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Let's address the elephant in the room: Yes, Lord Worm is gone. And yes, his replacement is not quite up to the task. Does this make the album awful? No, not by a longshot. Though DiSalvo never comes close to Worm's lows or even touches his highs, his performance is far from mediocre. There are some parts of this album which will have you convinced Mike's eyelids and balls were being simultaneously ripped from his body. His vocals ooze aggression and frenzy, and suite the album quite well in some areas (and poorly in others).
The riffs are much more frantic in a manner than None So Vile, and compared to Blasphemy Made Flesh you could even come away thinking this was a completely different band. Some parts seen to be None So Vile's greatest hits, and quite a few slower paced groove riffs are missing, but overall the guitar work is fairly pristine and suitably sick sounding.
In contrast, the bass seems to have been turned way down. Gone are the lower end splashes of brilliance and in it's place are some bass riffs that are fast, but don't shine through the mix. It's a disappointment, as both prior releases had this aspect nailed down, especially None So Vile.
The drums also seem to be step down from None So Vile. I think it's great they no longer drown everything else out, but I feel the kick should have been placed a bit higher in the mix. I would say they're roughly on par with Blasphemy Made Flesh in terms of feeling.
Overall, it's a shame Lord Worm was forced to leave this band, and I think this album would have benefited greatly from his input on more than just a few tracks. Instead of a classic like None So Vile, we got an above average, sometimes even great release. And at the end of the day, I'm happy with this album.
Talk about brutal/technical/grind frenzy, this album is all over the place. However, it does mesh together in unison. The rhythm guitars are hard to follow because of their complexity, something that takes a few listens to before they kind of sink in to your brain. There's a lot of tremolo picking going on here with chords and single strings, and everything is mixed well though, which is good because to have a bad mix to an album like this would do it a great injustice from all aspects. I would tend to go with this as Cryptopsy's finest work. You may disagree, but every album a band puts out is subject to speculation and criticism. As long as it's constructive, it's good.
8 tracks of just sheer brutality. Again, it's hard to follow the riffs because they're always changing. The vocals are a combination of deep throat/somewhat screaming, but not to an extreme. Mostly deep throat. Lord Worm was replaced on this one, but still the vocals go well with the music. They're not drowned out in any sort of aspect. The leads on songs are technical and some even go into part of the vocals, if you can imagine that! But really, both guitarists show true talent and the originality on this album and is what makes it so likable. Nothing that I've heard in the past or present is like this, only for a couple of albums, maybe some Suffocation.
To not like this means that you have a despicable attitude towards extreme music. There aren't a whole heck of a lot of blast beats, just a lot of tempo changes and mainly fast guitar, but when the double bass drums and blasting are going on, you can still hear the music. Never been a fan of the lyrical concepts, but they do fit with the music quite well. I'd say the horror, death, gore, etc. suits an album or band like this. I don't think that anything they put out can equate to this. There is just so much energy and originality going on here. I think that this does justice for the entire genre of extreme metal. I have not heard this album in years, either!
If you're not able to obtain this one from any online source (which is doubtful), then YouTube has the collection of songs together to listen to. This picks up from the scraps of which other albums do disdain. It's amazing that these guitars seem to fly all over the place and the leads again were well done, fast and furious with both guitarists contributing on that front.
So yeah, key into this one on YouTube to get a taste of severe divinity. It's worth it. Maybe extreme metal is not to your liking, but that doesn't make this effort something to damn. Nothing is ruined by anything here. Not the vocals, production, or musical quality. Check it out!
If there was ever a single, solitary word that could sum up the entirety of death metal in just one breath, the word would be Cryptopsy. Those whom have been initiated into the genre will no doubt be aware of the name and the weight it carries. However for the many people that turn their noses up at death metal and consider it to be nothing more than a jumble of chaos and noise, Cryptopsy are the knuckleduster that hits them square in the nose. The Canadian band are a titan of the genre primarily due to the release of None So Vile but all of their early work is generally considered to be examples of how the genre should be done properly. Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile were both artfully constructed exhibitions of nothing more than pure brilliance with some insanely fast but fairly simplistic riff work and crazy drumming coupled with the inhuman grunts of Lord Worm, creating a template that many bands would later attempt to imitate.
Two years down the line and a lot of things had changed for the band which spelled a change in the wind. Iconic vocalist Lord Worm had by the time of their next release long since departed the band and in his place is Mike DiSalvo with his hardcore punk influenced style of growls. The band had also decided to experiment with a much more technical brand of death metal that had been popularized by such releases as Cannibal Corpse's The Bleeding and Suffocation's Effigy Of The Forgotten. The 1998 installment in Cryptopsy's discography was to be entitled Whisper Supremacy and generally received a positive response although not to as great a reaction as the previous two releases. Critics generally noted that it was an interesting foray into a hyper-technical brand of music but was let down by inconsistency and the vocal performance from DiSalvo. One thing that nobody doubted was the level of talent on display.
The guitar work is a far cry from the primarily tremolo picked riffs of None So Vile and has now become a flurry of some incredibly quick power chords and an abundance of pinch harmonics on some songs. The speed that songs such as Loathe and opener Emaciate are played at are truly something to marvel at, with nearly every riff being insanely intricate but also ludicrously fast. From the finger shredding chords that open up Emaciate through to the bezerk fretboard molestation found on closer Serpents Coil, this is an album that knows no boundaries in the technical field. However this is not just mindless guitar wankery in the vein of a band such as Brain Drill and carries some subtle melodies to it that ensure that it is still relatively accessible to an open minded listener or to a fan of their previous work. Emaciate is a good example of how these melodic elements are integrated into the band's sound on this album after a twenty second opener that descends into some frantic guitar work and drumming that eventually slows down a little before transitioning into a riff that is both catchy, memorable and also absolutely insane.
The guitar work is not the only thing that has really been stepped up on this release with the bass lines being incredible fast and almost inhuman at times. Eric is one of the most criminally underrated bassists in death metal and this album is perfect proof of why, with some crazily quick fills scattered throughout the release and some of the most complex bass lines out there. The slapped bass work is also nice to listen to and it is audible thanks to a tight but rough production job that ensures everything is listenable but also the entire album comes across at first listen as being a solid, impenetrable wall of sound. Flo Mounier is on top form on this release with some of the most incredibly fast drumming out there that schools pretty much every drummer in the business. Think of the fastest blast beat that comes to mind and then multiply it in speed by around a thousand and this is the speed that Flo plays when he is playing slow on this album. The most amazing thing about his drumming is the fact that he is not content to merely play a blast beat but also feels a strange desire to throw in a fill every few measures that makes for a constantly evolving and enjoyable performance.
