Although progressive metal troupe Cynic put out a new studio record – Ascension Codes – in 2021, they haven’t been on stage since 2015. That is, until this past Friday (Jan. 27), when the group played a secret show at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, Calif. (with support from Future Usses). You can watch some footage and see the full setlist below.

Blabbermouth confirmed that the quartet were billed as Uroboric Forms (a reference to a song from their first LP, 1993’s Focus). Also, the line-up consisted of founding guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, guitarist/vocalist Max Phelps, drummer Matt Lynch and bassist Brandon Giffin. Although the latter three musicians come from other bands – such as Exist, Intronaut, Nova Collective and The Faceless – all of them have been involved in prior Cynic releases and/or concerts.

Yesterday (Jan. 28), the official Cynic Instagram account – and thus, Masvidal – shared a poster for the show. The caption reads:

So this happened... first Cynic show after 8 years. It was a secret warm-up gig before embarking on the @70000tons cruise and our show at @progpowerusa We want to thank @max_phelps_exist @brandon.giffin.bass @rorschach.horseman and @mattlynchdrummer for being such amazing musicians and bandmates and @future_usses for supporting us in this crazy idea/show. Of course, thanks to everyone of you who showed up in support and to witness CYNIC LIVE 👽 for the first time in 8 years. Here we are 💜 #focus #refocus #cynic #breathmetal #secretshow #setlist #progmetal #masvidal #malone #reinert

You can see the tweet below:

According to, Cynic played a lengthy and varied show that incorporated many popular tracks (“Veil of Maya,” “Kindly Bent to Free Us,” “Evolutionary Sleeper,” “Box Up My Bones”). They also performed a few songs for the first time in several years – such as “Uroboric Forms,” “Sentiment” and “Celestial Voyage” – as well marked the live debuts of “Aurora,” “In a Multiverse Where Atoms Sing” and “DU-*61.714285.”

As noted above, Cynic will be a part of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which’ll sail from Miami, Fla. to the Bahamas. It’ll set off tomorrow (Jan. 30) and last until this Friday (Feb. 3), with other featured artists including Dark Tranquility, DragonForce, Empress, Evergrey, Insomnium, Kamelot, Nightwish, Oceans of Slumber, The Crown and Visions of Atlantis. You can purchase tickets here.

Of course, they’ll also be at ProgPower USA on Sept. 6 – you can purchase tickets here – and both appearances are said to include full performances of Focus (in honor of its 30th anniversary). Not only that, but both performances will also serve as tribute shows to late members Sean Reinert (drums) and Sean Malone (bass), both of whom passed away in 2020.

Be sure to check out Cynic’s full Jan. 29 setlist below, as well as some choice clips and reactions from the evening.

Cynic Setlist — The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2023) [via]

01. "Veil of Maya"
02. "Celestial Voyage" (first time since 2014)
03. "The Eagles Nature" (first time since 2010)
04. "Sentiment" (first time since 2010)
05. "I’m But a Wave to…" (first time since 2010)
06. "Uroboric Forms" (first time since 2010)
07. "Textures" (first time since 2014)
08. "How Could I" (first time since 2014)
09. "Kindly Bent to Free Us” (first time since 2014)
10. "Adam’s Murmur"
11. "Aurora" (live debut)
12. "Box Up My Bones" (first time since 2011)
13. “Evolutionary Sleeper”
14. “DU-*61.714285” (live debut)
15. “In a Multiverse Where Atoms Sing” (live debut)

Cynic, "Veil of Maya" Live at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2023)

Cynic, "Uroboric Forms" Live at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2023)

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