Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The best death metal album of all times - 100%

SwagLordPicklePee666, July 18th, 2019

None So Vile? More like "The best death metal album of all times", if you ask me. Yeah, this is not traditional death metal (it's brutal/tech death), but still. Why? Well, if you're asking, probably you still have to listen to the whole thing. If that's the case, go and do it as soon as possible.

On a more serious note, "None So Vile" is really the pinnacle of extreme music. All the key elements are there: the guitar work is absolutely crushing, with plenty of amazing riffs, intricated tremolo picking patterns, crazy sweep picking bravado, slams and rhytmically tasty yet heavy breakdowns. Lord Worm's vocals are beyond beastly, spacing from the lowest gutturals, to the highest shrieks, to rabid barks and creepy inhaled growls. His performance in this album is simply legendary.

Flo Mounier proves us why he is considered one of the craziest drummers of all times, delivering hyper blasts and double bass drumming as if he was some kind of hellish octopus, and enriching the songs with fantastic amd technical fills. Hell, even the bass is often all over the place, just think to the licks in "Slit Your Guts".

The production lets every element breathe, and the guitar tone in particular is perfect, making the songs sound well produced but at the same time giving that rotting feel that complements the whole thing so much. The songwriting is beautifully complex and schizophrenic: forget about traditional song structures, welcome technicality and endless brutality.

Every song in the album deserves to be listened to at least one thousand times: this is some of the best extreme metal stuff you will ever have the pleasure to listen to, so do yourself a favour and grab a physical copy of this if you can. If you want to make an idea, check "Slit Your Guts", the gloomy "Phobophile", or the frenetic album opener "Crown of Horns".

"None So Vile" can easily be seen as the pinnacle of extreme music, and if you have listened to it, it's easy to see why: it's brutal, technical, well composed, original, memorable. Detractors must have been listening to the wrong album, or maybe they need an ear check. Essential.

Brutal. - 100%

The Clansman 95, September 20th, 2018

An ominous roar. Then the line "I do that rather well, don't you think?". It's the beginning of one of death metal's most brutal and legendary albums, Cryptopsy's "None So Vile". This Canadian brutal death metal quartet released, in 1996, one of the finest and most defining releases of their genre, one that would be hailed and praised for the years to come. Unfortunately, they wouldn't be able match the peaks of quality and inspiration of this masterpiece ever again. One could ask, what's so special about this album? Describing the feels it inspires in the listener by utter words is almost impossible, but I'll try to venture forth and give you a taste of what this 32 minutes of sheer chaotic brutality sound like. Only listening to it will give you a proper idea of its magnitude, although this is certainly not a task suited for the weak of heart.

Cryptopsy can be classified as belonging to the ranks of brutal/technical death metal. Each of the band's members provides a stellar performance, contributing to create a chaotic brutality which sounds at the same time really beautifully composed, as opposed to a lot of other bands trying just to sound heavy and brutal but resulting ultimately lacking in terms of songwriting and variety (90% of modern deathcore, anyone?). The first thing that will blow your mind is Flo Mounier's insane drumming. His constant use of the double bass pedals, the incredibly fast and ferocious blast beats, the lightspeed fast fills he provides for the whole duration of the CD, are more than enough to make him ascend to the Olympus of extreme metal's best drummers of all times. He manages to stay consistent and to provide a varied and entertaining performance, without sounding monotonous or declining into a sheer demonstration of technical prowess. Add the fact that he didn't use triggers during the recording of the songs, and you'll be able to understand the incredible talent of this Canadian drummer.

Let's talk about the vocals. Cryptopsy's historical vocalist, Lord Worm, was without doubt the best they could hope to get their hands on. His low gutturals are absolutely inhuman, to this day I'm still wondering how was he able to reach that lows without coughing blood. His high shrieks are piercing and demonic, and his inhaled growls are nothing short of amazing. He manages to use a wide variety of styles and features, providing a fantastic performance, not sounding annoying like a few other brutal death metal vocalists. The lyrics he wrote are definitely remarkable in terms of the subjects dealt and the studied words used. Unfortunately, there's a price to pay to sound so demonic and almost animalesque, as the lyrics are impossible to understand; but to be honest, that's not really a big deal for this kind of music.

