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Forgotten Heavy Metal Albums: "Focus" by American Death Metal Band Cynic

Updated on March 3, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Brief Introduction to Focus and the Band Cynic

Focus is another one of those forgotten heavy metal albums. This album is by the band Cynic formed in Miami, Florida in 1987. The album features two notable members that played for the death metal band called Death. They are Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert. The lyrics are very philosophical in nature. However, the vocals by Masvidal are raspy in nature and difficult to understand.

Cynic Focus Back Album Cover


Veil of Maya Is a Strong Opening Song for the Album "Focus"

The song Veil of Maya basically is a description of the varying emotional states in life. When there is joy, there is also grief on occasion. There are also three guest vocalists on the album creating a choir type of atmosphere without sounding like an actual choir of voices. As of 2015, the band’s status is in dispute so we cannot know for sure whether they are still active or not. Veil of Maya has a definite jazz influence in the guitar playing that follows the beginning raspy growls of Masvidal.

"The Eagle Nature"

The Songs Celestial Voyage, The Eagle Nature, and Sentiments

Celestial Voyage may be the strongest song in this album and it is about being on a voyage or journey through the skies so that we can bathe ourselves in this healing nectar to be free of all illnesses and ailments. The song refers to this nectar as very blissful. It is safe to assume that Paul Masvidal probably learned how to write complicated, deep lyrics from playing alongside Chuck Schuldiner. Whatever he was able to learn in that brief time period really helps him out on this album. The song Sentiment is about asking Mother Nature to bless all human beings with her unconditional love. We must learn how to build a better world for future generations so that they can learn how to live lives of higher quality. There is another way to say this: we must get inspired to construct a new and better world for human beings. Sentiments also has tribal style drumming before the bass guitar kicks in. Then there is a triple vocal chant before the female vocal part. One word of warning here: the triple choir style vocals may sound robotic to some listeners but if you give this album an open mind you will be in awe of the brilliant musicianship that is present. At the end of the song The Eagle Nature, there is a beautiful new age/atmospheric style musical part that has the ability to soothe and relax us. You can even listen to this part while meditating.

Analysis of the Songs Uroboric Forms and Textures

The catchy song Uroboric Forms is the story of what happens before a person is born. Before they are born, they are somehow able to maintain that state of perfection. The human self is part of this vast Universe of ours. In the beginning of a person’s life, they are blissful because they do not yet know too much of what is going on around them. There is an instrumental song in this album called Textures. The second part of the song after the time change has a jazz style influence.

"How Could I"

The Song How Could I and Final Thoughts About This Impressive Unique Death Metal Album

The last song in this 36 minute journey called How Could I brings into question why human beings are not able without fear. Freedom and the ability to reason are two of the most powerful qualities that humans have so it makes sense for us to use them to our advantage right? There are times when we are too harsh and unkind to ourselves and we must learn to grow and be better human beings. For one of those albums that has been largely forgotten by many fans of the genre, Focus is a very good album and for American death metal standards, it gets high marks for the quality of the songs.

Final grade for the album Focus: 90 out of 100 points A

Favorite Song on the Album Focus

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"Celestial Voyage"

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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