Cryptopsy - _None So Vile_
(Wrong Again Records, 1996)
by: Alain M. Gaudrault (
Godly. This is without a doubt some of the most intense music I've ever heard. Fans of grinding death, your ship has come in, and its name is Cryptopsy. Turning up the level of complexity and embracing an appreciation of early speed metal as a few other Montreal-area bands have been doing of late, these Quebecers merit massive amounts of recognition for the genius that graces the 32 minutes of this album. Cryptopsy manages to incorporate a slight Slayer influence, yet woven seamlessly throughout and weighed down by death metal mire, creating a unique sound within the death/grind genre. They've taken the sound pioneered by Suffocation, and added even more razor-sharp precision, solos which are more musical in nature, and better use of dual guitars. Interestingly, Jon Levasseur is the only credited guitarist on this album, although the band dedicates the work to ex-axeman Steve Thibault. It's unclear whether Levasseur performed all of the guitar tracks himself, or whether Thibault gave a lending hand. Regardless, whether it be meaty grooves, chugging rhythms or breakneck riffing, every note is rendered with expert timing without losing intensity or feeling. Miguel Roy was recruited for the second guitarist slot, and judging from his performance at The Embassy (see this issue), he can hold his own. Eric Langlois' bass playing is nifty, that is whenever the mix delivers it enough for it to be readily audible. It's a cool plucking technique which isn't as annoying as funk slapping. Flo Mounier's drumming is the proverbial icing, always frenetic, crisp, blazingly fast, and amazingly complex to the point where I'm often left wondering just how he can manage to get so many simultaneous beats with only four limbs. Spectacular. Lord Worm's vocals serve to round out the whole affair, taking a hint from John Tardy regarding the intent behind his delivery. His vocals aren't remotely like that of the Obituary frontman, and are at first listen a seemingly mixed bag of current styles, but the arrangements of death growls, piercing screams, and grunts in an entirely unintelligible manner reinforce the concept of vocals as an instrument on par with drums and bass. The vocals fit the music perfectly, consistently adding to the intensity without becoming lame or monotonous, always in time with the music, always properly reflecting the mood set by the harsh melodies. He utters uncomprehensible dialogue, and yet, he is able to speak to the listener through his primitive discourse. My only complaint, and I was tempted to dock them a mark for it, is that the credits, and in particular the lyrics, are often washed out in the background, causing undue strain to the eyes. Lord Worm's lyrics being what they are, reading them's an absolute must, and in turn, an absolute joy. His writing style is quite poetic, yet chillingly perverse. Instead of going right for the jugular in his descriptions of atrocities, he instead creates mental images on both a physical and emotional level. Twisted, fluid, nasty. This is definitely the album Gregory Nalbandian is looking for. Gregory, if you don't have this already, remedy the situation immediately. Basically, this is the holy grail of extreme death for 1996. I swear.
(article published 11/10/1996)
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