Paul Masvidal – Vocals, Guitar
Sean Reinert – Drums, Keyboards
Official Website: www.cyniconline.com
Demo era (1987-1991)
Cynic was formed by guitarist (and now singer) Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert in 1987. Eventually, they added guitarist Russel Mofsky, and Esteban “Steve” Rincon on vocals. After more personnel changes, they recruited bassist Mark Van Erp and singer Jack Kelly. In 1988, the band made their first recording, simply called the ’88 Demo. After the demo, Paul Masvidal took over vocal duties, while continuing to play guitar. The band also added a second guitarist, Jason Gobel. Another demo followed in 1989, this one titled Reflections of a Dying World. 1989 also brought the addition of bassist Tony Choy. In 1990, the group went to the studio to record their third demo, plainly titled ’90 Demo. In 1991, Cynic signed with Roadrunner Records and recorded their fourth and final demo, known as Demo 1991.
Recording Focus (1993)
The recording of Cynic’s debut full-length album, Focus, did not happen immediately after the ink dried on the band’s new contract with Roadrunner Records. Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert had played on Death’s 1991 album Human, and were obliged to take part in the supporting tour of Europe. During this tour, Death ran into serious financial trouble, and Masvidal and Reinert’s gear was confiscated, and they had to wait six months before being able to retrieve it. During this time, the band parted with bassist Tony Choy who then joined Atheist. They planned to record Focus in August 1992. However, the day they were set to begin recording Focus, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida, destroying both guitarist Jason Gobel’s home, and the band’s rehearsal space, leading to a further three months of delays. The band used this time as an opportunity to write new material, much of which is featured on Focus. Just before recording the album, Paul Masvidal was in danger of losing his voice and death metal singer Brian Deneffe was recruited from Wisconsin’s Viogression, but this was short-lived. Tony Teegarden was eventually brought in to do the “death growls”, however all the “robotic” vocoder vocals were recorded by Masvidal. Eventually they found and recruited Sean Malone as bassist while in the studio. During the European tour with Pestilence, Tony Teegarden was brought in as a full member of the band, playing keyboards and singing the “death growls”. Bassist Sean Malone could not participate in the tour due to school commitments, and Chris Kringel was brought in to take his place.
Cynic disbanded during the fall of 1994 while working on a second studio album. Ex-members went on their separate ways. Gobel, Masvidal, and Reinert, with bassist Chris Kringel and vocalist/keyboardist Aruna Abrams, formed the short-lived Portal. Currently Masvidal and Reinert perform in the band on Spoke, and Kringel has also played with them, touring the UK in 2005. The members of Cynic loosely reunited (playing with Bill Bruford, Steve Hackett, and Jim Matheos on various tracks) on Gordian Knot’s second album, Emergent.
In September 2006, Paul Masvidal announced that Cynic was reuniting to perform during spring/summer of 2007. During June/July/August 2007, they played 15 shows across Europe, predominantly at major metal/rock festivals. The setlist consisted of songs from Focus, Portal’s demo, a cover of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Meeting of the Spirits,” and a new song, “Evolutionary Sleeper.”
The reunion line-up features founding members Paul Masvidal on guitar/vocals and Sean Reinert on drums. Jason Gobel, the long time guitarist who played on Focus, could not participate due to family and work commitments. David “Mavis” Senescu, who has also played drums in L.A. death metal band Evilution, was brought aboard as a replacement. Sean Malone, who played bass on Focus, was unavailable due to teaching and work commitments, and Chris Kringel, who played bass on the 1993 European tour, was brought in as a replacement. All “death growls” were handled by pre-recordings of Teegarden (rather than have Masvidal or Senescu do them live). All keyboards were covered by Masvidal and Senescu using guitar synths. With the absence of Teegarden, the group organized a contest in order to find fans to provide the death vocals for the song “Uroboric Forms” on various dates.
In early 2008, the band announced plans to complete a second studio album. Sean Malone rejoined the lineup, and Dutch guitarist Tymon Kruidenier replaced Senescu. The band also played at the Wacken Open Air festival. Malone was not present at the Wacken Open Air gig on August 1, 2008. He was replaced by Robin Zielhorst. The band supported Opeth on their European tour in Autumn/Winter 2008 with Robin Zielhorst on bass.
Traced in Air & Re-Traced (2008-present)
Starting in February 2009, Cynic toured North America with Meshuggah and The Faceless, and beginning April 15, 2009, Cynic toured North America, along with Da*a*th, in support of DragonForce. During the 2010 tour in support of Between the Buried and Me along with Scale the Summit and the Devin Townsend Project, the band performed live “an experiment” titled “Wheels Within Wheels.” Shortly after unveiling this new work, the band announced a new EP coming soon on their MySpace blog.
Tymon revealed in an interview the plans for the coming EP:
“As most of you already know we’re working on an EP. We’re reinterpreting 4 songs from Traced In Air: Space, King, Evolutionary and Integral, and we will record a brand new song. There’s [sic] several reasons we’re doing this. We’re not done yet with TiA, the album has only been out for a little over a year and we feel the songs are still fresh. Besides that we want to try different production techniques and incorporate influences from different genres we all love, but which never had a place in Cynic. So I saw someone asked how “surprising” this EP could be? I would say: very surprising.”
— Tymon Kruidenier
Later blogs on MySpace reveal that the new EP will be titled “Re-Traced.”
With the announcement of the Re-Traced EP, listeners were curious about the line-up. On the Cynical Talk forum, Tymon confirms that Robin Zielhorst is a permanent member of Cynic, replacing long-time member Sean Malone, solidifying the band’s line-up.
In May 2010, Cynic announced plans for their first US headlining tour. Titled “Re-Traced / Re-Focused Live,” the tour found Cynic performing their debut album Focus in its entirety, among other tracks. The tour was co-sponsored by Decibel Magazine as its inaugural “Hall of Fame” tour series. It kicked off on July 22, 2010 in Los Angeles with Intronaut and Dysrhythmia as supporting bands. The tour ended on August 13, 2010. The final show of the tour took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; it was the first time in 16 years the band returned to their hometown to perform.
Cynic’s website news announced that they’re working on a new album, and the “first baby steps into this gigantic process are being taken right now, creating little embryos of songs that will turn into fully fledged CYNIC tunes over the course of the following months.”
On December 2010, the band announced bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier have left the band, citing “challenges of maintaining a band that is half based in The Netherlands” as their reasoning. In the same announcement, remaining members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinart set the approximate release schedule for Cynic’s next album, stating that “The new Cynic release is coming in summer 2011 on the Season of Mist label,” and just as well, “[t]hey are also working towards a remixed re-release of their classic recording ‘Focus.'”
1988 – Demo 1988 (demo) – Self-released
1989 – Reflections of a Dying World (demo) – Self-released
1990 – Demo 1990 (demo) – Epidemic Records
1990 – Demo 1991 (demo) – Roadrunner Records
1993 – Focus – Roadrunner Records
2008 – Promo 08 (demo) – Season Of Mist
2008 – Traced in Air – Season Of Mist
2010 – Re-Traced (ep) – Season Of Mist
2014 – Kindly Bent To Free Us – Season Of Mist