Jon Levasseur's guitar work is nothing short of memorable and inspired: it's technical and absolutely well composed, making each of the eight tracks of "None So Vile" an absolute death metal classic. Both the rhytmic and the lead sessions are rock-hard solid, the first with its lighspeed fast tremolo picked riffs and the slower, insanely heavy "breakdowns" and bridges, and the latter with its technical, often sweep-picked solos.

One of the things extreme metal gets often criticized for is the bass guitar department, as the instrument is often almost impossible to hear and lost in the mix. Well, "None So Vile" is here once again to crush this stereotype, as bassist Eric Langlois' skills have plenty of time to shine. Although the bass follows the guitars for the most part, there are a lot of memorable licks and solos where Eric has the occasion to display his ability, adding a touch of variety to the songs. Think to the bass solo at the beginning of "Slit Your Guts", or the licks in "Phobophile" and "Orgiastic Disembowelment".

Speaking of the songwriting itself, the already above-praised abilities of the musicians are perfectly amalgamated, to craft eight beautifully chaotic and intricated tracks, each rightfully deserving to be praised. The masterful use of dissonances and chromatisms, the alternance between furious tremolo-picked sessions and slower, heavy breakdowns, the syncopated sessions, the frequent speed changes, everything contributes to create a perfect harmony while retaining the brutality and the chaotic nature of the record.

As I have already said, each song would deserve to be mentioned: if I had to choose my favourites, those would be "Crown Of Horns", thanks to its incredible speed and brutality (the songs reaches the incredible peak of 280 bpms), "Slit Your Guts" (thanks to its disturbing and haunting tremolo picked riffing and the complex breakdowns), fan favourite "Phobophile" (whose long piano intro makes the whole composition really haunting and even darker than the rest of the platter), and "Orgiastic Disembowelment" (really memorable thanks to the tasty bass work, including some catchy slaps, to the time changes, and the once again crushing guitar work).

Finally, what about the production? Well, it's really one of the finest I've ever heard in the whole genre, as it gives plenty of space to breathe to all the instruments, without sounding too polished or inanimate. Spot on the guitar tone of the B tuned guitars, which is evil, crunchy and distorted, without being muddy or annoying to the listener.

"None So Vile" is an essential and influential record, a real masterpiece to be praised by any fan of extreme music. If you haven't already listened to it, go and do it as soon as possible: it will make you run home and cry to momma, guaranteed.

A false idol - 65%

Valfars Ghost, January 20th, 2016

Like Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, I want to bust a myth here: namely, the myth that this album is such a landmark in technical death metal. Sure, in a mid '90s world when there wasn't much tech death on the market, this disc must have filled the need for music that was both absurdly brutal and absurdly technical but does None So Vile really offer anything Blasphemy Made Flesh didn't? Or do anything as well as this group's debut? Seemingly unbeknowst to almost everyone in the metal community, the answer is no.

Perhaps the most noticeable thing about this album when it gets past the unnecessary sample at the beginning is that the drums are too loud. On their previous LP, the production, though a little rougher, allowed every instrument, even the bass, to be heard. On None So Vile, the drums are hellbent on bashing their way to the forefront of your attention at the expense of everything else, except occasionally the vocals. The impressive and somewhat funky basswork that had such a strong presence on Blasphemy is here once again but is difficult to make out. The guitars are also a bit too quiet, especially during Jon Levasseur's solos, where the lack of prominence robs them of the power they might otherwise have. Mounier's drumming is incredible but that's no reason to shove it in the listener's face.

