Cynic are a textbook example of a band ahead of their time. When the Floridians dropped their debut album, Focus, in 1993, few groups were fusing progressive metal and death metal. In fact, Cynic split the following year in part because their audacious use of guitar synthesisers, jazz-inspired arrangements and vocoder proved too far out for most extreme-metal fans. Gradually, the record became a cult classic, inspiring the band to reunite in 2006. On Traced in Air and Kindly Bent to Free Us, Cynic continued to innovate, adding beautifully serpentine melodies and spacey atmosphere to an already complex sound.