without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
This album fucking rocks!!! I know I seem to say that about every album I review, but really, it does! But some people here seem to disagree with me; or maybe it's not that they disagree, but they have conflicting opinions. So I'll structure this review around them, or at least part of it, anyway.
First off, please forgive me that this is my one and only Crpyptopsy album. I had wanted one for some time but never got around to buying one, and "Once was Not" was simply the only one on the shelf at FYE. God, how I fucking hate FYE.
Usually, I begin these things with some discussion of the style of the artist. In this case, however, you do not know metal if you don't know at least that Cryptopsy is a death metal band, let alone brutal/ technical. That would be fucking pathetic. So, I will talk about some of the more "avant-garde" (is that more of a black metal term?) elements on this album. Starting with the Spanish guitar intro (I don't know song titles). That was awesome, because it leads into the next song which is fucking crushing. You'd think the guitar intro would lead into some pussy soft rock love song or something. The jazz intro on track seven is, I admit, strange. But I wouldn't call it annoying. I'm a fan of industrial, so I thought the electronic parts were really cool, although somewhat out of place on something that doesn't claim to be an industrial death metal band. Maybe I should hate to say it, but I actually thought that this was what Cryptopsy always sounded like, on account of this being my only album from them. But I don't see why anyone would have a problem with any of the more experimental elements; it's just the growth of the band.
All right, before I say "opinion time" is over, let me just say that I could not find any problem with the production if I tried, other than that it places much more priority on the drums than on the guitars, which I don't really mind. I don't know if i know what it means for the production to be "without soul" but I thought that it created a crushing, foreboding atmosphere and that it was full of volume and body (kind of like a good woman's hair).
"Opinion time" is now over. Now, I will talk about the music itself like I usually do. I would still say that Lord Worm is among the greatest vocalists of all time, up there with Dani F--nevermind, but here is where I would take off points. After reading a certain very enlightening review that inspired me to write this one in the first place, and then listening to "Once Was Not," I realized that Lord Worm's voice does sound sub-par. I've never heard him on any other recording, and I can still tell that he could do better. He sounds very rasped and strained, like he's having to try really hard to scream. Also, the "pig-squeals" or whatever they're called sound like they're hurting him. Now, again, until a few minutes ago this is just how I thought Cryptopsy sounded, but Lord Worm's screaming is much higher than the average death metal vocalist's. Maybe this is all related to the "health reasons" that caused him to leave the band...
Yeah. A lot of fuss over Lord Worm, I see. But no one says anything about the other musicians. I do think that the guys in DragonForce are the best guitarists in the world today, but these guys are pretty fucking impressive themselves. However, the real main attraction in this band is Flo Mournier's drumming. That is the reason why I continue to love this CD. It is why I use this album to scare people people who don't like metal, as well as to discern who is truly committed to metal (you can't love metal if you don't love blast beats). Flo's drumming style is so chock fucking full of blast beats of every size, shape and hue (figuratively speaking). People say that he's improved since earlier albums, but I don't see how any more improvement is possible, without bionic implants in his legs. He's the best there will ever be.
As for bass, I couldn't hear much of it on account of the "soulless" production, but I'll just assume that the bassist is really good.
In conclusion, there's nothing really wrong with "Once Was Not." Granted, Lord Worm's voice is certainly suffring from something (hopefully he doesn't have brain cancer, like so many other death metal vocalists--doesn't that seem suspicious?), but who cares? He's gone, and they're replacing him. This is just another case of a band that's been around for a long while progressing and growing. Obviously, that will always polarize some fans, but this one should be safe for pretty much anyone who likes Cryptopsy. Seriously, this is the finest extreme metal album that I currently own.