Amazing musicianship isn't exclusive to Mounier. The guitar and the bass are played with almost unbelievable skill as well, moving expertly from one passage to another. Not only do they play with amazing precision, but something about this album lends it some actual personality that many of today's sterile tech death albums lack. None So Vile jumps back and forth between all sorts of interesting and sometimes amazing segments, from basic nothing-but-speed assaults to short Atheist-inspired passages loaded with jagged jazzy elements or strange sequences that place emphasis on a deliberately dissonant note, similar to what Gorguts went all out with on Obscura. Unfortunately, the drums render a lot of fretwork muddy and difficult to hear and the album isn't as focused on the inventive interplay between the instrumentalists as its predecessor was. Maybe this stuff is more technical than the songs on Blasphemy if you actually read the sheet music, but the album itself offers a few too many fast-blasting passages and moments that are otherwise musically cluttered for the listener to realize or appreciate the intricacy to the level that one is supposed to.

With the album delivering such stellar instrumental performances, I have to wonder why Lord Worm wasn't held up to the same ridiculously high standards the rest of the band was. His voice isn't so much a vehicle for singing as it is another instrument on this album, which fits perfectly with the rhythm maybe one fourth of the time. For the rest of the album, he sounds like he’s doing his impression of a rabid dog. Frequently he calls to mind that time your sister said, “Why do you listen to death metal? All their singers just go like RrrRrRRRrRrrrRrRrrrRr.” There are actually times where you can tell he’s just garbling random syllables instead of growling actual words. You don't even need to read the lyrics in the booklet to realize this. There’s little consideration for structure or melody in Worm’s performance and the fact that so many people think he’s great is baffling.

Overall, this album is fine and it's definitely something you have to listen to for its historical significance, but people who still think this is one of the most amazing slabs of tech death ever oversell its brilliance. There are some incessant problems here. The only song where everything works perfectly is 'Benedictine Convulsions', where Worm's vocals seem to be at their most focused and the music at its most stimulating. On the other songs, the drums are too loud and the growls too animalistic and sloppy for them to not elicit some degree of annoyance. As viscerally exciting or cerebral as many parts of this album are, the aforementioned problems do a lot of damage, leaving None So Vile as a jumble of parts that range from amazing to infuriating.

Wistfully, I gaze into those empty holes. - 100%

LeMiserable, December 24th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Hammerheart Records (Digipak)

The fact that a band seemingly drunk during the recording created a masterpiece like this makes me want to make it a rule that bands have to be either tripping or intoxicated before even attempting to enter a recording session. I can't imagine how you can make such a precise album while everything you see is either double or spinning. Anyway, regardless of whether the band has any recollection of what happened in 1996, it's a well-known fact that Cryptopsy's sophomore effort None So Vile still stands as one of technical death metal's crowning achievements. Even today, roughly 18 years after this album hit the shelves, there's still nothing that ever came close to matching or even replicating the utterly brilliant slab of music that fills this album. And it's no wonder, this is a one-time thing. The world will never see a masterpiece such as this again. Countless bands nowadays all try to "improve" upon this album's formula, but most fail horribly by imitating this album the way most haters/idiots actually look at it; a wall of noise.

A wall of noise this is not however. It's easy to mistake this album for one on initial spins, but when given further time little drips and drops of brilliance will slowly start to seep through, rendering it virtually impossible to dislike anything about this afterwards. This is inherently excellent and eccentric, but most definitely not for everyone though. None So Vile gave a big middle finger to all the genre's conventions and basically reinvented the wheel. Sure, the riffs on this album aren't exactly original in the sense that they were never heard before at the time, but it's the way this album put it all to practice that sets it apart AND ahead of everything the genre was and is currently made of. While mostly consisting of tempos so fast they're hard to properly headbang to, Cryptopsy have structured the songs in such a way making it seem as if they're mindless creatively misguided wank sessions, but in reality are some of the most brilliant compositions death metal has ever seen. The band perfectly crafted 8 entirely different songs, and they're all brilliant in their own way. The songs shift tempo quite a lot, but it never feels as if they don't know what they're doing, they all climax and don't feel short. Every passage, riff or solo has its contribution to the whole, they're not just 'there' to remind you how technically skilled the band is, they really serve a purpose, even though they do this at basically twice the speed of most of death metal's records at the time.

