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After the rather masterful Whisper Supremacy, which in all honesty is one of the most intense albums I have ever set ears upon, the band released this travesty. It isn't too dissimilar to its predecessor, but is worse in every aspect compared to before. All of these deficiencies add up to make one bad, bad album. I'll give this album one thing - it manages to be even more unhinged than its predecessor and is probably the single most fuck-sane thing the band has ever made, but here the chaos works against the songs rather than with them.
I'd hesitate to call this death metal - technical deathgrind or just technical grindcore might be a more suitable term. Cryptopsy were basically a brackish hardcore band at this point. The album is full of simple, grinding and groovy riffs, the vocals are a throaty, hardcore-infused roar, the album has more breakdowns than minutes and the drumming is as blast-filled as they come.
This in itself isn't an issue; the real problem is how hilariously clusterfuck-y and spastic this album really is. Regardless of song length, the band will find a way to shoehorn in like 12 different groovy deathgrind riffs and long chugging passages into each song. The riffs themselves aren't developed, which would be fine if the songs themselves were developed and form a unified whole, which they don't. The longer songs like '...and then it Passes' jump about all over the place between groove riff, blasting, breakdown, truncated lead slot, more riffs and yet more breakdowns with all the grace of an ape. Death metal is rarely a graceful genre but even then this album's two predecessors never jumped about in such an idiotic fashion like this does. Even worse are the shorter songs which suffer from the same problem, but the fragmented ideas are jam-packed into a smaller space, making for an even more incoherent listen.
The vocals are more than worthy of a good bashing - I actually liked Mike DiSalvo's performance on the last album. His percussive hardcore grunts fitted the jumpy nature of the music perfectly, and he threw himself into every single vocal line in what must be one of the most intense vocal performances I've ever heard. Here though, none of that is present. His voice has absolutely no power to it at all, I suspect largely due to vocal wear and tear, as well as having material so unhinged that he has to vomit out the lyrics in a haphazard and speedy fashion. It sounds like he is improvising for the most album, and his voice sounds like he aged 15 years between the last album and this one.
The production has no weight to it at all, and robs the incoherent but otherwise savage drum performance by Flo of any power. In fact that is perhaps the one of only good things I can say about this album - it is truly brutal. I can praise it a bit just for that, but really this is an irritating and very un-engaging album that is unworthy of the Cryptopsy name. The fine line between technicality and coherence that was being walked upon with the previous album is no more; this is poorly realised and simply terrible crap. The only other worthwhile aspect are the solos, which are pretty damn technical and well-done, if clipped at the wings by the ridiculous anti-structuring of the songs.
You hear that? Mike asks. Yes I do, and it sounds like a bunch of monkeys banging instruments together.
Around the turn of the 21st century, one might be excused for thinking that Canada's Cryptopsy had decided to stop being a death metal band and instead to start trolling the universe as some sort of freakish spectacle. Have you ever seen those inflated structures in which children jump around in a pile of balls? A 'bounce room'? And Then You'll Beg is essentially a more metallic version of that experience, and not one that I welcomed when I first got the promo for my old paper 'zine. In retrospect, the album is so hilariously unhinged that I can't be too hateful of it, because at least it presents some form of entertainment; yet everything from the shitty cover artwork to the spastic compositional excess just screamed of a band that had no idea where it was going, what it was doing, and perhaps where it came from.
I don't get the cover. Is this guy supposed to be 'begging' for someone to free him from the train tracks? Is he maybe a ghost, who has already been hit by a locomotive? I could never tell if that dust and wind was from the train racing away from him, or towards!? Granted, I have never much cared for Cryptopy's choice of artwork beyond the first two albums, but this is arguably the nadir (the recent s/t record also sucks to look upon). Unfortunately, though the band attempts to pump us up immediately with a pitch-shifted sample of Agent Smith in The Matrix, the only thing 'inevitable' about the music was that the band was taking a long walk off a short pier. It's almost as if they were trying to flirt with some thuggish approximation of brutal death metal while simultaneously trying to outdistance the dissonant, unusual theatrics of Gorgut's oblong epic Obscura. It's extremely technical, and extremely bouncy at the same time. There are a number of plausible riffs throughout the performance, and certainly no dearth of ideas, but let me be blunt: if you had put another logo on this record and then told me it was a collaboration between Psyopus, Hatebreed and the Insane Clown Posse...I just might have believed you.
Though I questioned and even defied the ire hoisted upon Mike DiSalvo for his performance on Whisper Supremacy, there is absolutely no defense for the guy here. His voice is being used at higher speeds, with a more grumbling, percussive meter, and he's even attempting to draw back a bit of Lord Worm's clownish, psychotic personality. But he sounds like a caveman being temporally displaced to front a spazz-core math metal project, and when he swears, like his infamous 'motherfucker take a bite of the poison' in "Voice of Unreason", I would fall out of my chair and laugh myself to hiccups, entirely incapable of taking the rest of the album seriously. The drums are probably just as busy as on the prior records, but they seem a bit thinner in the mix to the point that they leave a lot less impact on the skull. The bass lines are slappy, thick and funky, falling somewhere between Steve DiGiorgio and Korn, and while I actually kind of dug the technique on the older albums where the riffing was better, here it just sounds like another ring of the circus act.
