Progressive rock legend CYNIC will be releasing its highly-anticipated new full-length, ‘Ascension Codes,’ on November 26 via Season of Mist! ‘Ascension Codes’ is a remarkably far-reaching work, and if nothing else, a clear indication that they have landed in a place of mastery. The album, paradoxically, acts as both swan song and rebirth. The band is now sharing the mind-bending first single, “Mythical Serpents,” which can be heard via the official Season of Mist YouTube channel HERE.
CYNIC mastermind Paul Masvidal comments: “I invite you to sit back, close your eyes, and listen to ‘Mythical Serpents’ as a fully realized piece of music. No phones or screens necessary, just the power of sound communicating directly into the ears of your heart. In the coming weeks, Cynic will be revealing further details on the constellation that is ‘Ascension Codes’, including a ‘Mythical Serpents’ animated video, featuring the artwork of Martina Hoffmann & Robert Venosa. Stay tuned.”
Michael Berberian, president and founder of Season of Mist, adds: “I have, by now, released close to one thousand albums. None have been more dramatic, none have even been more difficult than this one. I can’t listen to Ascension Codes without goose bumps, a mixed feeling of pride – because it’s a musical milestone, but it also contains a lingering layer of sadness. I hear Paul’s pain on this record. I can feel it, I can touch it. But it’s transcended. ‘Art is to console those who are broken by life,’ said Van Gogh. Here is a demonstration of that.“
Pre-orders are now live via Season of Mist HERE or via the official Cynic shop HERE.
CYNIC have furthermore unveiled the artwork for ‘Ascension Codes’, which has been created by Martina Hoffmann. The cover can now be viewed together with the album details below.
1. Mu-54* (0:32)
2. The Winged Ones (5:08)
3. A’-va432 (0:28)
4. Elements and their Inhabitants (3:09)
5. Ha-144 (0:30)
6. Mythical Serpents (6:24)
7. Sha48* (0:19)
8. 6th Dimensional Archetype (4:07)
9. DNA Activation Template (5:25)
10. Shar-216 (0:23)
11. Architects of Consciousness (6:20)
12. DA’z-a86.4 (0:34)
13. Aurora (4:34)
14. DU-*61.714285 (0:30)
15. In a Multiverse Where Atoms Sing (3:48)
16. A’jha108 (0:28)
17. Diamond Light Body (5:43)
18. Ec-ka72 (0:47)
CYNIC’s continual state of development has met its share of challenges over the years, hurdles that threatened to dismantle the entity’s forward surge. Yet through hurricanes, breakups, and assorted acrimony both personal and existential, it remains inspired to create. Their name is synonymous with what it means to be truly progressive in music. CYNIC’s top-tier performance acumen and cerebral/spiritual/yogic themes finds them inhabiting a corner of the musical spectrum all their own. Their Venn diagram shows intersections with death metal, prog rock, thrash metal, experimental, new age, jazz fusion, and a myriad of other sonic expressions!
Debut album, Focus (1993), 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. Yet early in the creation cycle for their fourth full-length album, they experienced horrible events that tested the entity’s resolve.
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 1993’s 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.
As of 2021, the future of CYNIC is unclear. Does Ascension Codes mark their final phase of growth? Surely the music finds them laying out a most ambitious trail of spiritual sonic travel, but to call any CYNIC album “ambitious” is redundant. They are, by their very nature, an ambitious band. Yet Ascension Codes is a remarkably far-reaching work. Its nine main songs are infused with explosions of color and energy! The struggle to attain ascension is as important as ascension itself. And after much searching, CYNIC have again achieved oneness with the numinous. At a time of possible exit for the entity, Ascension Codes is CYNIC reaching a previously-unknown state of enlightenment!
Style: Progressive Metal