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The Portal Tapes

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The Portal Tapes

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Type: Compilation
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Progressive
1. Endless Endeavors
2. Karma's Plight
3. Circle
4. Costumed In Grace
5. Cosmos
6. Crawl Above
7. Mirror Child
8. Road To You
9. Belong
10. Not The Same

Review by JD on May 30, 2012.

Musicianship is one of the backbones of metal, and is the thing that makes the music so amazing but good playing can have the effect of confusing the shit out of me, and I have played for many years as a guitarist/bassist and keyboardist. Too much of a good thing can be exactly that.

Cynic as a band, I fell in love with. Their 2009 release "Traced In Air" (I gave it a 9.7) was a Prog Metal masterpiece that I still put on from time to time because it is such a strong and well written slab of music. Their side project turned new Cynic album "The Portal Tapes" has been released - and I was stoked. Hearing this album though, it was a letdown worse than Metallica’s very badly conceived "St. Anger". This album is boring, over indulgent and lyrically laughable at best. The band that I thought would be the best Prog band ever has turned into a smug shadow of what they were, and turned into Muzak fodder.

I will not go through song for song here, as it would be so repetitive and stupid as hell to say what a let down this is that many times. Most songs are so heavily over-arranged with artificial sounding riffs and boring passages that have limp vocals to go along with it, that it comes so confusing and loses the power. Where was the catchy, heavy yet so very thought inducing music that oozed with a butt-load of talent? Apparently it was replaced with a band that it’s over inflated ego and not the music was now the main reason for being together.

Cynic has turned into a tired quagmire group spinning songs that only a few might be able to enjoy... music teachers and that is about it. Technically it is brilliant but it has lost its heart and power. It vis sort of like a music lesson only not even close to being fun. Computer generated music from the 80's would have more heart than this album does. Hope they get their collective heads out of their asses, and remember music is suppose to be fun, not animatronic and rigid with no soul.

Disappointed? Fuck yeah, I am.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 10
Atmosphere: 2
Production: 6
Originality: 6
Overall: 3.5

Rating: 5.5 out of 10