Frankly, for a technical death metal record, this album generally wasn't very 'traditionally death metal' in the sense most records were at the time. The genre itself hadn't even fully birthed 10 years ago and was still searching for ways to expand its horizons, but I feel None So Vile is THE one record that introduced technical death metal to its utmost extreme very early on. I mean, one will notice that when listening to the bulk of the riffs this record spews forth that they're basically as grindy as death metal riffs are gonna get before it blatantly becomes a deathgrind record. Most of the riffs found here are both tremolo and played fucking fast, setting this apart from most of the albums still stuck at trying to make something out of 'ordinary' death metal riffs at the time. Actually, apart from the fact that Lord Worm is a death metal vocalist and that most of the material is structured in a very death metal-like way, this is basically just a grindcore record dressing itself up as a technical death metal album. This is just far too focused on speed, intensity and chaos compared to most 'usual' death metal records.

Logically, if you wanna have a shot at playing an album with such frantic compositions at this, you need the right people to be able to pull it off properly. Needless to say, the people that embodied Cryptopsy at the time this was recorded were well up for the task. None So Vile has some of the best individual performances you'll ever stumble upon in a lifetime. Whether it's the blasting frenzy brought forth by the drumming God himself, Flo Mounier, the crazy leads by Jon Levasseur, the bouncy bass lines by Éric Langlois or the utterly schizophrenic barks by Lord Worm, every member of the band is performing some of the best stuff the genre will ever amuse us with. What's arguably even more impressive is that, while everyone is playing at what is perhaps the best they can, this album never runs out of steam or things to do. It's literally bursting with ideas and brings each individual idea to the table in such a way it always feels new, fresh or exciting. The instrumental department of this album deserves a medal. None So Vile has about a gazillion riffs on display, but none of them feel even remotely similar to one another, there simply just isn't a note on this album that feels repeated even though it spends roughly 32 minutes smashing 500.000 notes into your eardrums.

Every member of the band is just a complete God at what he's supposed to do. Lord Worm is still one of the most insane vocalists the genre has ever seen. He doesn't even properly growl though, well he does, but he does it in such a way that it discards most of music's borders. In contrary to the band's even more chaotic debut, he actually barks on tempo this time around. He's still completely indecipherable and everyone who thinks they can make something of what he utters will be saluted by me, but at least you can follow his lyrics along this time around. The lyrics themselves are just as brilliant as everything here; I can take legitimate amusement out of reading the lyrics, even when the album isn't on. His brilliantly-written lines with hints towards perversion make for some truly weird lines for you to feast your eyes upon.

Jon Levasseur is just simply one of the best guitarists metal has ever known. Whether it's the crazy leads, the hyperactive tremolo's or the oddly melodic solos that pop up from to time, it's all played on such high levels that I can't help but wonder why people don't mention him as 'one of the best' or 'THE best' more often. The same more or less goes for Éric Langlois, you don't really get to see his name anywhere often, but his performance on this album is one that's of obvious high levels. The bass was arguably something that pulled Blasphemy Made Flesh down, but it's great here. The bass gets to shine from time to time as well, often having the album focus on the bass happily thrumming away. Regardless of these moments, the bass is generally very audible altogether. You can hear the thing popping behind the leads and drums more often than not. I like it when the bass is nice and audible, and None So Vile's production job allows for a lot to shine through.

Together with Levasseur though, Flo Mounier steals the show. I can't even begin to explain how great this man is. Obvious praise of course for the speed and spazz of his playing, but it's the steady array of beats scattered throughout the album that really impressed me the most. He's hitting lightning speeds now and then and his fills are all over the place, but not even once throughout the album do I get the impression he's using a technique or fill he used before, making for an absolutely jaw-dropping drum performance.

