I've been enjoying much live music this spring and summer, but last night's Cynic concert may have been my favourite of the lot. It seemed to be the night of the drummer, with the percussionists from all three bands (Cynic, Intronaut, Dysrhythmia) being all over their kits plus one Intronaut guitarist banging on a few extra toms at the end of their set. With a perpetual interplay of complex rhythms the drummers were the ones propelling the machine, keeping up a driving momentum where the multiple layers and (self-indulgent? nerdy?) experimentation might have ground that forward power to a halt. Normally I'm more intrigued by vocal and guitar textures, melodies and harmonies, but this show had me drum kit focused.
I've listened to a bit of all three bands before, Cynic much more than the other two. Dysrhythmia bowled me over in the best way possible, but revisiting their recorded stuff today I find it doesn't quite match up. Intronaut was a little more hit and miss for me, winning me over then completely losing my attention till they won it over again. As for Cynic, I'm surprised by how much their newer material has wormed its way into my brain, so that their special presentation of Focus in full felt like just a warm up to the tracks off Traced in Air, Re-Traced and Portal. Even now I've caught myself singing "The Space for This" and "Integral Birth" repeatedly throughout the day.