Probably the worst of the instruments, though, are the guitars, which are weighed down by all manner of schizophrenic pacing and experimentation that almost unanimously fails to connect the listener to the album in any meaningful way. Shit be crazy, yo. We be pushin' the envelope! Dissonant, chugging sequences grope and bounce along into sporadic, frenetic bursts of repetitive insanity like "My Prodigal Sun" or "Shroud", but the actual patterns of notes just feel like half-formed ideas that they thought would be cool to put on tape and then loop around. At the very best, you're going to get some bristling tremolo picked bursts like "We Bleed" which actually seem more redolent of the old Cryptopsy that I enjoyed, but then even that track is ruined by the groove rhythm with DiSalvo's hoarse, jump da fuc up syllabic beatdown/breakdown accompanied by a faint, cheesy rasped counter vocal. Or how about the didgeridoo intro to closer "Screams Go Unheard"? An interesting idea they totally fail to capitalize on with a selection of shitty, spastic, broken deathgrind riffs.
It stuns me that people were so appalled at the later release of The Unspoken King, the band's 'deathcore' record, because for my money, And Then You'll Beg had already proven just how inconsistent and insipid the Canadians' choices could be. While Whisper Supremacy had its flaws, the band was at least standing upon the precipice of something larger...yet its corny, oddball successor seems like a misstep of monolithic, George Lucas proportions. Actually, I'll take that back, because I'd rather sit through another showing of the Jake Lloyd pod race than listen to this. Jar Jar poop jokes = a more fitting comparison. The elasticity of the instrumentation, while perhaps technically impressive to some, is just no substitute for songwriting, and I was rarely interested outside of, maybe the intro to the bizarre "Soar and Envision Sore Vision". As cathartic and confusing as it might have been, an album like Obscura is strikingly cohesive in its vision; whereas And Then You'll Beg is just young, dumb, and full of cum. A simian sideshow, a cacophony of clever monkeys, beating energetically on human instruments, but incapable of creating good music with them.
Love him or hate him, Lord Worm is an icon in the world of death metal. From his outstanding vocal performance on the band's finest work None So Vile to the ability that so few possess to be able to write lyrics that truly get under the listener's skin, it would appear at face value that everything Lord Worm touches turns to gold. However, following his departure just months after said genre-defining work, the vocals in Cryptopsy really did go somewhat downhill. Things started off well with the first post-Worm album Whisper Supremacy, but by the time of And Then You'll Beg it was clear that Lord Worm was the only vocalist for Cryptopsy that could work. Mike DiSalvo returns for this release, having already proven himself to be a strong enough, although not quite up to scratch vocalist on Whisper Supremacy. His vocals on here, however, leave a lot to be desired. Clocking in at just under forty minutes, Cryptopsy's fourth studio vocal release contains nine songs of tech-death music that is a rather mixed bag.
Right from the off it is clear that the riff work is as tight as ever, with some hyper fast guitar playing and riff work throughout the album, and the riff at three minutes forty of And Then It Passes shows that Cryptopsy are just as powerful as they were on None So Vile on this album. The same could be said for Flo's drum performance, giving his most complex performance to date on this album, laying down the usual hyper fast blast beats but still managing to keep it sounding one hundred percent creative. The bass work is consistently jaw dropping, being played at crazy speeds and still refusing to just follow the guitars as has been evidenced time and time again on their previous releases. So what exactly could let such a monstrously technically adept instrumentally superb album down?
For those who have heard None So Vile, you would be forgiven for thinking Cryptopsy is the perfect band for death vocals, having been one of the focal points of said album with ultra guttural growls and blood curdling screams. And whilst those elements are all present on And Then You'll Beg, the vocals clearly lack the energy of previous releases, with DiSalvo clearly having lost all power behind his vocals after Whisper Supremacy. He still achieves a low enough growl, and is more understandable than the barks found on his last album with the band, but the vocals lack any form of passion behind them, merely going through the motions. Occasionally, such as on We Bleed, Mike DiSalvo attempts the banshee-like screams of None So Vile but to little success, with them feeling completely watered down and underwhelming. The band has had its vocal glory days, but And Then You'll Beg is definitely the sound of a vocalist who needs to think about leaving the industry altogether, as he could not hack it against the vocal performances found on any other Cryptopsy album, even including The Unspoken Degree's growls and screams to a certain degree.
Also, many of the songs either feel too long or they have one or two sections that do not slot together very well. For every absolutely spot on segment of a song such as the bass only intro to Soar And Envision Sore Visions and the frantic drumming that introduces Voice Of Unreason there are utterly terrible moments, such as the ridiculously forced stop-start bursts of rapid fire drumming at the beginning of Back To The Worms and later on in that song where the song stops completely for a second before diving back in. Many bands could have wrote a song so that it all fits together and never once feels like a band that has overextended themselves but this album really does at times feel like that. The instrumentals themselves are completely stellar, it is just the fact that at times the band has pushed themselves too far.
Album closer Screams Go Unheard is the biggest offender, with a silly and quite unnecessary introductory sample that drags on for over two minutes, clearly attempting to build some sense of dread and an eerie atmosphere before the song really kicks in, but it fails on every single level imaginable. There was absolutely no need to use a one hundred and second sample to introduce and album closer following the absolutely frantic album that had preceded it, and after all that wait, the song takes a while to really get into it, with the first riff being one of the worst on the album. When it really starts to sound listenable is from the first blast beats onward, which give way to some of the most outstanding riffs found on the album, being ridiculously technical, but even then it does nothing to save itself, with some pre-recorded spoken word vocals and whispers thrown in at times again to create an atmosphere and never really doing anything to add to the song itself.
