Progressive rock legend CYNIC will be releasing its highly-anticipated new full-length, ‘Ascension Codes,’ on November 26 via Season of Mist. Guitarist and founding member Paul Masvidal is now sharing an intimate one-on-one conversation with ‘Ascension Codes’ cover artist Martina Hoffmann. In addition, Masvidal has done an exclusive interview with Heaviest of Art regarding this powerful collaboration. You can watch the video, see exclusive behind-the-scenes images of the artwork, and read Masvidal’s interview at THIS LOCATION.
CYNIC‘s ‘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 has recently released the mind-bending first single, “Mythical Serpents,” which can be heard at THIS LOCATION. A video for the song will be coming at a later date… stay tuned!
Track six, “Mythical Serpents,” is imbued with propellant adventure, exciting peaks and valleys that tug at the heart while its mathematical sequences challenge the head in a dizzying push/pull dynamic. It’s that quintessential CYNIC approach of kaleidoscopic intensity and mannered discipline. ‘Ascension Codes’ was mixed and co-produced by Warren Riker, who worked with Aeon Spoke, CYNIC in the Traced in Air era and mixed Paul Masvidal’s solo acoustic trilogy.
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!