Sound — 9
''Traced In Air'' is Cynics 2nd album, coming 14 years after 1994s Focus. The band split in the mid 90s and reformed in 07 for a successful reunion tour. This album follows a similar trend and is in a prog/fusion/death metal style. The band have obviously matured, focus being somewhat heavily 'focused' on technique. Traced In Air, is very technical but in the context of strong song structures and melodic content. The album is very dynamic and really flows as a whole. The albums production really stands out it is one of the best I've ever heard for you audiophiles out there this alone is worth checking it out.
Lyrics — 8
The melodic content is mainly difficult to decipher due to the auto harmoniser used on the vocals. This does not deter from the strong melodies and choruses. The dual vocals is a nice balance..the growls are back in the mix which I personally prefer. The autoharmoniser reminds me of the work of Air and Chroma Key, I know this puts some people off but it's worth getting used to. The spiritual/organic nature of the vocals/lyrics is a great mix as well to balance the technicality.
Overall Impression — 9
If you like Meshuggah, Death, Dream Theater, B.T.B.A.M., King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Allan Holdsworth, Tony McAlpine etc. this is worthy of your collection. I would rank it up there with Lateralus, A Change of Seasons, Destroy Erase Improve (which was heavily Cynic influenced). I don't dislike anything about it (I'm normally very critical), it is quite short but too many bands of this style write 10 minute songs for the sake of it. The vocals unfortunately were the talking point of other Opeth fans the other night when I saw them live, which will no doubt put people off unfortunately. The album flows very well and the band sound very together. I like all the songs which for me ranks it up there with DSOTM etc as a great whole work which is pretty rare these days. The melodic nature of it ranks it above a lot of other fusion/prog and death metal.