On vocals for this release is Mike DiSalvo and unfortunately he almost lets the entire band down with some irritating hardcore punk inspired growls that feel completely out of place amidst such sheer brutality. Whereas previous vocalist Lord Worm's indecipherable mumbling of his lyrics felt right at home on albums like None So Vile which are not a million miles away from this in sound, DiSalvo just can not cut the mustard. There are much worse vocalists out there but as far as death metal vocals go, DiSalvo really is not very good and the songs would have been better instrumentally. The songs themselves are all rather enjoyable blasts of madness and rage that are content to merely show off the bands instrumental prowess and this makes for a great listen. Opener Emaciate is probably the best of the bunch but Serpents Coil and Depths You've Fallen are also strong contenders. Each has a fantastic riff set and some of the best drumming out there whilst never failing to be incredible technical and gallop forward at insane speeds. The entire album is one intense roller coaster that never stops and just whizzes past in half an hour.
Whisper Supremacy is an album I would highly recommend to fans of the band's previous material, or anyone who is looking for an album that packs more of a punch than many other death metal albums. Whilst this definitely does not aspire to hit the standards set by None So Vile it is a great album in its own right that is just an example of how technical death metal should be done correctly.
Originally written for Sputnik
It's happened before and it will happen again. A beloved underground metal vocalist, for whatever reason, be it career-oriented or personality based (in this case signs point to the former), departs from his band, to be replaced with 'the new guy'. Commence the bleating of ornery twats among the fan base, the drama, and the automatic back turning and blacklisting of the act from a vocal yet insignificant minority of its audience. It's difficult enough to understand such reactions when a band is far larger in scope, like Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden, but for fucking Cryptopsy? True story, and a sad one. I just didn't jive with the responses of shock and dismay that numerous of my acquaintances had when it was revealed that Lord Worm was to be replaced by Bostonian Mike DiSalvo, whose prior experience was in fronting a (very local to me) demo-level death troop known as Infestation. Hey, congratulations, what an opportunity, to go off and front an up and coming band like this, for their Century Media debut Whisper Supremacy...the savage stars have aligned in your favor.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Lord Worm's lyrics, and thus was quite concerned that the quality might suffer with his departure (he still contributes to the tracks "White Worms" and "Cold Hate, Warm Blood"), but in terms of vocals I was never as sold on his style as many of my peers. He was whacky, wild, and amusingly sick on stage, but it's not like the first few albums would have been necessarily awful with someone else grunting and ranting over the music, and as I'd mentioned in an earlier review, he didn't have that same gruesome and unforgettable presence for me as many of the first generational death metal front men. DiSalvo was marginally different, but not to the point that he'd be incapable of covering those earlier None So Vile tracks. He's got a bit more of a 'street' aesthetic to his gutturals; nihilistic, hardcore and concrete, but still capable of diversifying his pitch with some ghastlier rasps, and owning up to the chaotic brickwork that Cryptopsy had evolved into musically. DiSalvo is not himself particularly memorable, and I do feel as if he failed to stand out among the hordes of guttural grunters in the field by the later 90s, but really that's the worst I could say about his performance on Whisper Supremacy. It's an album with some clear flaws, but he was not one of them.
No, alongside this transition in vocalists and label visibility, and the addition of another 2nd guitarist in studio (Miguel Roy, who had already been with them for a few years), the Canadians also began to develop their style into a broader palette of extreme metal aesthetics. Already renowned for their intensity and instrumental prowess, they began to fuck more with tempos. A lot of the denser, churning chord progressions placed through Whisper Supremacy brings to mind a solid foundation of battering ram grind. The contrasts between melodies and sheer, brutal annihilation create an increased sense of technicality. There are actually a number of riffs on this thing which mirror the most intense of the Swedish melodeath forebears (At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, etc) like the rhythm guitars under the lead bridge in "Cold Hate, Warm Blood" or the tremolo picking pattern that sets up "Faceless Unknown". Cryptopsy were not new to the concept of breakdowns, but a few here have that generic chugging pit vibe that would go on to fuel the careers of countless future deathcore acts. Add these elements into the band's pre-existing pedigree of carnal blast beats, gut wrenching old school tremolo sequences, harried bass lines and over the top aggression and you've got quite a lot happening through the 31 minutes of the album...perhaps too much.
Some of Flo's beats here were reminiscent of cadences, and clearly the guy was continuing to expand and define is own capabilities with a barrage that must have had most drummers in waiting quite afraid for their own prospects. I noticed that the guitars had been cranked up a notch in the mix even beyond where they were on None So Vile, a double edged sword. They somewhat smother the bass lines, though not enough that you can't make out Langlois' racing across his fretboard; but at the same time, they're way more up in your face, for better or worse. When the riffs are great, as on the first track "Emaciate", it's an appreciable change. But a lot of the grindier, beefier progressions deeper into the disc are simply not all that impressive. Leads in tunes like "Faceless Unknown" are quite excellent, just as good as any on the sophomore, but I definitely feel like there are a lot of rhythm guitars which miss the mark entirely, thriving on their extremity alone. Lacking menace and atmosphere. Nothing special to write home about. Not that I'd send Cryptopsy based correspondence to my family, for they'd be liable to have me locked away somewhere.
And these guitars are a symptom of why Whisper Supremacy ultimately failed to impress me on the same level as its predecessor: there are too many ideas cramped into its concise bulk, and very few of them earn their keep. Beyond the obvious 'look at me, and how intense I play' nature of this end of the death metal genre, it's quite telling that the more concerted, melodic touches through the album feel like glimmers of hope among a very spiritless host of thundering drums and disinterested guitars. I never caught the sense of evil or foreboding that the band's wyvern-like mascot implied on the album cover, and several of the cuts, like the closer "Serpent's Coil" are a stupendous, dissonant, bore regardless of how rampant and hard hitting they seem. I dug the flow of the first two tracks, "Emaciate" and "Cold Hate, Warm Blood", in particular how the first cedes to the unexpected acoustic guitars threaded through the second. "White Worms" and "Faceless Unknown" certainly have their moments, but others like "Loathe" and "Flame to the Surface" had little to offer beyond a bludgeoning calamity.
Back to the lyrics: they're still pretty good, but they lack that psychotic, poetic stalker aesthetic which I so admired on None So Vile and Blasphemy Made Flesh. Plenty of imagery, intelligence and introspection here, but at the same time they seem somewhat more methodic and formulaic. The cover artwork is also not on par with its predecessors, though I'd take this any day over the shitty image on the 4th album. Things were pretty busy for Cryptopsy by this point, and though it was a few years past None So Vile, I always had the impression that this was a bit rushed, which might explain some of the cluttered writing. Transitions often feel forced into one another, and generally the dizzying bedlam of the performances outpaces their actual, musical resonance in the mind. A lot of the album's problems are emblematic of what plagues a lot of brutal/technical death work: a real lack of direction and compositional quality. Were I some robotic shell of a person, I might admire its drumming and brutish density more, contrary to popular belief, I still retain a pulse. A decent album, with a handful of really interesting songs, but ultimately less effective than its predecessor, and it doesn't age very well.
