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Cryptopsy | ‘Cryptopsy’

It was only ever going to sound like this.

It had to: their career was finished otherwise.

That’s the stark reality behind Cryptopsy’s new album, and it’s return to the breathtakingly extreme death metal that they perfected with their two first releases.

When Cryptopsy released ‘The Unspoken King’ in 2008, its clean vocals, keyboards and accessible style left the band wretched, and little more than an object of ridicule. Criticism rained down like gravity blasts on their heads, and righty so.

Every band has the right to do what they want. The measure is whether the result is good or not, and this comprehensively wasn’t.

So there’ll be sighs of relief everywhere, not least from the band’s label, that the Canadians have thrown all that dreck away and concentrated on what they do best – setting melodic, forceful riffs to astonishing drumming.

In this quest, the reintroduction of riff master Jon Levasseur back into the band has proven central. It is so, so good to hear his scale-like riffs and fluid solos all over this like the shit albums never existed.

So what have we got here?

Well, certainly one of the best tracks in the band’s career in the form of ‘Red Skinned Scapegoat’. Its ferocious speed is lent a new darkness and threat with the clean, almost black metal influenced chordal skronk over the top of it. It thickens an already heavy sound enormously.

The rest of the track is super too, and that solo from Levasseur is pure old school.

Then there are cuts like ‘Shag Harbour’s Visitors’, which to me show how the band have forced their need for creativity and experimentation down the correct, rather than laughable, direction. Its a strange track, but rewarding in it’s almost playful evil.

As a band now knowing on which side their bread is most generously buttered, the moshpit has been rewarded. ‘Damned Draft Dodgers’ is the kind of slam dance accelerant that a million deathcore and death metal bands the world over couldn’t ever dream of nailing. Its bloodlust is unremitting, and it’s the sound of pure aggression put to floorboards.

‘Amputated Enigma’ is similarly exciting, with an ascending motorbiking rev of a riff that reminds of the hectic speed of Vital Remains or Krisiun. Yet again, it’s built for sweaty moshpits the world over.

As is the majority of this album. Though ‘The Golden Square Mile’ threatens to drop slightly in quality terms down to the pig grunting bands of this world, it’ll still appeal to more straight laced fans schooled in Skinless or Cattle Decapitation. Not the album’s greatest track, though of course impressive in its technicality.

‘Ominous’ kills. With an opening scream that reminds of the classic start to ‘None So Vile’, it’s machine gun chunk will have them going absolutely buck daft. The band reaffirm their daring and genuine creativity with the brief but masterly click clacking of the drum sticks and rim shots half way in. Who the hell else did that?

Closer ‘Cleansing The Hosts’ is such a savage way to finish it’s like listening to ‘Blasphemy Made Flesh’ for the first time again. It’s an almost insane gnash.

In a way it doesn’t matter what the motivations are. Cryptopsy have clearly put the work in to this massive, heartfelt ‘sorry’ of an album. As such, it would be completely churlish to rub their noses in it as we wallow in the hurt caused by that last album.

They’re back, they’re back in some considerable style, and I for one reckon this is the best thing they’ve done since ‘Whisper Supremacy’. At their best, there is noone like Cryptopsy.

So it’s a pleasure that they’ve decided they’re themselves again. Welcome back.

4.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 16/09/12

One Comment
  1. Great album, agree completely with the review!

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