This is an album that is so well written instrumentally that upon first listen it will absolutely astound the listener, especially if it is their gateway into the band. It has nearly unmatched brutality and a level of technical talent carried by the band that is absolutely amazing to listen to. However, it is also a record that is marred by its flaws with Mike DiSalvo's vocals being a crippling feature that does nothing to bring back any link to the band's classics such as None So Vile other than the wish to be listening to that release instead.
Mike DiSalvo's second outing with Cryptopsy serves as one of their best albums, and also their most technical album (Yes, way more than None So Vile). The only problem people seem to have with this masterpiece is that it's hard to get into for them. Due to the fact this albums is far more technical than any other album Cryptopsy has released, people will listen one time and conclude that the album sucks. I personally took the time to get to know the album, and now it's one of the albums that I can just sit and listen to the whole way through.
The riffs are extremely fast and technical, such as in the beginning of And Then It Passes, and won't have that straight forward metal sound that some narrow minded listeners are looking for. After taking the time to listen to the album, you'll realize that the overall sound of the riffs is very similar to that of past Cryptopsy albums. Some songs on the album don't find much time for guitar solos, but that's a very minor issue, and the solos that are incorporated into the songs are quick and to the point.
The drums on this album are... Well, Flo Mounier. He's always impressive on the kit with the constant speed shifts, hitting hard with the double bass, and slowing down for more practical drumming when needed, showing his wide diversity. They fit in perfectly with the high technicality of the music.
Now the vocals. Many people do not like the vocals, and that's actually pretty understandable, yes. Unlike on Whisper Supremacy, where DiSalvo had a more hoarse and extended sound to his vocal style, his vocals are alot more grunt like (except for on a few parts on the album, such as 1:20 - 1:31 on Voice Of Unreason). I personally loved his vocals on this album. The increased speed in his vocals contributed to the overall tight sound of the album. The vocals are the only thing I can understand turning some away from the album, but sitting back and warming up to the vocals will help you realize what a great album this really is.
In conclusion, don't sit and listen to this album once and conclude that it's bad (like many people did with albums such as Waking the Cadaver's Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler, or Cryptopsy's most recent album, The Unspoken King), take the time to listen to the album and get to know each song, because one bite is not enough to fully enjoy this juicy steak of blistering speed and mind blowing technicality.
Where ‘Whisper Supremacy’ flirted with madness, ‘And Then You’ll Beg’ embraces it fully as the band almost totally surrender to the noisecore gods, unleashing possibly their most least accessible album to date.
While pushing the boundaries of speed and technicality to new limits, the band somehow lose themselves in a whirlwind of their own creation and spend a lot of their time chasing themselves around in circles. ‘Songs’ (if they can be called that) blend and meld into each other with only the gaps between tracks offering the listener any relief.
It's not only musically where the problems lie, but with lyrics being sprouted at will with no structuring or choruses making familiarity and song personality hard to decipher. Production-wise the album also isolates with a very clinical, sterile production making listening a very unsettling, difficult experience.
All this you could say equates to ultimate extremity and in a way it does work, however Cryptopsy are coming dangerously close to just creating noise for noise's sake and losing themselves and their listeners amongst the chaos.
Another highly brutal release from one of the most uncompromising bands on the planet.
Cryptopsy is a band I recall first hearing at the time of their debut album, & what I recall hearing was well performed, raw underground brutal death metal, though with not so good a production. What I heard didn't impress enough to motivate me to hear more of the band at the time, when there was still a fair amount of quality death metal abound from both underground & established bands. What I then heard from Cryptopsy's subsequent two albums sounded like even better performed intense brutal death metal, with very good, much improved production, & some very impressive technicality & intensity on display. Nonetheless, it was getting to a stage where it seemed that complex song arrangements abound with intense, technical brutality was of highest priority, rather than memorable songwriting. For seasoned death metallers, a great death metal album calls for memorable riffs & song arrangements, as well as intensity & technicality, & I wasn't hearing that combination here. I even recall after hearing 'Whisper Supremacy', then hearing the latest Ritual Carnage album at the time, & how much stronger & more memorable a more old school death metal album like that sounded in comparison. Again, I wasn't so impressed by Cryptopsy's efforts to pursue hearing more from the band, despite all the acclaim they were achieving. When wanting to hear some intense, brutal technical death metal, I turned to albums of bands like Suffocation & Monstrosity rather than Cryptopsy. That brings us to their fourth album, 'And Then You'll Beg'.
With this album, I managed to acquire an official promo CD, affording a closer listen to what the band's latest album had to offer. Sure enough, the sounds that exploded from my speakers were a barrage of amazing technicality & intensity, likely second to no other death metal band I'd heard. As the album raged on, this devastatingly explosive technical brutality continued, but besides these merits, I wasn't hearing much else that impressed. For one, that lack of memorable songwriting or cohesive, meaningful song arrangements that seemed to characterise their previous album, seemed to have carried over to this one. Add to that a somewhat refined sounding production, & vocals that often crossed the boundary of death metal to extreme deathcore, & what I was hearing again failed to motivate further listening to the band. It was quite some time before I returned to hearing this album again, so much so that I needed to refresh my memory of what I previoulsy heard, & why I didn't continue listening to the band. Well this time it didn't sound so bad. Sure enough the overwhelming complexity of the song arrangements was still the main focus in favour of cohesive, memorable songwriting, & the vocals were still needing some getting used to. This time though, I was just starting to appreciate the band's sound enough to warrant repeated listens. What is gradually evident is that this is an album that grows on the listener with repeated listens.