The fucked-up Canadians are back with their 3rd album and a new vocalist in the form of Mike DiSalvo. Now, first up, Mike is no Lord Worm. For starters, he is mostly decipherable and prefers the guttural over the insane squeals, however in all fairness, without Mike this album could quite easily have just become a collection of noise-making.
The heavy bass-driven grooves of previous releases are now replaced with a full steam ahead, unrepentant twin axe attack, dueling and out-freaking each other out at ridiculous speeds. It all borders on Fantomas stupidity with a death metal edge.
Whisper Supremacy’ isn’t easy listening with erratic time changes and a total disregard for any semblance of structure. Tracks such as ‘Flame to the Surface’ and ‘Depths You’ve Fallen’ race past at such insane speeds that it leaves the listener isolated and bewildered, however opener ‘Emaciate’ and ‘White Worms’ just manage to keep enough cohesion and normalcy to become great songs rather than schizophrenic scribbles.
Overall, the band play like psychotic kiddies with pots and pans who have forgotten to take their medication for their attention deficit disorder. Sound interesting? Then check it out. Definitely one of death metal’s more ‘extreme’ children.
Cryptopsy's first album with Mike is, to me, insanely underrated, and the reason a lot of people seem to have for disliking it is Mike's vocals. Whilst Lord Worm sounded like Godzilla busting nut whilst gargling a cheese grater, Mike by comparison is far more intelligible, having an almost hardcore edge to his vocals that seems to annoy some people. O.k., so the man is hardly a lyrical genius. To put it kindly, half the time, his lyrics make no fucking sense. But that doesn't detract from the fact that his vocal delivery of his (admittedly bollocks) lyrics is forceful and sounds really pissed off. Lord Worm sounded vile and loathsome (in a good way) but Mike just chooses to beat you up through the mic. Say what you like about them being annoying or whatever, but he's putting some balls into those screams.
Another good thing about this album is that it ups the technicality without devolving into some soulless exercise into how to amputate your fingers with guitar strings. this is quite possibly Cryptopsy's heaviest album owing to the sheer amount of shit that’s happening at the same time - it creates this punishing wall of sound that you shouldn't hear when pregnant - it will mince the foetus in your womb, and then you'll give birth to something that’s probably tasty in a taco. Just listening to "Emaciate", it almost feels as if the riffs are straining on the leash, and are this close to bursting from the speaker and tearing your face in half - particularly if you turn this up loud. But here we get a problem. Put simply; turn this up too loud, and it turns into Putrefaction In Progress by Last Days Of Humanity. It becomes this virtually impenetrable wall of noise that you have to be familiar with before you can hear anything that’s fucking happening. I blame the production for this, which is quite weird...I’ve never heard a production like this. Everything is extremely loud and instead of working together it sounds like all the instruments are trying to fight each other to be most prominent in the mix. It's a bit of a mess to be honest, especially considering that None So Vile, released before this, had a better production.
The rhythm is suitably astounding. Flo puts in a stunning performance on the drums, but then again, anyone who knows their Cryptopsy will expect that. He's a solid foundation for the ensuing brutality to rest on. However, the bass appears to be...dead? you can't hear a single thing he does. None So Vile on the other hand, he's prominent and clear in the mix. On this he's non-existent. Once again, god fists the world, this time by giving a Cryptopsy album a horrific production.
However, the production doesn't remove the fact that the music on offer here is stupendous. "loathe" for example, contains one of the single best riffs known to man. This is a whisper away from the supremacy demonstrated on None So Vile, and it is in my opinion the next-best album in their catalogue. Sure, it's not as good as None So Vile, but come on, hardly anything is. In a move sadder than watching your childhood teddy be set on fire, it’s button eyes twinkling one last time in the flames, the production on this mars your enjoyment of the music somewhat, but dear Jesus, what music it is. It’s brutal, technical, hostile and above all, fucking awesome. I won’t recommend standout tracks, because every track on this is it’s own entity and deserves to be listened to separately. I’m a massive Cryptopsy fanboy, so I’m already pretty biased in favour of their stuff, but I’ve tried to be objective here. It is a genuinely awesome album, marred only by a godless excuse for a production job. Seriously, what’s the point in a production that renders it impossible to fucking hear anything when you turn it up?.
It is debatable where Cryptopsy first "fucked up". Most agree it was the album that succeded this one, "And Then You'll Beg", that was the band's first miss. Others claim it was the band's latest release, "The Unspoken King" that was the band's first true fuckup. Both are well formed arguments, although a very small amount claim it was the loss of Lord Worm that caused this lack of quality in the band's music. My question of those who say that is "Have you heard this album?".
Starting out with a somewhat ambient intro, "Emaciate" immediatly launches into an assault of Technical Death Metal/Grindcore. Mike is shouting out words like a machine gun. The technicality of this song is overwhelming. It literally sounds like I am being up into a meat grinder and turned into meat. Around 2:04, a catchy thrash riff comes in. This is my favourite part of the whole cd. Then, around 3:01, a chopped up solo comes in, then back to the amazing thrash riff. The song closes with the band playing so fast it makes me wonder how they still have arms.
This album is fucking unrelenting. It's angry and fast, you can tell that. Easy. That's the cool thing about this cd, it's emotional (something Cryptopsy has always been good at). Mike doesn't sound like a zombie, he sounds like a pissed off lead singer, something most metal bands leave out. "Cold Hate, Warm Blood" starts out with an egyptian-like riff on acoustic guitar, and then leads into a pure hardcore section, which soon evolves back into a technical death moment. This is one of the more coherant songs here, as it contains a beautiful and powerful lead at 2:16. Next, the song basically stats over again. The end of this song features Mike doing death growls and high shrieking, as Lord Worm is so well known. It's one of the finest songs on the album, but that's not saying much, as every song on this album is amazing. Let's skip ahead, to "White Worms". It contains one of the most insane double bass sections I've ever heard. Flo's doing triplets, and damn is he fast, not that it's a suprise...
Now, let's skip ahead to "Depths You've fallen", one of the most extreme songs on the album. Around 1:09 there is a brutal as breakdown that is followed by a Thrash/grind section that lasts for awhile. In fact, this is possibly the most moshable song on this album. Next we have "Faceless Unknown", which manages to stay a coherant death metal song in it's first 40 seconds, then all hell breaks loose, as this part is EXTREMLY technical. There is a technical solo which is immediatly followed by a...a........techno beat? What the fuck? This part disappears in a matter of seconds, making room for a fast as fuck thrash section, then the end.
This album is mind-blowing, which is very suprising for me as I hate bands that do the "hardcore shout", but this actually sounds cool! There is not a single problum with this record in my eyes, maybe a bit too short and the lack of real song ideas, more of just technical grind fests, but that doesn't effect the record very much. This is chaos. This is technical. This is Cryptopsy. Don't be deceived into thinking this is one of the band's dry tech-death albums they started making after this one. You'll miss out on a lot.