Being the massive fanboy I am, I consider None So Vile to be metal's zenith. While there have been albums creeping up to it lately, none have been able to surpass it, and I don't think anything ever will. Records such as Obscura, Iluminations Of Vile Engorgement and Fused Together in Revolving Doors have made me doubt this records' reputation as my all-time favourite, but in the end it crept back upon the throne again. Ladies and gentleman, this is None So Vile, art expressed in the most eccentric way possible.

(I should really stop deleting this)

Inhumanly Vile - 98%

Soul of the Woods, May 23rd, 2014

Cryptopsy's None So Vile is an album that needs no introduction to fans of death metal. It has been heralded by many a metalhead as one of death metal's crowing achievements. The hype is well deserved. The stars must have aligned when None So Vile was recorded because only a miracle could have brought upon us an album of this magnitude. What we have here is a near-perfect blend of brutality, technicality, songwriting, and atmosphere. None So Vile is a masterpiece of sonic depravity that, still to this day, remains one of the most sickening, nefarious, and inhuman albums ever released.

The album's lyrics reek of vehement hatred for Christianity, but never reach the point of cheesiness. They could be best described as demented poetry due to the free-form style in which they are written and their disturbing and violent subject matter. I ignore the majority of death metal lyrics because they normally are straightforward and poorly-written; however, disregarding these lyrics would count as a crime in my book. Reading the lyrics along with the music is a different story though. I remember hearing a rumor that Lord Worm was drunk when they recorded the vocals and he growled and screamed along with the music, completely forgetting the lyrics. Personally, I believe this rumor is truth. I have attempted to read the lyrics along with the music and the syllables do not match up. Either way they still provide for a good read. The vocal performance on None So Vile is perhaps one of the most superb in death metal. I remember someone comparing Lord Worm's growls and snarls to that of a dying old man being eating by a dog. Honestly, I could not possibly find a more accurate description that suits his inhuman bellowing. His screams, which are used sparingly, sound as if he is being butchered alive. They fit extremely well with the hateful atmosphere of the music.

Speaking of the music, the musicianship is nothing short of stellar. John Levasseur often alternates between pummeling grooves and frantic technical riffs, all of which are surprisingly memorable. The solos are quite melodic, somewhat contrasting with the intensity of the riffs, and well-constructed. Moreover, practically every riff and solo on this album sounds original. The technicality of the bass often matches the guitars, Éric Langlois constantly plucking away in the background. Thankfully, the bass is actually quite audible (unlike many other death metal bands). In addition, bass slaps (more commonplace in funk music) are also used sometimes, adding to the originality (for the time, before other bands started emulating Langlois' style of approaching the bass). Running out of positive words, I'll just describe the drum work as awesome. Flo Mounier delivers a crushing performance on None So Vile, ridiculously fast yet meticulously precise and technical. The blast beats are surprisingly kept to a minimum, creative beats and fills being used instead. In addition, Flo also throws in some short rests in his drumming before going all out again, adding to the sporadic nature of the album.

The musicianship and the vocals ultimately all come together to produce on of the most demented-sounding, nefarious, sinister death metal albums ever. Technical death metal is usually criticized for lacking "soul" or atmosphere, but this is not the case for None So Vile. The album radiates its intense hatred and malice outward towards the listener, brutally pounding their ears into submission without mercy. The originality of the guitar, bass, and drum work proves to augment the albums status from great to masterpiece. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest albums in the technical death metal genre and anyone who considers themselves a fan of extreme music should buy this as soon as humanly possible.

Well that was a load of shit - 5%

EschatonOmega, March 23rd, 2014

It's hard for me "hate" an album. I can dislike a band, but hate is too strong of an emotion to be wasted on something as subjective as music. Yet with that being the case, Cryptopsy's "None So Vile" still managed to cross that barrier and become an album that I cannot stand for anything.

For those who don't know, Cryptopsy is a technical death metal outfit who has been around for over twenty years and it was their second effort "None So Vile" that put them on the map and is still today considered this golden cow of tech. death metal.

