Cynic has returned to us all with a new album called Ascension Codes due out November 26. The band is now streaming "Mythical Serpents", which is six-plus minutes of pure progressive bliss.
"I invite you to sit back, close your eyes, and listen to 'Mythical Serpents' as a fully realized piece of music," said Cynic mastermind Paul Masvidal. "No phones or screens necessary, just the power of sound communicating directly into the ears of your heart. In the coming weeks, Cynic will be revealing further details on the constellation that is Ascension Codes, including a 'Mythical Serpents' animated video, featuring the artwork of Martina Hoffmann & Robert Venosa. Stay tuned."
Ascension Codes was mixed and co-produced by frequent Masvidal collaborator Warren Riker. At its core, the album features Matt Lynch on drums and Dave Mackay bass synthesizer. Masvidal stated he worked with Mackay previously live alongside the late and great Sean Malone, who personally suggested Mackay be brought in for Ascension Codes.
"He's got a vast jazz harmonic vocabulary," said Masvidal, "which is what's needed in the context of Cynic's music, especially for bass lines. I knew that I could never replace Malone. Anyone I would find would be expected to play like him, and that's not fair to another musician. And things were too fresh for me with the loss of Malone, so I had to go somewhere new.
"With Mackay, I heard his groovy left-hand approach, and how musical he was across the board having played with a variety of musicians and styles. I realized he would bring something fresh to the table, and he provided a space for me to start again with a completely different instrument and forgo any traditional ideas I had about what Cynic bass lines should sound like."
Elsewhere on Ascension Codes are DARK (Roopam Garg) as the "'code worker' on the album, providing harmonic, harp-like guitar textures," former Cynic guitarist and vocalist Max Phelps providing "holographic-reptilian-voices", vocalist Anrita Melchizedek, vocalist Ezekiel Kaplan, Michael Devin on crystal bowls, and Australian guitarist Plini playing guest solos on "The Winged Ones".