There is a certain point where extreme music and I part ways, and it starts right when a band decides to dabble in the realm of 90s New York grindcore nonsense. Perhaps the only redeeming aspect of it is that the vocal delivery of the lyrics tends to be a little bit more intelligible, but it is a small constellation when you take into account the utterly ridiculous vocal style that it carries. Of all the bands that are currently excluded here on the archives who many consider metallic enough to fit into the metalcore umbrella, Biohazard was definitely the best and most logical exclusion, and the vocal douching going on here can’t help but remind me heavily of Evan Seinfeld. But it would be a mistake to simply pick on Mike DiSalvo, as this entire album is a collective failure of the ninth degree.
Although the level of chaotic speed and fury isn’t really much lower than the madness on “None So Vile”, the overall atmosphere has morphed from a cesspool of extreme death evil to a disciplined tightness that is about as mechanical as you can get. The riffs tend to sound like 90s Sepultura or Pantera with the metronome turned up an additional 50 clicks, the drums basically drive the entire album and hog up the spotlight, and occasionally the bass is able to punch through and give a bottom end to something otherwise inundated in Flo’s bell end. “Depths you’ve fallen” and “Loathe” all but completely rely on fast and moderately fast blast beats as the sole separating factor of the various sections of disjointed tremolo riffs. Occasionally we’ll be treated to a slower section where Flo will throw in so many damned snare and tom rolls that you wonder what the hell the point was in having a slower section.
Naturally the fart gas emitted into the microphone by DiSalvo is well worthy of a good bashing. If you thought that what was heard on “Chaos A.D.” or “Far Beyond Driven” was hilarious, just spend a few minutes listening to “White Worms” or “Emaciate” and try not laughing your ass off at it. It’s all either the classic “blah blah blah blah blah….rooaarrr”, “grunt grunt grunt grunt grunt, sppeewww” or the occasional “grah grah grah bllaahhh” percussive nonsense that all but imitates the sound of a drum. It’s even more annoying than when jazz singers occasionally try to imitate a trumpet with that goofy “bop bop be dip dee doo” baby talk. To top it all off, “Cold Hate, Warm Blood”, which is the only thing that even passes for tonal on here, starts off with this comical classical/jazz intro that sounds way out of place next to all of the proto-deathcore grinding going on here. Hell, we might be able to thank Cryptopsy for pioneering the buffoonery and corky randomness exhibited by “IWrestledaBearOnce”, which alone merits a couple visits to the Vomitorium.
The only aspect of this album that keeps me from completely hating the living hell out of it is the guitar solos and the occasional moments where the bass lines take the helm. Most of the solos are extremely short, lasting at most 10 to 12 seconds, but they usually are surrounded by sections of music where the vocals are not present and the riffs are mostly intelligible and occasionally even melodic. The best one is found towards the end of “Faceless Unknown”, which is otherwise a fairly decent grind song with goofy vocals. The frequency of instrumental breaks on these songs is high, but the number of lead guitar sections is dwindling back to the semi-regular count on the demo. I don’t know if this inherent hostility to a regular structure including a lead break is the result of lazy musicianship or lazy listeners, but it’s not conducive to something that is supposed to be technical death metal.
Some may want to waste their time and hard earned money on crap like this, I’m not one of them and I look forward to returning this loaner forthwith. If you have a desire to hear what Machine Head or mid-90s grooving Sepultura worship sounds like at lightning speed, this might be your cup of tea. But if you really want to experience some excellent crossover work between hardcore punk and metal, pick up something by either the Cro Mags or Suicidal Tendencies, and spare yourself the half assed, out of place pseudo-death grunts and technical riff rambling that’s been festering on this mistake of an album for the past 10 years.
Cryptopsy's third release, Whisper Supremacy, is a prefect example of why I don't have any band shirts, or band tattoos, or any standard metal image fare. Every band I absolutely adore always fucks it up. I loved “Blasphemy Made Flesh”, although its production was lacking, then of course there was “None So Vile”, which is my favourite album of all time. Bar none. But after that, the band has gone to shit, dissolving until almost everything that made them so good is gone. And it started here, there's still a few remnants lying about, which makes it better than “And Then You'll Beg”, but they're pretty scarce.
On first listen, I found the album to be highly enjoyable, there's some good stuff on here, Emaciate has a pretty good standout riff about 2 minutes in, and the few after that are also pretty strong. Not to mention the soloing is still stellar. And it's extremely complex, expanding on what they had already achieved. And to be honest, I wasn't overly put off by DiSalvo's hardcore screams, they were low and far more percussive than Lord Worm, who was simply too low to actually hit you all that hard. In fact I didn't really pick up on any deep hardcore roots until about 4 songs in, probably due to that fact that I was caught off guard by the brutality at first. But that was at first...
Whisper Supremacy is designed to annoy the listener. It actually gets more irritating the more you listen. The first issue, DiSalvo of course, actually keeps getting harder and harder to deal with the more you listen. While at first he almost fits in with his ultra low-ness, as you hear more, he'll gradually become more out of place. And as you start trying to focus on the truly incredible music, you'll start noticing how out in front he is, and how distracting he is. In fact, it's not just that he sounds bad, which he does, he sounds bad and actually goes out of his way to make the other band members time difficult, as they not only have to play well, they have to play loud enough to get through his stupid screaming.
But the vocalist is only one thing, it's a pretty bad thing, but there's a lot more gone awry here. Now, while it's true that the band is playing far more technical stuff than before (Which was hardly one note riffs anyway), they've also stripped away almost all of the melody. The melody and cohesive approach is what made None So Vile so good, they could be complex, they could be brutal, but you'd still be banging your head at a very specific time, as there was a solid rhythm to what they were doing. Not any more. Riffs change time significantly every 20 seconds. I've been exposed to the technique of: Play Fast. Stop. Fade in Scream. Play Fast. Stop. And so on, more times than I care for. They used to do this, but it all faded down, and was written better, now they just stop at random. Then, again with DiSalvo, he can't do off time with his percussive screams. Worm could, he had this low voice which faded in with the music, DiSalvo doesn't, he just blares over the top of it, off time and it just hurts. Even with this problem, the melody is where Whisper Supremacy has some saving grace; the melody is still present at times. Not often, but there’s the odd mosh section that works as good as on earlier efforts, and the first few tracks actually have good high speed sections, which are still catchy and complex, in fact, when they’re play fast well, it’s pretty close to the best output the band has done… Other than the vocals of course.
The riffs themselves aren't really death metal anymore, they don't have a death metal sound to them. They're still good, but there's another change, I'm not sure if it's a change for the worse or not. When they do it well, it's good, catchy, and very brutal, but they often tend to just play complex stuff, with no consideration as to what it ends up sounding like. Along with this, there's the second new guitar technique. Well, not so much a new one, but one that's been expanded on, and now over used. The high pitched jab riffs that cause little spikes in your music graph thing. There was a few of these on earlier albums, but now its overkill. There are enough of these to give you a migraine. They appear all the way through songs like "Loathe" and "Depths You've Fallen" and just make them unpleasant to listen to. It actually physically hurts the ear drums, but not in "Oh yeah, how awesomely brutal" way, more of a nails on a chalkboard way.
