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Kindly Bent to Free Us

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Album Review

When one thinks about progressive rock, it's easy to imagine it as an almost academic pursuit with groups of men, armed with degrees in composition and Chapman sticks, trying to convert the secret math that rules the universe into musical notation. Playing against this seeming lack of approachability, Cynic deliver Kindly Bent to Free Us, an album that, while most definitely in the realm of prog rock, has the kind of open, unpretentious air that makes Rush such an easy-to-love band. Though Cynic continue to stray further from their heavy metal beginnings, they still haven't abandoned them, fusing layers of melody and jazzy chord progressions with searing, distorted guitar work, perfectly combining both sounds without letting one distract from the other. This sense of balance gives the album an open feeling, leaving enough room between the many layers at work that the listener can enjoy them without feeling overwhelmed by their density. Where Cynic's metal past really comes through, however, is in their ability to build and maintain momentum. The songs of Kindly Bent to Free Us are always moving forward, making every moment feel like an essential part of the musical journey and not a pointless exercise in musicianship. And while Cynic's songwriting here is far from simple, their ability to create cohesion between the many elements at work in their music is a boon to the listener, providing the opportunity to enjoy the depth and complexity of the music without needing to spend an excessive amount of time trying to make heads or tails of it.

Customer Reviews


A band I once claimed influetial and experimental have lost all creativity and created one of the worst progressive albums I've heard in quite some time. Traced In Air and Focus were landmarks... What happened here?

Leap before you look!

I've listened to this album several times since they made it available to stream a few days ago and I couldn't be more impressed. It's an amazing ride to say the least. Every song really has a life all it's own and the whole album comes together as one beautifully organic piece of art. Cynic is incredible here. Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do. I'm preordering, but I knew that before I even heard a track.

DNA Trapped In Ice

You enter the sacred space, dimly lit by a single, pulsating light. Sit down, receive the rhombus shaped shards deep into your being, close your eyes and awake vapor like in a kaleidoscope vision of your aural life.


Formed: 1987 in Miami, FL

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Another product of the prolific Florida death metal scene, Cynic distinguished themselves for their unique experiments in combining technically proficient death metal with progressive rock touches, bordering at times on jazz fusion. Cynic was formed in 1987 by vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal, guitarist Jason Gobel, bassist Mark Van Erp, and drummer Sean Reinert. With the arrival of bassist Tony Choy, the band began recording their first demos, which, for the most part, contained the prevalent death...
Full Bio
Kindly Bent to Free Us, Cynic
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Customer Ratings


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