I have two main reasons why I hate this album so much; one, it's overrated to hell. Now that's not an inherent reason to hate an album, unless the album's actual quality doesn't measure up to the hype, and that brings me to reason number two; it's noise. Complete noise. There is no song structure, no progression, nothing of anything close to that whatsoever. Instead it’s just thirty two minutes of the band members jerking themselves off to their own musical talent, without creating any real substance and the result is a very forgettable and boring release.

The riffs do not go anywhere. Completely without sense or structure and they just play one directionless riff after another, the next one having little to nothing to do with the last one. What's more, they have no emotion or reason to give a shit, with very bored sounding guitar solos and riffs that have no structure, and as a result, every song sounds the same. And as a result of the band sounding like they don't give a shit, I don't give a shit.

This is made even worse by the drumming, which also has no structure and instead just sounds like Flo Mounier is just banging away at his kit. They often don't match up with the riffs and just sound like they're doing their own thing. Both the senseless drumming and the just as meaningless riffs are what drives this complete wall of noise that is repetitive and just plain annoying to listen to.

The only saving grace of the instrumental work is that, while the structure is completely out of the mix, you can still hear the individual talent of the musicians. I can tell that they can play their instruments, but it’s wasted on the fact that they didn't write their songs very well.

But the main reason why I hate this album is the vocals. And they are absolutely excruciating to listen to. Lord Worm abandons melody and structure in total and instead goes for this guttural series of grunts, growls and shrieks that don't match up to the rest of the music at all, so much so that it sounds like he was singing in a completely different series of songs on a completely different album. Now while the instrumental work shows promise in terms of playing ability, the vocals have nothing redeeming about them. They just suck, and they act as the main driving force behind why the album has been just so unbearable to listen to.

It took me three times to listen to this album. The first two I just couldn't take it and quit half way through, and the third time I just forced myself through the mess and listened to the whole thing. A lot of people love it, but to me, it was a chore to listen to, I think it's horribly overrated and not worth anyone's time.

What is your pleasure? This is mine - 90%

autothrall, February 20th, 2013

None So Vile takes approximately two minutes of playtime to entirely and embarrassingly eradicate its predecessor. The album doesn't just surpass Blasphemy Made Flesh; no, it mugs the poor debut, blows through its major credit cards before the theft can be reported, stalks and seduces its wife, calls social services and has its children placed into foster care, then falsifies documents and has Blasphemy Made Flesh deported to a lesser stratum of its genre. This is not only one of the first cases I can recall of an excellent 'brutal death album', assuming of course we are discount the albums that we once dubbed 'brutal death metal' in real time during the earlier 90s that turn out now NOT to be 'Brutal Death Metal' after all (do try to keep up!). It's also quite likely the best album of its class from the Canadian scene...I can think of more technical, progressive, experimental death metal discs I've enjoyed from that scene since '96, but this sophomore really helped put the place on the map in terms of the underground's expectations for talent, extremity and sickness.

What's more: None So Vile accomplishes all of these goals without aesthetically altering itself from the first album, a miracle in of itself. This is more or less what I expected after reading the buzz over Cryptopsy in the mid 90s, but it's not a whole lot different in terms of method. There were some shifts in the band's lineup, with Éric Langlois joining on bass, and dropping down to just one guitarist (Jon Levasseur), but in truth the band recycled a lot of its signature traits off the debut. Squamous and voluminous bass-lines constantly giving the rhythm guitars a run for their money (to an extent I really hadn't experienced since a band like Sadus induced the rebellion into thrash metal), but simultaneously adding a substrate of marginal jazz and funk that kept the writing fresh. Multidimensional. A killer, up front drum mix which sounds to this day incredibly authentic in a field where brickwalled production, triggers and detrimental levels of tidiness often create more sterility than a band set out to; in listening through Mounier's performance on the sophomore, I feel as if I'm sitting in some studio space right at the level of his kicks and experience a set of amazingly energetic takes which never fall off tempo. What a spazz! Lord Worm also started to distinguish himself better here, with a hoarser, impenetrable guttural inflection redolent of a sepulcher wall, creating an amusing contrast against the frivolous insanity of the bass and rhythm guitar.