Of course, Flo is stunning, and Eric Langlois still kills his bass in a violent way, and still manages to fight through the chaos with loud slapping. But you know, these are expected. There's nothing annoying about these two at all, Mounier's drums sound good now, with everything having a good powerful clear sound, which is an improvement. They’re the only two things that go consistently right, but well, it's two very good things.
What can I say, despite some initial enjoyment, this album is truly horrible to listen to. I almost never go out of my way to listen to it. Every one of its positives has a negative to negate it. Want to hear the complex music; you've got to ignore DiSalvo, which is hard because he's mixed so loud. Want to get caught up in a meaty mosh riff; well you'll have to sit through 3 minutes high pitched squeals pulsing at you, and by the time you want to headbang, you've got a bad headache, and won't want to move your head for a few hours. But in a bad way. As much as I love the band, this is shit. Beautifully complex, but there's nothing else on offer anymore.
For a band so defined by the union of its pieces, a tremendous amount of focus when it comes to Cryptopsy is placed upon the frontman. After Lord Worm's departure post-'None So Vile' due to economic distress, his timing could be seen as sketchy, particularly considering how that album soon came to be considered a death metal classic. However, more pressing issues beset the band at the time; namely, another vocalist. Well, as luck would have it, the Worm helped hand-pick his successor, this time in the form of Mike DiSalvo, formerly of Massachusetts' little known Infestation. I can't help but think that if Lord Worm knew the uproar that his decision was going to cause, he might have chosen differently.
As all people who have looked into Cryptopsy know, the most heated debate between fans of the band centers around The Question: Lord Worm or DiSalvo? Both sides are beset with massive criticism from the opposing camp: the former was too unintelligible and random in his stylings, whereas the latter's delivery was too close to hardcore for many death metal fans. Of course, an underlying issue that is less frequently addressed is the enormous musical shift that took place between these changes as well; Cryptopsy's metamorphosis from brutal death metal to technical extreme metal appeared to have occurred overnight, leaving plenty of fans confused and bewildered at the sudden shift in focus that the band took.
Where do I come on the fence? Both sides, to be perfectly honest. While for musical reasons I think that 'None So Vile' will never be topped, I can't imagine Lord Worm's style of vocals being present on the DiSalvo-era albums. Those releases are too technical and jumpy for a singer whose focus was primarily concentrated on melody and timbre rather than percussive rhythm, and would have likely left him sticking out like a sore thumb while the rest of the band was busy changing time signatures every few seconds. I feel none of the 'betrayal' that other fans feel due to the hardcore nature of DiSalvo's delivery- it's appropriate for the music on 'Whisper Supremacy' and 'And Then You'll Beg', and to insinuate that his performance on those albums is somehow worse due to influence from another musical community is absurd.
With that out of the way, what precisely was the massive change between 'None So Vile' and '98's 'Whisper Supremacy'? One word: technicality. Previous Cryptopsy releases had always had a technical edge (particularly in the department of drums), but the emphasis was still squarely in the realm of death metal. However, with 'Whisper Supremacy', it's a dodgy prospect to call the music death metal at all. Sure, the palm-muted and tremolo picked riffs are still present, but they change at an alarmingly fast pace and possess none of the groove present on albums such as 'Blasphemy Made Flesh'. The music is complex, very complex, so complex that it frequently sounds like noise simply due to the number of rhythmic and melodic shifts that will occur at once.
However, perhaps it's not quite as tremendous a difference as previous releases. Where 'None So Vile' used its cyclic blasting passages as a form of black metal-style ambient 'breath catching' before the next movement, such a thing is instead replaced with the passages of immense, swirling technicality that subsume into slightly more 'collected' form ('Loathe' does this even within riff patterns; the prospect is just as dizzying as it sounds). Everything on this album is constantly changing chaos, and much of the melodic sense of previous albums is gone; in fact, aside from the periodic solos, the riffs here are stunningly atonal, even for death metal, infused with pinch harmonics and bizarre scales at every turn. Flo Mounier's drumming is similarly nervous and jittery, bursting into strange, seemingly impromptu fills at periodic intervals. Langlois' bass, while more buried than on previous Cryptopsy albums, appears as a jumble of low notes that more or less follow the guitar lines.
Of course, one will immediately notice two songs that don't quite mesh with the rest; those being 'Cold Hate, Warm Blood' and 'White Worms'. Both of these tracks were from the Worm era, with his lyrics and a much more traditional songwriting style. The former's periodic acoustic lulls ripping into blasting sections and the latter's slightly simpler riffing than average (for this album, at least) hearken back to 'None So Vile', perhaps giving those disconcerted by the band's change a welcome relief from the madness. Of course, for a two to six ratio, it's not quite enough. 'Whisper Supremacy', while a massive shift from Cryptopsy's previous music, is a highly respectable work, despite falling somewhat short of the standards set by 'None So Vile'. As an example of modern ultra-technical extreme metal, you would be hard pressed to find better.
Album Review :
Cryptopsy had always been a chaotic, loosely organized, death band, with this release they turned into a crazy, cerebral, uncontrollable death band. They had lost cult vocalist/lyricist Lord Worm and gained vocalist/lyricist Mike DiSalvo. For all those who say “DiSalvo sucks LW is WAYYYYYYYYY better” fuck off, Lord Worm is way better but I can only think of a handful of people who even come close to touching him. Besides that, DiSalvo has balls, no matter what anyone says, he’s also a fine lyricist. The music on this release is a lot more technical than anything they had ever done; the lyrics haven’t changed much either still focusing on gore and killing. Two of the tracks have lyrics and backing vocals by Lord Worm. I will now break the CD down song by song. The production is crystal clear, you can hear everything.
Track 1: Emaciate-The track opens with a strange, discordant noise; go to the Cryptopsy website to hear it (http: www.cryptopsy.net). The track it self is very complex, the entire band is in fine form. Eric Langlois slaps his bass at high speeds, the guitars of Jon Levassuer and Miguel Roy shred and fire off complex riffs at high speed, Flo Mounier is in fine form on the drums, hammering away like an octopus possessed by Satan, and DiSalvo’s growls are at their best, it’s also the longest track of the CD clocking in at 5:00.
Track 2: Cold Hate, Warm Blood- Easily my favorite on the CD and one of the best Cryptopsy songs of all time. It starts off with a jazz-like/funk riff but it doesn’t last long soon all hell breaks loose and the band is playing all kinds of crazy chords with lots of references back to the opening riff. We are treated to a solo from master Levassuer at the 2:14 mark; easily one of the best solos they’ve ever done, the man shreds and goes insane on his fretboard. The 2:48 of the solo mark is insane, Flo treats us to some of the fastest and most brutal drumming we’ll ever hear, he creates a storm effect with his drums while Levassuer creates the calm in the middle of it. This track features lyrics and backing vocals by Lord Worm as well.
