Focus [Bonus Tracks]

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Eduardo Rivadavia
Chuck Schuldiner's Death got pretty clinical with the odd time signature, and Atheist got pretty busy with their complex arrangements, but Florida's Cynic simply threw the progressive metal playbook out the window. Their only official recording, 1993's groundbreaking Focus, meshed metal and jazz on an unprecedented scale, and explored the creative possibilities of this strange musical hybrid to a degree which has yet to be equaled. For Cynic, the traditional framework of death metal songwriting served as a mere foundation over which the band would take flight, yielding moments of mind-blowing diversity and inspiration and, occasionally, dumbfounded confusion on ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Eduardo Rivadavia
Chuck Schuldiner's Death got pretty clinical with the odd time signature, and Atheist got pretty busy with their complex arrangements, but Florida's Cynic simply threw the progressive metal playbook out the window. Their only official recording, 1993's groundbreaking Focus, meshed metal and jazz on an unprecedented scale, and explored the creative possibilities of this strange musical hybrid to a degree which has yet to be equaled. For Cynic, the traditional framework of death metal songwriting served as a mere foundation over which the band would take flight, yielding moments of mind-blowing diversity and inspiration and, occasionally, dumbfounded confusion on multifaceted tracks like "Veil of the Maya," "I'm but a Wave To...," and "Textures." Never mind the contrast of time-traveling proportions created by their dual vocalists, clashing stone-age-style death grunts with robotic computer-processed melodies the latter a clear influence on digi-metallers Fear Factory. And yet, as suggested by its title, their stunning sonic collages were uncommonly focused and concise, avoiding the time transgressions of most progressive metal to achieve even greater impact. Simply put, Focus remains a wholly original and widely respected release among the small progressive metal community, many of whom still regard it as the ultimate statement in the genre. [This version of the album includes bonus material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/5/2004
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • UPC: 016861825829
  • Catalog Number: 618258
  • Sales rank: 17,410

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Veil of Maya (5:20)
  2. 2 Celestial Voyage (3:37)
  3. 3 The Eagle Nature (3:28)
  4. 4 Sentiment (4:24)
  5. 5 I'm But a Wave to... (5:28)
  6. 6 Uroboric Forms (3:30)
  7. 7 Textures (4:40)
  8. 8 How Could I (5:27)
  9. 9 Veil of Maya (5:21)
  10. 10 I'm But a Wave To... (5:20)
  11. 11 How Could I (6:19)
  12. 12 Cosmos (4:20)
  13. 13 The Circle's Gone (5:20)
  14. 14 Endless Endeavors (9:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cynic Primary Artist
Jason Gobel Guitar, Synthesizer Guitar, Group Member
Steve Gruden Vocals
Paul Masvidal Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizer Guitar, Group Member
Sonia Otey Vocals
Sean Reinert Drums, Keyboards, Electronic Drums, Group Member
Tony Teegarden Vocals
Sean Malone Bass, Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick, Group Member
Aruna Abrams Keyboards, Vocals
Technical Credits
Scott Burns Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
John Hiler Remixing
Paul Masvidal Producer, Liner Notes, Direction, Reissue Art
Sean Reinert Producer, Direction, Reissue Art
Mark Chalecki Mastering
Ula Gehret Liner Notes
Cynic Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Tom Burleigh Producer
Kevin Bartley Mastering
Portal Producer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Masterpiece in originality and its intricate blending of techical death metal, thrash metal, jazz, and neo classical (and new age/ world music?)

    As I first heard the sound of the band in the opening of this album, "Veil of Maya" opened my mind. The often-described in liner notes "clean" voice at the same time provides an eerie sound an casts over as presentable to (early) death metal's "distorted" or otherwise slightly or to some extent "undecipherable growls."
    One of the first things noticed is the dual voices. Actually, it is the same singer (at least it is to my knowledge) and not two different people, although in the liner notes there is creditation to other singers on the album and of course as the tour line-up.
    The useage of the voices may take some time to adjust to, but I think it is executed well as not any band can just sing narrartively, use computerized vocal, and "death metal sing?" ( Paul Masvidal [as well as drummer Sean Reinert] was in fact in Death for one album recording [1991's classic and influential "Human" album], so it may not be surprise that Masvidal's voice resembles Chuck Schuldiner's [perhaps as in "Leprosy," "Spiritual Healing," may bear the most resemblance], but Masvidal's voice possesses more of a higher [maybe the word] voice).
    Musically, the passages also change from a heavy sound to a light and slow part. It it not necessarily slow in terms of music, more as the beat is. It is not too slow though, at least the "Focus" part of the album. Post-Cynic, Portal, recordings of the bonus tracks do too me sound a little slow and may New Age maybe the word (in my personal opinion [as synthesizers are more heavily used]). Then again it is not neccessarily Cynic, as there are (more) female vocals present of the bonus "Cosmos," "The Circle's Gone," and "Endless Endeavors."
    Of the highlights in this 8-track (minus the 2004 remixes and Portal material) exploration of music are "Veil of Maya," "I'm But A Wave To...," "Uroboric Forms," and "How Could I."
    One more brilliancy is the use of electronic drums. As I first read the liner notes and saw electronic and acoustic drums used, I said, "What?" It fits well in for example, the opening of "Veil of Maya," as to have more effect than normal acoustic drums would have. In my opinion the electronic drums (toms to be specific) have an equally pleasant sound as the drum fills throughtout the other parts of the song and album. But again, provide more emphasis.
    There are also sound which I can not recognize their musical origin in some of the songs as well as bassist Sean Malone playing the chapman stick.
    Overall, this album and band is a different type of death metal then you would find in such Death, Atheist, Possessed, or Sepultura. If you are a strict metalhead with wanting to always mosh and pretend you can play an instrument, this album is not for you. If you want to hear smooth jazz and dance, this album is not for you.
    This album is for the open-minded individual who accepts the amalgamation of truely different genres of music and vocal styles. It is mind inspiring and truely original. Tell me who can claim to sound like Cynic? I don't think so. A unique progression of death metal. Enjoy!

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