The first aspect to get past is the vocals. It seemed that for Cryptopsy to decide to replace Lord Worm with a vocalist like Mike DiSalvo, the band was intending to slowly shift their sound from pure brutal death metal to a hybrid of brutal death metal & extreme deathcore. That is certainly where DiSalvo's vocals are at with this album. Since I've not ever pursued listening to much deathcore or even thrashcore, I couldn't find any frame of reference to compare DiSalvo's vocals to. The most remotely close comparison I could think of was the vocal approach heard with some of the final generation of extreme underground thrash metal bands that emerged in the late 80's/early 90's, as death metal gradually usurped the extreme metal throne. Such bands often featured harsh, aggressive vocals that treaded the boundary between shouting & growling, & sometimes sounded like a more gruff & lower pitched version of Tom Araya's vocal output from Slayer's early albums. Well imagine that sort of vocal, but within a more deathcore or thrashcore context, & that is fairly close to where DiSalvo's vocals are at. This frame of reference did help getting used to DiSalvo's vocal approach.
Now for the music. Repeated listens of this album reveal that Cryptopsy are in fact quite competent songwriters after all, as evidenced by numerous killer riffs that appear amongst the technical barrage throughout the songs here, it's just that the band doesn't follow that through to the song arrangements. Being highly technical metal musicians, they follow the common road for technical death or thrash & get caught in focusing on complex, chop & change songwriting, often at the expense of memorable song arrangements. Basically, the band display strong songwriting at the individual riff level, but not nearly as much at the song arrangement level. There is one exception & that is track 8, 'Back to the worms', easily the best song here [perhaps no surprise since its a song from their demo days], as it achieves that balance between complex, technical musicianship, & killer, memorable riffs & song composition. If only they could have achieved this with the album's remaining songs, it would have been that much better an album. As it stands, the closest they got was with track 2, 'We Bleed', where some of the remaining best riffs feature prominently.
Another aspect to appreciate with 'And Then You'll Beg', is the depth of musical styles fused here. I recall in an interview after this album's release, the band was quoted as stating how they viewed a modern approach to writing extreme metal is to blend different styles of metal which once existed individually. True to their word, this album sounds like a cauldron of extreme thrash metal, technical thrash metal, old school death metal, brutal death metal, technical death metal, phew, & with an ambundance of riffs that are interchangeable within any of these styles. Throw in the odd melodic riff here & there, & this is one metal band with unbeatable musical depth.
The album's production is something I previously mentioned as sounding somewhat refined. I still stand by this, as it does sound like a lot of time & resources went into the recording of this album, much like what you'd expect from a Century Media release. At first I could have thought that some producer more used to working with more mainstream heavy music was responsible for producing this album, until I surprisingly read that it was produced by Pierre Remillard of reknown Canadian tech-thrash metallers Obliveon, who also produced the previous album. Fortunately, the production still retains just enough rawness to prevent the album from sounding over-produced.
Last but not least, is the drumming of Flo Mounier. The speed & precision of the blast beats is unbelievable & unrivalled, as is the ability to shift between multiple tempo/time changes throughout lengthy, complex song arrangements.
While the over-ambitiously complex song arrangements & deathcore oriented vocals need some getting used to, & sometimes detract from the band's sound rather than add to it, this album is still a monumental recording, which sets new standards in intensity, technicality, musianship, musical depth, & does offer some elements of good songwriting as well.
Mike DiSalvo gets a lot of flak; that's perfectly understandable, considering how he had to fill the shoes of Lord Worm. I love good ol' Wormy; a friend of mine describes him as “one of the very few vocalists who gets away with just going UURRR GUURRRRR GRAAAAAAA”. On top of that, I reckon his lyrics to be the best (yes, the one best) in the business. They were sick and twisted, blasphemous, gory, whatever you want but, above all, they were also absolutely hilarious. Read the lyrics to 'Pathological Frolic'. Where Worm, to me, was the prime death metal vocalist (Once Was Not doesn't count, dammit!), DiSalvo was an unconventional choice. His intonation is a lot more hardcore-influenced, and a lot of the time he isn't even going that harsh; he's just shouting. It was a big shift for Cryptopsy, and also marked a change in their musical direction. Ultimately, it was a sign that the Crippers were ready to experiment; the vocals weren't the only thing to change in the music on Whisper Supremacy. There was a lot more technicality; this was now clearly a technical death metal band, rather than a death metal band that happened to have quite technical riffs, if that makes any sense at all.
As far as I'm concerned, WS was wobbly and inconsistent. Cold Hate, Warm Blood is a fantastic song, but the rest of the album blends together somewhat. It wasn't like the glory days of None So Vile, where each and every song had its own identity; I don't particularly enjoy WS. Now, onto ...and then you'll beg. From the first few seconds of the album, one thing pops out, which was sorely missed on WS: a sample! A funny one, too! Ah, it had been a while. Anyway, after listening to the whole album, it's clear that each and every song is clearly identifiable once more. From the funky slapping in Voice of Unreason, to the steam-train that is the main riff of We Bleed (which incidentally is probably my favourite song on the album), to the swing rhythm of Shroud's famous riff, even through to the Dying Fetus-like intro of My Prodigal Son, it's clear that the band have put a lot of effort into making these songs distinctand unique once again.
