Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Cynic – Ascension Codes

Label: Season of Mist

Date: November 26th, 2021

Ask just about anyone. There is no conversation with me involving Cynic. Simply speaking, they are not within the range of my taste in music. I am, however, full of respect for the band. “Focus” is a landmark of metal. Whether I’m a fan or not, that’s a fact. Few have even attempted to replicate what the quartet managed back in 1993. Even fewer came close to success. None actually got there.

What’s more, the band evolved even further, letting go of whatever shackles any genre may try and tie them to, thus epitomizing that old saying about letting the sound roam free. With all that in mind, I’m writing this review where I will completely ignore trying to formulate what’s present on “Ascension Codes”. This or that musical direction, technical aspects of creation or presentation… I’ll look to ignore them and let the music guide me.

Once I’ve adopted such a reasoning, this record turned into an open space of colors unnumbered and scenes indescribable. Something of an uninhabited by mankind planet, much like our own, have we never been brought up from our primate shells. It’s a full pallet of sounds, views and smells uninterrupted. An evolution gone right, according to a cosmic design. Not utopia, but as close to it as possible within the laws of her majesty, the nature. An image beautiful enough, even to surpass our corrupt imagination.

This cannot be our own rock of the universe. We didn’t allow it. And we never will. This is far away from our damaged atmosphere. So far as to not even be visible, because even the furthest sight of us might cause a repetition of our devastating patterns. “Ascension Codes” might just be an anthem for such a place. One to encompass the perfection of the only intelligent environment, where the same intelligence counts for nothing whatsoever. Feel it echo through the seemingly deserted, but teeming with life, landscape. See it break the sonic balance of a system without a system, while at the same time smoothly caressing it into harmonious existence.

We can go and explore. Seek and find. Yet all the billions of carved out trees, pressed and cut out, then painted green and chemically marked cannot help us. We can but observe and admire from afar. I know us, we would gaze with dollar signs in our eyes, thinking of the ways to use and abuse such a place.

No way! We are not welcome there! Not even the trio responsible for “Ascension Codes”. Ruin your own planet!

We are not welcome!