Track 3: Loathe- An all around great track. It features speedy riffs and a very cool solo at the end. The highlight of this one is the lyrics. DiSalvo growls about all kinds of variations of hate. Go read the lyrics. The riffs kick the shit out of you and again it’s very complex. Eric slaps his bass and again Flo destroys his kit.
Track 4: White Worms- This track features lyrics and backing vocals by Lord Worm, he once again displays why he’s one of my favorite lyricists in all music. I really like the riff that happens at 2:55, it’s just brilliant. Mike displays the one thing he owns worm at: phrasing. He does it all over this CD, he’s one of my favorite vocal phrasers in all of Death Metal.
Track 5 Flame To The Surface- The band changes it up here again utilizing more melodic riffs. You just can’t beat the riffs on this track. They can be brutal and beautiful at the same time. The lyrics are great and they deal with immolation and the like. The lead that happens around the 2:18 mark is amazing it’s that brilliant. I’ll admit I’m a raving Cryptopsy fan but take my word for it: buy this NOW.
Track 6 Depths You’ve Fallen- One of the fan favorites of the album it definitely deserves it. The riffs are equivalent to being in a car with the driver constantly accelerating and slamming on the brakes, unlike an experience like that they’re great. There are tons of twists and turns in this song making it one of the highlights of the album. Flo especially rapes on this track. It’s very hard to play as well. The lyrics are the coolest on the album as well go to darklyrics.com and read them or something they’re like poetry.
Track 7 Faceless Unknown- One word: underrated. For some reason you never hear about this song on other reviews. I don’t know why. It is the weakest track on the album but it’s still great. It follows the formula of the album. It’s in the vein of Flame To The Surface. The lyrics are somewhat hard to interpret. I think DiSalvo’s describing some strange drug trip. They’re definitely the weirdest lyrics on the album but they do a great job of painting a picture in your head.
Track 8 Serpent’s Coil- DiSalvo is at his vocal best on this track. The track is second only to Cold Hate, Warm Blood. It is by far the most brutal on this album, at least to these ears. The riffs and the drumming just rape your ears. The lyrics are full of aggression and hate. It’s a perfect way to close the album, pulse pounding and full of brutality. There are elements of every song on this CD and it sums them up very well. DiSalvo sounds absolutely brutal on this track; he sounds as if he’s about to go postal and kill someone, the brutal riffs and frantic drumming enhance it. It’s definitely one of Cryptopsy’s best and it’s one of the most technical tracks too.
These guys just can't write a bad song. The entire CD is brilliant, not one second of filler. If you don't have it buy it NOW. If you don't have it because of DiSalvo get used to him and this CD can prove to be very rewarding.
Heavy-bassy guitars launching a full-scale technical jazzlike death metal assault. Cryptopsy is back with its trademark brutal technical riffing mixed with its head-banging chugging, but this time around there’s no Lord Worm. Is this a bad thing? Well, it depends…
First off, lets say Flo Mournier is still a fucking monster. He still will rape most drum contemporaries and is still the solid backbone of Cryptopsy. His drumming hasn’t changed much from the last album and that’s not a bad thing. There is a change in the second guitarist though, where Miguel Roy joins Jon Levasseur for this brutal album. The guitars are fast and technical, blending jazz-like rhythms, frequent tempo changes with chugging headbanging riffs that’ll send you on a quest to destroy your boss’s car. The bassist, Eric Langlois is still here, but unfortunately this time around his basslines are mostly covered up by the guitars and drums, unless you make an effort to try to listen to the bass, you won’t notice them.
Now, as in any band, changing vocalists will always initiate some controversy, and that happens to be the case here. Lord Worm had a deep gutteral vocal style, typically favored by many death metal fans, but new vocalist Mike DiSalvo has a more hardcore sounding vocal. Nonetheless still deep sounding, it’s quite a bit different from Lord Worm’s. Worm was deep to the point where it was almost unintelligible and DiSalvo is kinda deep but you could make out what he’s saying. All its gonna be in the end is that its just a matter of taste. I personally don’t really give a shit, as long as its not clean I’m cool with the vocals, although I do prefer Lord Worm’s vocals better.
So, aside from the vocals Cryptopsy’s back with another brutal album just like the last one right? Well, not exactly. Aside from the vocals, there are a few minor setbacks for the album. Most of it just sounds mediocre. “None so Vile” was filled with more energy, relentless power and anger. This album just feels a little bit more suppressed and whiny. If “None so Vile” was a cheeseburger, “Whisper Supremacy” would be the sesame seed on the buns. It’s like “Yeah, its definitely a Cryptopsy release, but I could live without it.” It’s a solid watered down Cryptopsy release.
I often find myself dozing away, day dreaming when I listen to this cd. I just loose my concentration on the music because, even though its brutal, fast and really good, it doesn’t have that aggression and creativity they had on “none so vile”. I always get pulled back though, because every one of their songs has at least one kick-ass chugging moment.
If “None so Vile” wasn’t released then probably this album would’ve gotten a higher score but, in the end this album is just a good solid Cryptopsy release. Let it grow on you, but it’ll never be as good as “none so vile”. The only two really memorable songs that really stand out from the rest are “Cold Blood, Warm Hate” and “Serpent’s Coil”. Those two are literally like ear-worms, you just can’t get them off your head
But this album will still destroy any other brutal death metal contemporaries, I just expected a little bit more out of Cryptopsy.
RECOMMENDED SONG: Cold Blood Warm Hate, Serpent’s Coil
THE GAY SONG: none
PRODUCTION: Heavy-bassy excellent production
PACKAGING: A dragon rising in a cloudy sky
OVERALL: Excellent release but Cryptopsy could’ve done better
I will be unmercifully blunt here and say that this could have been one of the greatest DM albums of all time if not for fucking Mike DiSalvo and his shitty "tuff-core" vocals. Honestly, his vocals stick out worse than a kid in a Fall Out Boy t-shirt at a Marduk concert. He always sounds like he's out of breath too. Did he run a fucking marathon before the recording session? I can't comprehend for the life of me why anyone thought this would be a good mix. I know bands don't like replacing a singer with someone who sounds exactly like the guy who left but it could've been someone who does DM vocals. Anyway, I think you get the point that the vocals are the main negative factor.
With that off my chest, on to the positives. The musicianship on this album is absolutely incredible. Everyone knew that Flo, Eric, Jon, and Miguel were talented but nobody expected such an intense, complex piece of work this time around. I'd go as far to say that this is one of the most impressive pieces of music ever just from a musician's standpoint. I don't think there's any way to really know until you actually listen to it. I know I said that the vocals ruin it but I'm still able to listen to this album to appreciate the obvious amounts of time poured into producing this. I also know that people say there are tempo changes and riff switches just to be technical but if you listen to it reeeaallly closely, you realize that there is something connecting the song where it isn't just scattershot playing. Anyway, I think I've rambled enough. This album isn't better than "None So Vile" and the vocals are pure shit but this kind of musicianship is too good not too listen to. Buy it.
