CRYPTOPSY dug themselves a rather deep hole with the release of “None So Vile”. With an album that perfect and godly, anything that was released after that would probably fail to live up to its predecessor’s magic. Coupled with the (very sad) fact that Lord Worm, a true madman of a vocalist and an undeniable gem of a lyricist, left the band prior to the release, you can see how the deck was REALLY stacked against this album.
The result is a record that is musically much more extreme than its predecessors, yet vocally leaves a great deal to be desired.
The musical skill of the members of CRYPTOPSY seems to grow exponentially. The drumming keeps getting better (you’d think that the drumming you hear on record from these guys is probably just studio trickery, but the man pulls it off live!), sounding almost like he’s coming up with riffs with his drumming, adding another element of chaos to their already psychotic music. The guitar and bass playing have gotten a LOT more technical (Listen to “Emaciate” or “Depths You’ve Fallen”), with each individual riff forcing the musicians to jump around on their fret boards at ridiculous speeds. The songs (more accurately described as 3 to 5 minute tornados of aural lunacy) are more unpredictable compared to their earlier releases, and unfortunately, that is one of the problems with this album. I love hearing technically proficient music, and enjoy it even more when it’s Death Metal, but I don’t want skill to overshadow the songs being memorable (I use different standards for catchiness and memorable when talking about this type of music). The first two albums were spastic and can be described as sheer lunacy, yes, but there was an underlying theme and structure holding each song together (again, different standards). It seems for this album, the guys just said: “Alright, let’s just write the most amount of riff, tempo and time signature changes as we can fit into a half-hour, and see what comes up.” Sadly, that is the least of the problems on this album.
The guitars and drums are finally mixed powerfully and bone-crunching-ly, and normally, I’d be happy. Unfortunately, this is achieved to the detriment of the bass sound, which is a tragedy, because CRYPTOPSY is blessed with one of the most talented bassists in Metal. The man can somehow slap and play around all the generated madness, and the production just BURIES him on this album. Bloody tragedy, I must say.
However, the main problem on this album is the new vocalist Mike DiSalvo. I will be blunt about it: He sounds like an angry 15 year-old hardcore ‘tough-guy’, and I fucking hate it. He reminds me of the singer of HATEBREED, and it made this album kind of impossible to listen to for the first week I got it (Fortunately, through multiple listens, I learned to block him out). Lyric-wise, the loss of Lord Worm hit the band pretty harshly, although Mike is an average lyricist, so not much complaints there. You’d probably block out the vocals when you listen to this record, so its content doesn’t really matter.
It seems there is a lot more negatives to bitch about than to things to praise. Normally, I wouldn’t be this harsh on an album, but truly, after “None So Vile”, this album was a disappointment. A step back, that fortunately was corrected on the following album. (Online January 17, 2003)