Cynik Scald
Aged Spirit

OK OK OK OK WAIT. Just what the sweet hell is this?!

Our friend Erik T messages me recently, telling me to check out this Cynik Scald promo that just came in. Doesn’t say anything else, no indication to what I might be getting myself into here, but the guy knows my tastes pretty damn well at this point – so sure, I’ll give it a go.

Friends, I don’t know what the hell I expected. I sure-as-shit don’t think I could have ever expected…  whatever the hell THIS is. Cynik Scald is a goddamn WILD ride.

So listen, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that, like me, this is the first time coming across this band for a VAST majority of you. As such, I wish I could give you a little more background about this project, but every link I’ve followed of theirs is pretty sparse in the information department. The best I’ve got for ya at this point is that this album was originally released back in 2019, and is apparently gaining some traction now because a couple songs were added to some Spotify playlist? Also these dudes (?) reside SOMEWHERE in the Eastern Bloc (maybe). Most of the tracks, including (very) random ballad “Последний дракон,” that sure look and sound like they’re in Russian, but I’m no linguistics master soooo… I dunno what to tell ya. What I do know if that City of Nemesis has no interest in fitting into any defined category. There’s a good dose of Folk/Viking metal at it’s core, along with some hefty Groove and Melodeath thrown in for good measure, and plenty of Nu-influences going on around the fringes as well.

If you absolutely needed some kind of comparison… I think the closest thing I can come up with is that it’s kinda like if Obscurity, Wolfchant, Chrome Division, Soil and Otep all went over to Crotchduster’s house, threw their keys in the fish bowl, huffed a bunch of gas and spray paint, and let the night go wherever it took them.  Now don’t get me wrong – there’s some absolutely compelling stuff all over this record, it’s just all over the goddamn place. Opening track “Циник” starts with some really upbeat Melodeath-inspired riffing and melodies, right before dropping down into, like, some 311 rock-riffs-meet-funk-and-reggae weirdness, layered with the singer’s very… uh… distinct vocals. It’s like a crooning Cookie Monster. But then things pick back up again and, again, some really strong guitar melodies and drums lead the way. This all repeats a few times before the track ends and your left wondering what world you’ve stepped into. And that’s not even the weirdest track on the album by far! The electronics-laden “Асгард” (apparently the Russian translation for “Asgard”) is an Enter Shikari-meets-Crematory monster that would feel at home in a rave as much as it would at Wacken. This before the song busts out into a blistering bridge/solo that kicks you right in the face out of damn nowhere. It’s eating a pack of Sour Patch Kids, only the sugar coating is cocaine. It’s fucking bonkers.

And then things get REALLY weird! After the aforementioned, out-of-nowhere ballad “Последний дракон,” all of a sudden we’re transitioning over to an all-English affair, with the self-proclaimed ‘Motorbike Road song,’ “When The Sun Goes Down,” which indeed, is a heavy, rocking groove metal track complete with slide guitars, a backdrop of revving Harleys, and – because why the fuck not – a whole lot of harmonica. HELL YEAH. I didn’t know metal needed more harmonica, but here we are. There was an American punk band once called Scotch Greens that basically did the Celtic punk, Flogging Molly thing but with an American Bluegrass background instead of Celtic Folk. A weird thing to bring up, I know, but they were fucking awesome and this track is kinda like the metal version of them (side note, if that sounded at all appealing to you, go check out this playlist on youtube right now cuz it’s amazingly fun. You’re welcome). Guys, listen, grab a banjo, a harmonica, a fiddle, and a cigar box guitar, and meet me somewhere down in West Virginia, we’re taking this idea and going places!

Anyway, where was I? OH, so the album rounds out with a sorta rap/power metal track “Silent Rainbow” which is just as ludicrous as it sounds, and the all-over-the-place “Can Dance Without You” which, all in once song, features some mariachi horns over Fear Factory riffs, an outrageously catchy hook, and one especially heavy breakdown. Again – Mariachi horns over metal – where the fuck were you on this, Central/South America? I don’t know why I want more but I absolutely do. Please do something about this.

I don’t really know how seriously I’m supposed to take Cynik Scald. In my mind I want to believe these are just some fun-loving metalheads coming together to have a good-ass time doing whatever the hell they want and making whatever the hell you want to call all of this. I’m just gonna stick with that mindset because as fucking bonkers as this all is, I’m having a ball listening to it. The band also has a couple new tracks up on Spotify which are just as weird as anything here on Aged Spirit, so check those out if you just need more strangeness in your life.

… OH! Cyprus. They’re from Cyprus.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
March 23rd, 2021


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