This review will a departure from my usual style, mainly in the fact that I'll be on a detailed defensive for this record. People seem to generally dislike this album. They complain over vocals, lyrics, production, and song form. I move to challenge that viewpoint and do my part to give this album back some credibility, because this is practically a different band from before...
After the departure of one of the best vocalists in the genre, what do these crazy Canucks Cryptopsy do next? In what could be seen as complete recognition of their change in fortune, they go for broke. A near 180 in songwriting occurs. Whereas the previous two albums were superbly well written, very heavy/fast and mostly straight ahead death/grind, this album takes that formula and throws everything but the kitchen sink at it, until it's twisted into a horrible new creation.
Jon Levausseur and Miguel Roy's fretwork become more schizophrenic, both busy and amazingly brutal, and the production moves to highlight that: the incredible, thick guitar sound totally fills the speakers, driving the songs forward, almost verging on muddy, but frighteningly powerful. No longer is there particularly direct flow between segments, but tempos and time signatures jarringly change like hairpin turns, veering both forward and backwards like some demented rollercoaster, which fits well with the riffs, which scream like the innocent people riding the damn thing. The track "Loathe" fits this glove quite nicely - it feels like a group jam, that both starts and resolves on remarkable rhythmic turns, yet fitting longer thrashy segments inbetween. But we still have tracks like "White Worms" and the classic "Cold Hate, Warm Blood", that forego nasty surprises for breakdowns - yes, breakdowns - to balance out this with real headbanging style.
Though the one major flaw of this is that this record as a result often feels like a set of moments rather than songs, this record signals the birth of Cryptopsy's more ugly side. And it's often a thrill to behold, totally brimming with energy, brutality and yes, creativity - a totally insane force of nature that is somehow contained through more traditional song structures. In other words, my ideal style of technical music. And did I mention it was one of the HEAVIEST albums I'd ever heard?! Sorry, just making sure.
The key complaint: does Mike Di Salvo fit this new picture? Ultimately, yes. People who complain about his hardcore stylings are ultimately being too sensitive: since when were death metal fans meant to be particular about vocal stylings? (Actually, I just answered my own question there.) He cannot measure up to Lord Worm. No one does. A lot of whether you like this album depends on your preference for hardcore style vocals: in this reviewer's opinion, him and his somewhat bizarre lyrics fit this new concoction quite well, though some of you will find him a total misfit. To me, it's not that big a deal.
And as for album highlights: The mindbending solo on album highlight "Flame To The Surface" threw me a curve ball for several WEEKS whilst listening, and is still one of the best I've ever heard on the basis it foregoes all notions of taste. In fact, that whole track is the best here. Flo Mounier's drum work is in a state of metamorphosis on this record, as he is still on the way to the dizzying heights of "And Then You'll Beg", but above even the work of None So Vile: segments in 5/8, crazy flams, and stunning hyperblast action - there's lots of fun to be had.
Overall, this album often approaches OTT levels, but never quite falling over the cliff due to the sheer just-don't give-a-fuckness of the project. People more used to a simpler Cryptopsy will argue the other side of the fence, saying this is a mess, but it's a thrill to hear music so far out there. Despite the change in vocals, lyrics, production and song form, it's designed to validate what the group set out to do in this new field. It is quite inconsistent inbetween moments - yet the highpoints are so stunning, so well structured (even catchy) as not only to validate the entire project and the band's new direction, but also to place Cryptopsy firmly at the top of the technical death genre. By the end of "Serpent's Coil", the sheer heaviness of the project left me physically exhausted - even at a length of 30 minutes. This is a short sharp, and very smart, spike of an album that still in the end feels like the Cryptopsy trademark - glass exploding in your face. Caution advised to genre newcomers, but recommended.
Probably the salient point to mention about Whisper Supremacy is that Cryptopsy’s first vocalist, Lord Worm, is now out of the band, and his replacement, Mike Disalvo, ruins the album with his out-of-place and silly vocal style. For “silly” go ahead and read “hardcore” or “tough guy” (he sounds like he’s getting punched in the stomach repeatedly) – but of course it could be argued whether his constipated screaming really sounds any more ridiculous than the arrhythmic vomiting sounds that were passed off as singing on the first two Cryptopsy albums. DiSalvo certainly sounds angry and aggressive enough to match the accompanying music, and to his credit he’s more percussive than Lord Worm; his voice carries more weight as an individual instrument. If listeners weren’t already used to a certain kind of sound from death metal vocalists, the general opinion of his presence in the band might be higher. After all, nearly every fan of death metal took at least a little while to get used to the peculiar vocals, correct? So perhaps it would be best to give the man (and the band) the benefit of the doubt and try to let your ears adjust. If nothing else, give the band a little golf clap for breaking with cliché.
I got used to him. But no, I don’t like him all that much either.
Still, I’ve always thought it extremely unfair to single out one particular element of an album and harp on it for “ruining” the music, whether that be a vocalist, the production, whatever. Mike DiSalvo doesn’t ruin the album. If anything ruins this album, it’s the music...
Interestingly, perhaps the two best tracks on the album are the ones featuring lyrics written by Lord Worm: “Cold Hate, Warm Blood” and “White Worms”, with “Cold Hate” in particular being easily the most memorable and melodic and best-written song on the album. I’m guessing that these two were possibly written earlier than the others, and though I’m not entirely sure about that it would make sense. Once upon a time Cryptopsy were actually a surprisingly melodic band; over the course of their career they have steadily evolved toward a songwriting ethic emphasizing unexpected transitions and off-the-wall technical riffing, creating a massive, disjointed wall of sound. As of Whisper Supremacy, each song tends to sound like a series of collisions with repeated riffs filling in the gaps. Individually, the riffs veer increasingly toward technical abstraction (compared to the band’s older material), as if, in the pursuit of some misguided notion of originality, the guitarists where hoping to stumble upon some sequence of chords hitherto unimagined in the history of music – frequently this is where attempts at creativity in brutal death metal lead us, and often, as is the case here, it tends to leave the guitar playing nearly emotionless aside from the vapid “angry” feeling that comes from playing very fast and very loud. Aside from that there is some occasionally melodic tremolo, which I like, and a few chugging bits that should be excised entirely…
Meanwhile, drummer Flo Mounier rattles and rolls away, accentuating every breakneck turn. I believe he’s the only remaining original member and by this point he’s likely the most valuable member of the band – superhumanly fast but never reduced to simple, straightforward mechanical blasting, his performance is the highlight here.