But all of these elements might have easily been projected from the first album. The foremost reasons for this record's success over its predecessor are the dramatic improvement in guitar tone and note progressions. I still feel as if the rhythm tracks often struggle a fraction to keep up with the drums and bass, but they've got a more punchy sense of pacing and clarity that helps them pummel through the mix, especially in the razor-like tremolo sequences which solidify Cryptopsy's lineage to the old school ancestry. Death metal was already about a decade into its existence by 1996, but one had the sense that the Canadians were not entirely ready to abandon the roots to all of the four on the floor, chug-chug-blast-blast alternation that was all the rage as the margins of the genre pushed further into unmatched excess. And that's a huge difference between this and the first album: here, those vitriolic tremolo picking patterns in tunes like "Dead and Dripping" or "Slit Your Guts" are instantly memorable, with an appropriate surgical feel to them that helps aggregate the sporadic blasting passages and churning, gut-fed grooves that place None So Vile into its then-modern context. The leads, too, are wilder and more spontaneous, Levasseur just whipping his dick out to the wind, taking a piss, and having it land on the listener rather than splash back upon himself.

Most people will always evoke the names of Lord Worm or Flo Mounier when waxing nostalgic about this band, but for my money, Jon was the MVP this time out. His playing was frenzied, frenetic, pretty much the perfect pit stop between where death metal had been, and where it was going. That doesn't always manifest into the most striking or infinite re-listenable rhythmic fixtures, and you get a handful of pretty dull grooves wound through the more explosive, interesting composition, but thanks to the overall compactness of None So Vile at 32 minutes, instances of not being entertained are pitifully few. I might not define the album as necessarily 'original', but there were certainly a number of strange bridges with dumpy bass grooves and cleaner, weird guitars that it almost seemed to offer brief premonitions for Gorguts' Obscura, another of my favorites from this scene. Interestingly enough, despite the rabidness of the farting, squelching and burping bass lines, the pure moshing zones, the pinched squeals and other techniques, None So Vile is not an expressly dissonant or inaccessible album. It rips past faster than a pair of collegiate panties at the sound of a Eurotrash accent, and it's bludgeoning nature isn't exactly safe for church, but the clinical melodies infused into the tremolo picking are actually quite easy to follow unto the inevitable, spleen rupturing grooves.

Gotta love the nuances here, like the piano playing that heralds "Phobophile", or the subtle overtures you'll heard in the riffing that tie the band back to its influences. In particular, I heard some Carcass-like chord fixtures, even hints of other British brutes like Napalm Death or Bolt Thrower. Again, the Canadians were not above the inspirations that birthed them; they were building a bridge between these two extremes of expression: the later 80s/early 90s morbidity and the sporty performance and proficiency which had later supplanted it. You can even see that in the wonderful 17th century, Elisabetta Sirani cover image, a clash of the archaic with the band's sick and unforgettable logo. The lyrics were just as demented and interesting as the debut, with Lord Worm assuming a number of 'voices' or characters to create this sense of psychosis that just won't quit. Fuck, "Slit Your Guts" and "Dead and Dripping" have some of the best lyrics in the entire genre...not just silly misogynistic gore, and I'll take these any day over a Cannibal Corpse or Mortician. This sense of ambition permeates the entire album, and even at its most derivative it seems to at least be aimed in the right direction.

