Since the announcement that CRYPTOPSY would be searching for a keyboardist and a vocalist that could growl and sing, this latest album has been the talk of the Extreme Metal world. From this simple announcement it was easy to see that the band wanted to move in a new direction with their sound and for long time fans, this meant change. God forbid, a band would want to change their sound in Extreme Metal without causing uproar.
Thusly, “The Unspoken King” was written and recorded. Much to the dismay of many of the older fans the band has indeed shifted their sound towards a Technical Deathcore path, but unlike many of their fans I found the album to still be interesting and worthy of my time.
Of course, just adding in some clean vocals would have done the job with upsetting any kind of fan base that CRYPTOPSY has (or had anymore) but to change their song writing and general sound is something that the band new was going to cause chaos. But do not fear Tech Death fans out there, the band still retains some of the elements that made them great to begin with. Technical guitar work and some of the most impressive drumming all year are still the bread and butter of this band with some very impressive performances standing on their side. It’s simply the song writing that has changed for the most part – moving towards a little more user friendly version of the band before.
As for the new vocalist, his barking roar is something that seems to fit quite well with this new direction. It’s not the Death Metal growl we were all hoping for, but it seems to work better with the music than I had expected. As for his singing voice, I haven’t been convinced yet. Although it’s interesting to hear the band with a melodic voice in it his singing voice still feels a tad out of place on the record. Perhaps it’s the odd vocal melodies written with his voice that does it but his singing performance could use a little ‘oomph’ at times.
Also added to the band is a new keyboardist. It’s not a new idea to have epic keyboards in Death Metal (or Deathcore for that matter) but oddly enough except for a few tracks (the highly controversial track, “Bemoan The Martyr” comes to mind) most of the keys and synths are just either a) not there or b) devoured by the brutal guitars and drumming. So really adding the keyboardist may have been a maneuver in futility for the band as it doesn’t really add anything to their music.
As a casual fan of CRYPTOPSY, I found “The Unspoken King” to be an interesting move for the band. Although I agree that it wasn’t for the better for CRYPTOPSY, I didn’t find this release to be as horrid as many of the other reviews would claim it to be. Yes, it’s now more Deathcore than straight Technical Death Metal but really its one of the better Deathcore releases out there right now. I still view this as simply an experiment for the band and I’m sure they will begin to tighten the sound down with their next release.
Songs to check out: “The Headsmen”, “Leach”, “Contemplate Regicide”.
(Online August 21, 2008)