Traced In Air answers that with a resounding yes. The band's songwriting is as good as ever, and the modern production makes it come to life even more. The songs are complex and progressive, blending heavy and intense metal parts with airy and jazzy mellow sections. Technically flawless, but with the looseness of improvisation, the CD combines the best of both worlds.
Paul Masvidal and Tymon Kruidenier weave intricate guitar lines and harmonies. Sean Reinert's intricate drumming really stands out, and he's also the man behind the keyboards that add subtle atmosphere to the music.
Cynic's unusual vocals are intact. Masvidal uses the vocoder for that robotic sound, and also sings melodically without it. It's very distinctive. There are also some death metal growls that add an effective contrast and edge to the music.
It's pretty rare that a band can pick up where it left off 15 years later, but with Traced In Air Cynic have done just that. The only negative is that the CD is only 34 minutes long, but hopefully the wait until the next album will be much shorter.
(released November 25, 2008 on Season Of Mist)