I love Cynic but very surprised Paul Masvidal is carrying on after the death of of both Sean Malone and Sean Reinert. But drummer Matt Lynch who plays on this album was recruited by Masvidal and Malone, before Malone died Rather than replace Malone, the bass lines are done by a bass synth since his style of playing was untouchable. They are continuing more where they left off with "Traced in Air" as it is a return to heavier sounds than where they went into the more elf like prog of "Kindly Bent to Free Us". I think on "Mythical Serpents" they capture their sound again better,as Masvidals vocals did not connect in the same way on "Elements and Thier Inhabidents". Lyircally this album is pretty powerful as it goes into a metaphysical exploration of the myths surrounding aliens. By myths I mean truth that has come down through the various cultures over the years, everyone just has different words for explaining the universal truth.
"6th Dimensional Archetype" goes back to the more "Traced In Air" feel that is what I want from these guys. They do it in a way that is not stagnant and as a whole this is way more progressive in an almost jazz like manner while also being the most metal thing they have done since "Focus" or at least as metallic in it's attack at times as "Traced in Air". There is also a ton of very sci fi influenced new age meditation passages through the album. While these would be great for tripping on mushrooms, not something I plan on having in my iPod for a jog to the gym. The kind of split the difference and add an instrumental jam to the third act of "DNA Activation Template". If the song "Architects of Consciousness" is not what you were looking when it comes to this band, then you obviously have these guys mistaken for someone else, as it delievers everything a fan of this band might want from them in 2021.
Fans of more mainstream forms of progressive metal, might appreciate the guitar interplay of "Aurora" . They get even more aggressive on "In a Multiverse Where Atoms Sing". To close this album they go off on a more atmospheric jazz prog space odyssey. It weaves and winds in a very majestic fashion perhaps coming closer to the machine elf tendencies of "Kindly Bent to Free Us". It over all serves the legacy well, if just falling short of the high bar "Traced in Air" set So I will give it a 9.5, putting it above most other prog that came out this year and uit should make long times fans happy about the return to a heavier direction.