Released: 2003, Spikefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Since I believe the name “Cynicon” doesn´t tell much for people into an extreme metal scene, I guess a short history lesson about them might be a good idea as for starters. Taken straight from the band´s biography: The foundations of the Norwegian metal band Cynicon were laid in 1996 when Cyon and Ellien formed an atmospheric Black Metal group called Solemn, consisting of Ellien and Cyon on guitar and vocals, Paul Mozart Bjørke on bass and Øyvind Minsaas on drums. Solemn’s lifespan lasted until the year 2000 when Bjørke was replaced by Cymetic, and Minsaas by a drum machine. The band then took a new musical direction and a whole new name with it. They became Cynicon; a more straightforward Black Metal band with a futuristic approach to their music.
Within the spring of 2001 Cyon, Ellien and Cymetic recorded their first demo as Cynicon. After receiving positive feedback from several labels, they added some keyboards and electronic elements into their music and made a second demo with which they finally sealed a deal with Spikefarm Records.
Before the recordings of their debut album could begin, Ailorn and Mecon were added to the line-up. With Ailorn playing the keyboards and Mecon finally giving life to the drums, the making of CYBERNETIC was commenced at Oslo’s Zenith Studio between May and August 2003.
And that´s basically it. When I heard the band´s both 2001 – and 2002 demos for the first time, I was pretty much blown away by both of them, but especially their 3-song 2002 impressed me a hell of a lot by a fusion of technically played, rather epic Black Metal added with electronic samples and industrial elements that gave them kind of a futuristic yet unique touch into their sound and making them differ from the masses for definitely their own good. It´s no wonder why all the 3 songs from that demo ended up being included for the band´s debut (the songs are: “Cybernetic”, “Neutronomicon” and “Enlightment”).
Granted, such Norwegian conceptually futuristic ´Black Metal´ bands as The Kovenant (or Covenant), Limbonic Art, and Ram-zet have both already reached this particular world where an atmospheric Black Metal meets an industrial/electronized world, so what Cynicon have done musically on their bombastic debut album CYBERNETIC, is neither anything particularly ´ground breaking´ nor totally ´out-of-this-world´ after all. Now having said that, it still doesn´t change the fact I really happen to like their even a bit Emperor´ish (the WELKINGS –era; just have a listen to all those beautifully thundering, menacing parts and you are about to agree with this specific reference!) approach on CYBERNETIC. Strangely the band´s vocalist even manages to sound like Emperor´s Ihsahn occasionally here and there – and that isn´t a bad thing by any means, right folks?
CYBERNETIC is also a heavily riff-laden album all in all which makes the whole album a bigger enjoyment to listen to at least for me personally. Both Ellien´s and Cyon´s extremely technical yet furious riff outbursts (check out “Momentary” and I don´t have to make you more convinced about my sayings...) are simply outstandingly wonderful, pretty much dominating overall atmospheres of the songs from start to finish. It´s just hard to not like the type of stuff Cynicon has managed to create on CYBERNETIC if you are looking for a sheer musical innovation and creativity from within the Black metal genre.
Cynicon is the future of Black Metal, or that´s what I´m hoping for them to be at least. Check them out and be forever spellbounded and enslaved by them. The non-exaggerating truth is, CYBERNETIC is an intriguingly and just amazingly great Norwegian ´Black Metal´ shit... with a difference!!