The guitars are what you'd expect from Levasseur Cryptopsy. Not always fast or even technical, but always crushingly heavy. The bass is less audible than in the early days, but it's still a lot higher up in the mix than most death metal albums. This is great: Langlois is a great bassist, and one of the few to incorporate slapping or popping chords to any great extent. When he does it, it sounds very cool, and is very identifiably a trademark of Cryptopsy. The drums... well, it's Flo Mounier, need I say more?
OK, I might as well. The man is a monster, a beast, a prime example of how to do extreme metal drumming while keeping it interesting. Can I think of some examples? To be honest, no. Listen to any song to get how the man keeps blasting and all its variations interesting and lightning-speed; special credit goes to his cymbal fills.
As ever, it's not a perfect album. Cryptopsy do a lot of experimenting on this album, and every now and then it doesn't pay off. The intro to Soar and Envision Sore Vision sounds like a radio jingle if it was jazz-fusion... cringe-worthy. I don't know what they were thinking, and I don't know what they were thinking having a stupid songtitle like that either. DiSalvo, for all my pacifying remarks up above, doesn't really cut it. Sure, he's aggressive, but he sounds more exasperated and try-hard than angry or ballsy most of the time, or like a mildly irritated donkey. A clear deterioration from WS, where he at least sounded aggressive.
But these things only really niggle; this is actually a surprisingly good album, and a lot better than what I expected it to sound like, having heard Whisper Supremacy beforehand. Please don't be put off by DiSalvo; however weak his performance may be, the instruments are fantastic. And if you're more of a fan of the old era, like I am, then you'll at least appreciate the redone version of Back to the Worms.
So the millennium rolled in and the once respectable brutal death act Cryptopsy elected to continue spinning their newly found grindcore hamster wheels. Although distinguishable in some respects from the last album, most of the alterations on here amount to an even greater exaggeration of the grind/groove mess that they mistakenly refer to as technical death metal. If they wanted to throw a label like technical grindcore or technical grind with some death elements, the label would probably fit, but at this point the distance between death metal as it was pioneered by Death and Morbid Angel and what Cryptopsy has been doing is so large that it would be a mistake to put both in the same category. This is obviously not to say that this music isn’t technical or difficult, it is quite technical; as is everything they’ve done since. The problem is that it’s too damned technical and the resulting tracks are near impossible to follow, let alone recall.
Right from the opening track it becomes infinitely clear that what little riffs were left in Jon Levasseur’s well since “None So Vile” have been chopped up and mixed together in a fairly random fashion. He manages to pull out one or two solid thrash riffs on “Back to the Worms”, which is the closest he gets to successfully recreating the death metal sound that he put forth on “Blasphemy Made Flesh”. Of course, seeing as this beast has been slowly drifting away from Levasseur and towards a 100% Flo Mounier dominated, percussive core fest, these riffs get pretty well buried under a massive rubble of double bass pedal showboating. Occasionally there are one or two groove riffs that will pop out, like on the 2:43 mark of “Equivalent Equilibrium” and the 3:30 mark of “Screams Go Unheard” that almost sound thrash-like, but they quickly deteriorate into random noise clusters or quasi-mathcore rubbish within 15 or 20 seconds. Basically everything else on here doesn’t qualify as riffs or grooves, but mostly note clusters and half-scales that sound like fragmented lead riffs and tremolo lines that are thrown together at random intervals.
Not one to be outdone in the bad rhythmic cesspool department, Mike DiSalvo serves up an even worse grind/groove vocal delivery than last time. Although annoying as hell, his percussive rap/grunt sound on “Whisper Supremacy” at least had a level on continuity to it, while here he sounds like he’s flying by the seat of his pants and improvising lyrics in a free style format. “and Then It Passes” is probably the most disjointed pile of random ideas put forth yet by this outfit, and DiSalvo still sounds like he’s clashing with the rest of the arrangement, not to mention not being able to pull off a grunt lasting more than a second without sounding like he just crapped out of his mouth. “We Bleed” is closer to an orderly vocal approach, but really goes on far too long for its own good. Even if this were good grindcore, which is something rarely encountered in the past 15 years, when you drag this format out for more than 4 minutes you are bound to lose the attention of the listener.
Although I am tempted to just leave this album in a total state of revulsion and completely forget that it exists, there is the unresolved matter of Levasseur’s lead guitar contributions to this album. Of every album he’s put out with this band, this has the craziest and most technically brilliant collection of solos ever. Between the rapid paced neo-tonal scale runs, sweet as hell tone and now these brilliant pitch bending feats, this guy might have a real future in the realm of progressive/shred metal if he could bring himself to step out of the 15 to 20 second box and actually give his lead lines a chance to full develop. The first two songs as well as “Back to the Worms” contain the best of his lead work, invoking some elements of John Petrucci, and leave sort of a lasting testament, as this is his last performance with the band on a studio album.
