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Cryptopsy - Cryptopsy (Self-Released)

By: Mike Sloan

[8.5/10] Do you remember back in the day when Cryptopsy used to make everything within earshot explode when their new albums were played? There was a period of time when Montreal’s greatest export – save for hockey – could do no wrong. They used to become more brutal with each passing album, yet they also seemed to become more sophisticated with elements of melodies and tremendous finesse. Who can forget the sinister None So Vile, the pulverizing …And Then You’ll Beg, and, of course, the devastating monster that was Whisper Supremacy? The last time they released something that was an essential purchase was in 2005 with Once Was Not.

Ah…those were the days.

But do you also remember back in the day when Cryptopsy released a steaming pile of manure? That horrendous The Unspoken King atrocity with the Cryptopsy logo affixed to the front?

Ugh…those certainly weren’t the days.

It’s been four years since the metal world was turned on its head with that thing and it was unknown for quite a while if Flo Mournier and the boys would ever get back together and create something even moderately resembling a masterpiece. Rumors were that Cryptopsy had spilt and the cynics in us all figured that even if the band would create another album, it would almost certainly be as lousy as The Unspoken King, if not worse.

The self-titled and self-released Cryptopsy is loaded to the gills with everything that makes Cryptopsy so great: Inhumanly complex drumming, savage guitars, ever-present bass lines, sheer brutality, finesse, dexterity, melodies, madness. It’s as if the Canucks absorbed all the criticism they received from their previous full-length, stomped back to the drawing board, and started over. This is the sort of album that was supposed to come out in ’08.

Cryptopsy explodes out of the speakers with the crushing “Two-Pound Torch” and never relents, not even for a second. Even when the band slows things down or dupes the listener with a subtle and serene intro like the first few moments of “Shag Harbour’s Visitors” there’s an ever-present sense of dread and anticipation that a carpet-bombing is about to occur. Whether it’s the ferocious “Red-Skinned Scapegoat” or the aptly-named “Ominous” or album highlight “Amputated Enigma,” this album is a ferocious, deadly slab of raging, brutal technical death metal that only a few bands of this genre know how to execute properly.

The only minor drawbacks are that Flo’s kick drums are a tad on the tinny side and the guitars don’t roar with as much fury as much as we’d like. Also, vocalist Matt McGachy doesn’t have the sort of range, inflection or persona that Mike DiSalvo or Lord Worm had when they fronted the band, but at least he stuck to straight forward death vocals this time instead of that abysmal deathcore crap on their previous album. Another album under his belt should solve that because he certainly has potential.

Petty gripes aside, Cryptopsy is a fantastic return album for one of the few sensational brutal technical death metal bands out there. This band has been referenced many a time over the years within this scribe’s reviews and it’s a fine moment in time when an album from this band that is this good comes out. If this version of Cryptopsy can stick around and keep to what made them so great over the years, then it’ll be just like the “olden days” when it was an event whenever a new Cryptopsy album comes out. This album is an essential purchase and probably the comeback album of the year.

www.cryptopsy.ca

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