This album feels a lot like riding in a sports car while the driver accelerates then slams on the brakes then accelerates again then brakes again ad nauseum. Other death metal bands aim to catch the listener off-guard with dissonance, unusual time signatures, et cetera, but relatively few are this purposely uncomfortable to listen to. There are at least a few death metal bands that have succeeded in packing in even more rapid song transitions and wild structure than Cryptopsy do on this album while still maintaining a better sense of melody (if not in the conventional sense) and generating a powerful, dark atmosphere. On the other hand, the best reason to listen to Whisper Supremacy is probably to congratulate yourself for being able to stand up to it and follow along. Disentangling these compositions can be entertaining if approached from the right frame of mind, but for the most part, I say stick with the old stuff. Still, it’s better than where they went later!
I must admit, Cryptopsy is a fucking awesome band, and Whisper Supremacy is something that will kick your face in until the last riff.
First, production. This is basically flawless. Nothing is really exaggerated, except the drums can get alittle on the quiet side. But overall you can hear pretty much every instrument.
The singing on WS is done by Mike DiSalvo, who can really fucking scream. Instead of Lord Worm's growls, this guy sounds like his heart is being ripped out his ass--but in a good way. The vocals really add to the brutality.
Musicianship is really technical on this album. The guitars usually jump around a lot, and the riffs are always switching. One slight thing that pisses me off is that right when you start to get into a kick-ass riff, it changes to something else. Also, the guitar solos run a little short sometimes, like in track 7, Faceless Unkown, there is a great riff, and then a solo starts, but lasts for only about 8 seconds. They don't imbelish enough.
One major up to this CD is the drumming. Flo Mounier is fucking insane. He does everything, double bass rolls, blast beats, you name it. The drumming is also very technical, where as guitar, he jumps around from beat to beat. But he's fucking fast, sometimes making you wonder if he has more than 2 arms.
Whisper Supremacy is overall a great album. It gets an 89 for the great technical riffing, drumming, and brutality, but the guitars couldv'e been imbelished a lot more.
Well, I certainly do know what I like in music and what I blatantly hate. What happens when the musical elements you love collides with a lyrical performance that you abhor? The biggest issue for people who hate singers like DiSalvo is either ignoring it, or adapting to it. I’d prefer the former in this case, because Mike DiSalvo isn’t a good death metal singer, he’s fit for either a hardcore band, or possibly a metalcore band with that stupid “Yo yo yo, I’m in your face” oral discharge which is a poor excuse for a growl. DiSalvo can keep up with the music better than Lord Worm could, but at this point, no one really cares, because DiSalvo doesn’t have the vocal SOUND for the job.
There are just times I’d wish to head bang, but then I hear that voice...and it almost embarrasses me to do so. Anyways, despite how bad of a picture I’ve already painted of the album, it’s not as unbearable as you probably already think it is. Not much has really changed about Cryptopsy, and I’m a bit deplored to say that the song structures haven’t really evolved much since Cryptopsy first released “Blasphemy Made Flesh.” However, don’t let that throw you off, everything is still very interesting, just a bit reused. The music as a whole is very fast and stays consistent throughout the entire album.
In every instrument department, this is very difficult stuff, and quite hard to dissect. After all, this is technical death metal. Most of the guitar playing is tremolo picking; there isn’t much in the world of “heavy chug” riffs. Clearly, this is going for pure technical brutality, without any water downs. I don’t know how long it took Jon Levasseur and Miguel Roy to learn how to play this well, but these guys must have some hands of steel to be able to play some of these riffs without popping a vein in their hands.
Flo Mounier delivers nothing short of an amazing performance, as usual. The impetus of Mr. Mounier must be to be the first death metal drummer to put on the most swift, relentless, and terrifying performance and come out of it with his arms and legs still in tact. Seriously, the guy could be mistaken for a drum machine he drums so fast. Thanks to the deeds of Flo, I am constantly ghost drumming, with only the dream in mind that I could ever drum like he does. You know the feeling when you want to just beat on something until your arms fall off?
Yeah, that’s the feeling the drumming gives off. While I wish I could rate this higher, because the music certainly is worthy of a high score, Mike DiSalvo’s presence just throws me off. While he’s not the worst vocalist of all time, he’s not fit for a band like this. Vocals count as an instrument too, and Mike really screwed it up for Cryptopsy in that department. Congratulations, excellent music has met mediocre vocals.
I can see why some people may not like this album, and it's because of Mike DiSalvo's vocals. I've noticed that you either love or hate DiSalvo's style of vocals, and I personally love it. True, he isn't Lord Worm, but I think that's what makes it all the more interesting to listen to. DiSalvo's got a hardcore edge to him, and you can decipher what he's saying a lot better, while still being awesome. I like that.
Anyway, this album contains some solid songs from start to finish. I'd suggest bringing some extra boxers for when you're done listening to this, because it is quite brutal. Flo's drumming is inhumanly fast, giving the songs their basis of brutal-ness. Unlike a lot of death metal bands, they've got some interesting bass going on, which I sometimes find myself paying the most attention too, but then again, every member of this band knows how to play their instruments extremely well, so you can't get too bored of listening to one thing. Same thing goes for the guitar. Heavy and fast, the riffs are interesting and always changing. I also really like their solos. If you've ever seen Cryptopsy live, it's a spectacle to watch them do leads or just anything in general.
The songs on this album are all awesome. Once again in Cryptopsy form, they start off with some weird intro and a quote, then BAM! You're knocked over by a bulldozer. The next song, Cold Hate Warm Blood, starts off with a clean and slightly evil sounding intro. I believe this to be my favourite Cryptopsy song. The rest of the tracks are all equally good, but Cold Hate Warm Blood stands out so much more.
Really, this is often underrated, and I think it deserves more than that. A fine addition to any death metal fan's collection.
..but it's still pretty good. I've heard this album touted as a mindless wall of noise and too brutal with no actual musical integrity. But as I listen to this album for the nth time, I must disagree. Even though their primary riff-writer and one of the best vocalists in DM have left this band, this effort is still highly competent in the DM arena.
The riffs are pretty good, and have taken a more grindy approach. Brutal when they need to be, but usually fairly technical and fast, the riffs are only a minor step down from NSV. I never really liked Cryptopsy's solos save for a few, and I guess these solos aren't any better or worse than usual.
The bass is great, especially considering the fact that DM bassist are generally in the background of everything. I can hear it fine and it does some interesting things.
The vocals.... now here is an aspect that is under much controversy. DiSalvo is definitely not Lord Worm. But at least he doesn't try to be, really. The riffs have taken a more grind/hardcore approach, and so have the vocals. However mediocre these vocals are, they aren't as bad as ATYB, so this is the less shitty of two shitty vocal performances.
The drums are pretty good. While not as creative as NSV, Mounier does interesting work as always. He got alittle lazier this time around, however.
So aside from some mediocre vocals and lazy (for Flo, anyways) drumming, this album is very underrated.
Highlights: Emaciate, Cold Hate; Warm Blood, Depths You've Fallen, Faceless Unknown