Unfortunately all the best guitar solos in the world can’t salvage this mess, and Levasseur’s departure before “Once Was Not” basically sealed the end of this band’s viability. Everyone just seems to harp on and on about how important Flo and Worm are to this band, but the truth is that without their principle lead guitarist there isn’t really much to make Cryptopsy distinct from any other metalcore/deathcore outfit throwing out several dozen half-riffs and calling it technical. Generally speaking, having one solid death metal album like “Blasphemy Made Flesh” and a well made demo isn’t such a bad accomplishment, and I could probably respect this band a lot more if they weren’t so lavishly and undeservingly praised for everything they’ve done since.
I'm certainly not in the mood to get informative on this band's collective ass, but then again, there's not much to say. Cryptopsy are one of the most overrated Death Metal acts in the brief history of extreme music, and this album only cements that fact in my mind.
Blah blah blah DiSalvo replaced Lord Suck with a hardcore influenced, sunday-night-football-lovin' slob vocal approach, they opted for a more progressive than chaotic sound leaving death metal in the dust blah blah blah. Unfortunately, these changes made Cryptopsy an uncannily bland act with twice as much filler than on previous releases, seriously fucked the group's already shaky dynamics, and relinquished all possible hooks to the usurper known as "Tech-Wankery".
There is literally one solid track on this album, and unfortunately, it eats up less than 3 minutes of this nap-time behemoth's 40 minute running time. Relief, thy name is track 3; Voice Of Unreason. The best part is, this song can be downloaded directly from the band's label page, completely eliminating the need for you to purchase this album in an orgasm of mindless fanship. Once you finish rocking out to it, try to imagine a whole album of that, except written extremely poorly. Get the picture yet?
The average naysayer: "But Steve! Haven't you heard None So Vile?! That album's A FUGGIN' BEAST, MAN!!! Forget about this album and pick up that sweet ass sonnuva birch!! TOTALLY METAL!!!"
Why the fuck does everyone tell me that? Why are they defending a band they take no part in promoting, writing for, or giving handjobs to? Besides - it's not None So Vile I'm criticizing currently. It's the material following None So Vile. But still, maybe I'm just old fashioned, but taking a progressive approach generally equates to writing unconventional, unpredictable music, right? Maybe their schtick was to "progress" into a far less interesting band...
How does it sound? Well... technical. That's about it. There's really no moments on here that aren't built to disarm the listener - better yet, throw the casual fan into depression for not having the brains to comprehend what they've just heard. Unfortunately, being proficient musicians never has, and never will mean that they can write intoxicatingly brilliant music. IE Fuck you, Yngwie. Yes, Flo can "tear it up" on his kit. Wow, that's really something. Now shut up about it. If you find anything on this album remotely stimulating, pick up Whisper Supremacy. It's nothing special, but it's a fuckton better than this.
This album has received an absolute flogging from fans and critics, and I honestly don’t understand why. Perhaps it’s Mike DiSalvio. Sure, his vocal style is rare (and obviously widely unaccepted) in death metal, but I find the attitude that comes through in his vocals strangely fitting for Cryptopsy’s style.
Speaking of which, this album absolutely reeks of style and individuality. It’s hard to make comparisons between this album and other technical death metal albums (excluding Whisper Supremacy and Once Was Not). They have a completely unique style and it’s near impossible to determine what their influences are outside of their creative minds. Some parts might sound a little bit like Necrophagist... maybe? All I know is this is awesome, groovy, technical death metal.
The guitar riffs are fucking phenomenal, often utilising dissonant two-note pseudo-chords and incorporating them into Cryptopsy’s signature fast, technical and somewhat melodic riffs. At times the riffs sound as if their only purpose is to be a vehicle for the lyrics and intensity to ride on, but generally they’re experimental, crazy and just plain awesome. The guitar tones are biting and suit the riffs well. Perhaps they could have done with some of the middle frequencies cut back to make them sound tougher, but they’re definitely nothing to moan about as they are.
Flo Mounier is notorious for being one of the most technically efficient and experimental drummers in the death metal world, and this album is a perfect example of his superhuman abilities. Shifting time changes and intense speed are no problem for Flo as he rips his way through each song like a madman. There is a perfect balance between intense blasting/thrashy beats and groovier, slower beats. Like the rest of the band, Flo has an immediately appealing style that is extremely fitting for the rest of the music.
There is nothing outstanding about the performance from the bass player. The tone of the bass is kinda honky, and occasionally there are funky bass parts that provide a short break to the onslaught of intensity. While it doesn’t do anything exceptional, it does its part well by filling out the sound and following the guitars.
Put short, this album is brutal, intense, melodic (but not in a gay way), unique, has great production and is overall a fine exhibition of technical death metal. It’s impossible to compare to other bands, but I guess if you like Cryptopsy’s other ‘new phase’ albums, or bands such as Spawn of Possession, Anata, or even Meshuggah, then you should check this out.
It's very sad that this album has done so badly here, so I think it's time to do something against that.
