The Complete Demo Recordings 1988-1989-1990-1991”. Take note: I’m reviewing this compilation from back to front. Their earliest work (“Demo 1988”, tracks 11-13) sounds like a mix of Thrash Metal and some strong Crossover and Hardcore influences close to early D.R.I., CRO-MAGS and S.O.D., especially the song 'Weak Reasoning'. “Reflections Of A Dying World” (tracks 7-10), their second demo is not so different to their previous work. Straightforward riffing, fast drums and Hardcore-ish vocals similar to Kurt Brecht. To me the most interesting stuff here is their 90s era demos because it is where the band begins to play Death Metal and to introduce new elements to expand their music to another level of composition and atmosphere, developing everything you can listen to on their debut album. The “Demo 1990” (tracks 4-6) shows some really brutal and fast stuff, more Death than Thrash Metal with an awesome technical twist and better production. Outstanding demo far from their average previous works and, for sure, this 3 - song release is the reason why Chuck Schuldiner from DEATH decided to ask CYNIC former members Sean Reinert (drums) and Paul Masvidal (guitars) to perform on the classic “Human” album. Both were in DEATH from 1990 to 1992. Tony Choy, the bass player on this demo later joined ATHEIST after Roger Patterson’s death and PESTILENCE when Martin van Drunen left the band. The “Demo 1991” is where CYNIC shows all their potential as a Metal music entity: technical and smart progressive sweet compositions, fast and varied riffing, brutal vocals, double kicks, some interesting time changes on rhythmic section everywhere and sheer brutality, something is missing sometimes in this kind of music. 'Uroboric Forms', the first track of this demo and later released with some different elements on the “Focus” album (especially on the vocals), sounds brutal and evil. 'The Eagle Nature', another monster of Death Metal composition, shows some fresh and experimental ideas that were later used on their debut album as some clean guitars and vocals effects. I don’t know why but the last song, 'Pleading For Preservation', was never recorded after and never appeared on another band’s production. It’s a shame because it has a really nice atmosphere and some brutal moments of intensity. This stuff is pure gold and I must recognize it's one of the best demos I’ve ever listened to (if you love the pre- production of ATHEIST’s “Unquestionable Presence” try CYNIC’s “Demo 1991”). This compilation also includes a two track audition ('Uroboric Forms' and 'The Eagle Nature') with Brian DeNeff from VIOGRESSION on vocals. The results are slightly different from the original recordings released in 1991 where Masvidal is leading the vocal department but it is a good approach to what the band was doing in their early days. This compilation shows how an average band becomes an influential and pioneer one for everyone who is into the so-called extreme progressive and technical stuff that exploded in the late 80s and early 90s (think about WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, FATES WARNING, ATHEIST, CONFESSOR, etc.). Here you can find more information:,

Miguel Negrón

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