CYNIC “Ascension Codes”

By Lord Randall

Conceived as a mind-journey – as, if we’re being honest, most CYNIC has been – pollen blown from Olias Of Sunhillow / Song Of Seven JON ANDERSON are evident from intro “Mu-54*” and “The Winged Ones”, which is much pleasing to these ears, oft’ jaded and haggard from guitars with gain cranked to 11 and tempos that have more in common with arcane ritual than art given time to let the music breathe. “Elements And Their Inhabitants” is positively otherworldly, and it’s here that newfound drummer Matt Lynch first slips into his role, as comfortable as an ivory finger into a silken black glove.

While “Mythical Serpents” presents the most complete lyrical portrait of what Masvidal might be on about thus far on “Ascension Codes” (“Pregnant by an Annunaki / In a holographic field / The air we breathe / Landscapes we see / Cellular metabolism / A Mythical Serpent’s dream”), it’s just as important that we not lose ourselves in the manifold interpretations of Meaning here, and allow what he, Dave [bass-synth, keys] Mackay and Lynch have created to wash over and pour through us, open to receive…open…

Comprising 18 tracks, 9 each of full songs and interludes/transitory pieces, I suppose that’s what I’m taking away from CYNIC 2022 – transition. The album is always moving, always in motion, stasis not only unthinkable, but not present in this world in which we find ourselves. Floating, (“Aurora”), yes, slow and contemplative at times, but in others a near frantic race to discovery {“In A Multiverse Where Atoms Sing”), keys turning in locks, tumblers tumbling, doors swinging wide.

What will happen with CYNIC in the future? What will happen tomorrow with any of us? We have today, we have this moment, and in this moment, we have “Ascension Codes”. And should be thankful. “We must go naked with empty hands and no fears.” Indeed…