This was the first Cryptopsy album I bought, and it got me hooked right away. They pulled something off here that isn't easy; in fact, many bands never manage it: they refined their overall sound and songwriting, but without becoming streamlined and predictable. Every song his unexpected twists and that same quality of chaotic development Cryptopsy have always had, but simply at a much higher artistic and technical level. The previous album, Whisper Supremacy, placed a bit more emphasis on intensity, and didn't show them expanding on ideas so much - which is probably why the album is about 10 minutes shorter than this. There's greater diversity here, even just within the individual songs. Admittedly, some are more inventive or more memorable than others; after the first three songs - the racy "And Then It Passes", the more mid-paced live staple "We Bleed" and the crushingly manic "Voice of Unreason" - there are some less intense passages; but each song has something to contribute. "Shroud" begins in a slightly less inventive way, repeating a simply diminshed 7th riff many times, but makes up for it later with an incredibly catchy (some might say lightweight) melody that could have come straight out of a classical piece. A lot goes on - including a new version of the old demo song "Back To The Worms" - before the album finishes, and the final song "Screams Go Unheard" uses an old Cryptopsy trick familiar from earlier songs like "Dead And Dripping": the cat-and-mouse ending. We get what appears to be a brutal climax, but then it gets repeated, as if it might still go somewhere else. It doesn't, however, instead renewing its force for the final blast. Pure genius.
I can't understand why any appreciator of second-phase Cryptopsy would have a problem with this album. The first-phase fans, sure - the vocals, which I find much more brutal and forceful than the more deathly, but somewhat bland performance of Lord Worm on the first two albums, the abundance of technical and surprising developments. But in my view, those fans don't "get" Cryptopsy anyway, and fail to understand that they only began to realise their full musical potential after None So Vile. This groundbreaking music is rounded off with a flawless production - polished enough to reveal all details, but without sacrificing an iota of power or weight - and belongs in the Hall of Fame as one of the best (and most original) death metal albums ever.
... And Then You'll Beg. The second, and thank fucking christ, last album of the Mike DiSalvo era. Also the second album of Cryptopsy's technical approach.
Getting straight to the point, let's cover some things. Flo's drumming still goes untouched on this album. The guitar work is great... but not... so... heavy, anymore. The tone of the guitars has apparently changed for Cryptopsy's more technical albums. And not say it's bad, it actually shows some of the guitarist's talent more clearly. Solos are more comprehensible, but anyone looking for the good old br00tal Cryptopsy won't be digging this. Also, the bass is not as strong, and doesn't play as significant a role as previous Cryptopsy albums. Too bad, too, because that was one of the things I liked about this band. The heavy bass influence, and the bassist's ability to not follow the guitarists and seem like a clingy guy in the background... but that's changed a bit on this album. Sure, there are still the neat little bass breakdowns and interludes, but aside from that, his playing unfortunately sounds generic. Which is sad, because we know how great he was during br00tal times, and talent shined there. Then there are DiSalvo's vocals, during good songs, these can sound bearable, but he still sounds like he... should really stay out of the metal scene. Following that, let's get to some of the songs on this album.
'And Then It Passes'... actually not a bad song. One of the good songs on the album, which especially makes it a good album opener. At least this can keep you interested for a while. Overall, cool changes in song structure at different points throughout this song keeps it interesting and listenable.
'We Bleed' comes up right after this. Best fucking song on the album. I'll actually put in the CD just to listen to this song sometimes. It's fantastic. It's technical, but this is one of the few songs that stays really heavy throughout and makes you remember the golden days. It's good stuff, really.
Then... Voice of Unreason hits. What a shitfest. It's so generic, and so bland, when listening to it, you tend to ask yourself just what the fuck happened to this band. In the beginning, the all the instruments just sound so... clunked together. I can barely... even identify riffs. But when I do, they fucking suck. After about 2 minutes in you're tempted to just turn it off. By now you've probably completely changed your interest to something else, this song just doesn't grab you at all... and eventually it ends.
Then My Prodigal Sun begins... and it's borrrrring. Might as well take the same shit I wrote about Voice of Unreason and slap it onto here.
And you might as well slap that label on the rest of the album, too. Boring, directionless... and eventually this ends, and you're left... with a disgusting taste in your mouth. Wash it out with some Necrophagist, if you're looking for good technicality, then.. you're all set. You don't ever have to listen to this again, with the exception of the first two tracks.
2/9 = 22%
I'd also like to comment on 'Back to the Worms'. This is a fantastic, fantastic song... on Ungentle Exhumation. Listen to that, and then DiSalvo's version, and it automatically becomes the worst song on the album. In wake of Cryptopsy's newfound technical approach, this song has been RAPED. RAPED, I TELL YOU! The guitar tone has completely, completely changed, you realize what a fucking travesty DiSalvo's vocals are, and it makes you want to vomit. God damnit.
Want some good Cryptopsy? Stick to early fucking Cryptopsy. You want something technical? Stick to fucking Necrophagist. Just get far away from this.
How the fuck can people call this a bad album? Its sheer technicality and precision is mind blowing. Cryptopsy is still putting forth top notch brutal/technical death metal. All of the musicians execute their skills perfectly. Flo Mounier must have 4 arms, because the timing and speed of his drumming is phenomenal. The bass in this album is excellent. Plenty of little bass interludes and solos. The guitar riffage is amazing. While one would complain about the numerous riff switchs, I for one, love the ever changing guitar patterns. The vocals...ahh the vocals. This is what most would hate on this album. I personnaly used to reject Disalvo's hardcore influenced style, but now I find I am liking it tremendously. While I still enjoy and long for Lord Worm's lifeless zombie growl, I can appreciate Disalvo's work on this album. I find his style of vocals fits the technical music nicely. The lyrics are different from the traditional death/gore pattern (though they are still a bit weird).
Voice Of Unreason
Screams Go Unheard
Here we have Cryptopsy’s fourth full-length, also the second one Mike DiSalvo has been on. Musically, everything about this album rules. Flo is pounding on the kit as if he’s not even human, Alex Auburn and Jon Levasseur playing skin tearing guitar riffs, Eric Langlois filling in the gaps with his quick hands on bass. Just when everything looks good, here comes DiSalvo on vocals to fuck up a death metal wet dream. I have no idea why the band picked up DiSalvo; he sounds more like he should be in a hardcore band than a death metal band.
The music is still as technical, fast, and heavy as ever. After being used to Lord Worm it’s hard to endure DiSalvo’s mediocre screams and grunts, but if you look past his singing you have a death metal extravaganza. Mike isn’t a bad lyric writer, but he can’t sing death metal to save his life. Mike’s presence alone makes the album imbalanced and a bit inconsistent because his singing doesn’t go with the music that the band is playing. I originally preferred DiSalvo to Lord Worm, but after intense comparison, I agree with the majority; DiSalvo doesn‘t belong in Cryptopsy.
Mike sounds like he’s always holding back his vocal power, or that he’s always short of breath. I think if he took some intense lessons from Lord Worm (or any competent death metal singer for that matter) that he could really be a good death metal singer. The vocals drown out the music a bit, which makes me angry, because the music is the best part of this album - not the singing. The general song structure kind of lacks, but I don’t care as long as it sounds good (and it does). I can’t help but feel like DiSalvo is trying to sound like he‘s “in your face” or the like.
This is a good death metal album, probably one of my favorites (musically) by Cryptopsy. In order to enjoy it, you have to learn to look past Mike’s singing (which can be hard to do, since it seems like he’s trying to drown out the music with his butchered and broken voice). I’ll listen to it from time to time, but I’ll take None So Vile or Blasphemy Made Flesh over this any day. Thank God Lord Worm decided to come back, so maybe he can take this band into the right direction again.
The album is heavy as Hell, like all of Cryptopsy’s releases. It’s definitely worth a listen at the very least. However, if you buy it, be prepared to endure the consequences of hearing Mike DiSalvo sing.
Yea, this is technical. Yea, the drums are well played Yea, it has alot of stupid riff and time changes...and? All of that just seems like technical playing for the sake of technical playing. No real song structure or purpose appear on this album, just mathrock monkey spanking and Mike Desalvos bad breath eminating out of my speakers. This is exactly what is wrong with Death Metal in this modern era. Yet another band has confused what Death Metal is about. Cryptopsy believe Death Metal is a forum to display technical ability, to which theirs is not in question, but forget that song writing, aesthetic and a nihilistic ideological base are the building blocks for essential Death Metal.
Honestly, I think the only reason they picked someone as worthless as Desalvo was to make the rest of the band seem better. I probably would have scored this album 10-20 points higher if Mike Desalvo's mother had been kicked in the stomach. And where the fuck are the riffs at? There are probably as many riffs on this as on that retarded Dark Angel uber-technical wank fest, Time Does Not Heal, but I doubt there are 9 good ones.
Fans of evil Death metal stick to NONE SO VILE. Fans of pointless time changes and annoying riffs coupled with stupid lyrics and vocals check this out. Novelty bands, fuck how I hate them. I once heard this album characterized as "sonic algebra"....I think I'll skip math class....
Lets face it, Cryptopsy have gone to shit. This album is a perfect example of how trying to be "br00tal" and forgetting the rhythm of metal makes a band extremely shitty.
Each song sounds the same, the riffs only last twenty seconds each (the longest ones), while most are only five or ten seconds long. Too much variety in a song is a bad thing, and this album has more change-ups then a Diva's clothing at a concert.
Also, the drummer isn't as fast as a lot of people say. Most of the "fast" drumming is the normal double bass blastbeats that most metal bands use these days.
Finally, their lyrics are completely lame. They make no sense at all, and follow no formula. They just seem like verses thrown together erratically. Example: "All in the same, Suffering sadness, Incredible truth, Justice to this madness" followed shortly by: "A man with nothing to lose, will kill quicker than the wolf. Will tear your flesh. And a man with all the same, he will do the same. Now has easily passed the threshold".
They just make me want to say "do what now????".
I don't know how the hell someone can memorize so many chords, and that is the only reason I give this album any points at all. The members of the band must have really good memory to play this noise on stage.
Cryptopsy continues its musical assault with their fourth full-length album. It's an unrelenting assault on your ears and that's exactly what I want.
Like many people have said before, Flo Mounier is a fucking cyborg. It seems unreal that he's able to drum so quickly, yet he does. He is obviously one of the best drummers in metal today. Along with that we have Jon Levasseur's and Alex Auburn's amazing guitar work. Very heavy and eardrum-busting. The solos are seemless and mesh perfectly into the music. Next up, Éric Langlois on bass. Although I have difficulty hearing the bass, the times when I do hear it, it just sounds so utterly beatiful. All this musical chaos fits together perfectly. It's almost orgasmic.
Now for the only bad element in the album: Mike DiSalvo. He cannot do death vocals. To me it sounds like he's not quite sure how to do them. Or he can't do them and doesn't belong in the band. For some reason, he reminded me of Corey Taylor from Slipknot and that's always a bad thing. I've not heard the new singer, Martin Lacroix, but he can't possibly be as bad as DiSalvo.
All in all, it's not that bad of an album, although it is their weakest release in my opinion. If you want a Cryptopsy album get None So Vile. If there's nothing else, and if you can get past the horrible vocals, then do buy this.