Smashing. Fucking. Record. I mean, it's not perfect, and I probably wouldn't take it to my desert island over Consuming Impulse, Altars of Madness, Nespithe, or Left Hand Path, but certainly for the mid to late 90s this belonged in the outstanding company of Morbid Angel's underrated Domination, Cannibal Corpse's magnum-mutilation Bloodthirst, the aforementioned Obscura, or Vader's consistently strong showings. Hands down the best record of its type for '96, and to this day Cryptopsy have not surpassed it. In fact, they've not even produced anything in the same ballpark. Whisper Supremacy, while a slightly more inventive album in terms of riffing structure, could not come close. It at any point the Canadians were well deserving of the hype they've never shaken in nearly two decades, it was this album, and its jubilant wretchedness holds true even to modern times, where a couple thousand creative spinoffs constantly unravel its blueprint on the draft table and scrawl out visceral Cliff's notes in their own blood.


Cryptopsy - none so vile - 98%

cryptopsyftw, April 2nd, 2010

Cryptopsy have a lot to answer for. Thanks to this album, I haven't seen friends nor family in years. My father died, my mother remarried, and my brother gained a degree in philosophy and is currently the leader of a cult dedicated to the health benefits of battery acid somewhere in Wales, and I never knew. This album, "None So Vile", is in my opinion the best thing the 90s ever gave music. It snares your attention within seconds, and from then on, it spears you with skin-peelingly intense riffs, ungodly vocals (Jesus, Lord Worm should be knighted), and drumming that constantly makes you wonder how many arms Flo Mounier has got...seriously, the drumming on "Phobophile" convinced me that Cryptopsy have Vishnu behind the kit.

The key thing about Cryptopsy is that they have their own sound. I've never heard anything like this band before or since. Sure, Morbid Angel have some twisted riffs, but the stuff on display here is phenomenal - check out "Benedictine Convulsions". The riff right after the solo is so heavy that you could batter Cthulu to death with it and is catchier than Lady GaGa sprinkled with the T-virus from Resident Evil (seriously though, I hate Lady GaGa). The Musicianship is second to none throughout the album as well, ensuring that those sick, sick riffs are always backed up by a rhythm section that defies belief. Tech death always requires that a band has their shit completely nailed, but Cryptopsy are tighter than Maddie Mcann's vagina used to be.

Production wise, this band have what I would call perfection. Everything is clear and audible in the mix, and it all meshes together perfectly. This is an incredibly heavy album at points, but the guitars never overwhelm the bass, and the drums (even when they’re blasting at speeds incomprehensible to the civilised mind) don’t fuck everything else over, but just give everything unheard-of velocity and animosity.

Cryptopsy are a ferociously technical act at times, but that’s not to say that the album is just endless fret masturbation, no, the riffs are memorable and chunky, you can practically feel them launching offal into your face. Also, the riffs are above all original. No one sounds like Cryptopsy do here, and that’s vital. I mean the greatest respect to slayer, but being as virtually every metal band under the sun rips them off, how many times can you heard the same recycled riffs before you get bored? The technicality isn’t relegated to just the guitars either, the bass here is a vital component to the music. Listen to “orgiastic disembowelment”, and weep when it kicks your ass. And anyone who says the drumming isn’t technical as hell should be euthanised. No words, no hesitation, just dragged outside and shot.

If this album has a flaw, it's simply that it requires time to fully click with you. The sheer amount this band shift time signatures and tempos can be slightly disorientating. There is definitely enough to hold your attention and blow your mind first time round, but it really needs subsequent listens to really prove itself to be the classic that it honestly is. If you're the kind of metalhead that likes stuff to be instantly accessible, then None So Vile probably won't be your sort of thing, though far be it from me to tell you what you will or won't like.

In conclusion, I recognise that this little torrent of rabid fanboyism probably isn’t as helpful as it could have been, because I am hideously biased towards this band. I really can't do anything more than just urge you to check it out as soon as you can, because it really is worth that 98/100.

Death metal - 100%

Muloc7253, January 17th, 2010

The best death metal album ever recorded? I'd say so.

Sure, Istinto Omicida (by Carnivorous Vagina) is a damn good album and sure does give it a run for it's money, but that album was fantastic due to the overall sound and production and the way it conveyed it's brutality, whereas None So Vile is memorable and dare I say catchy every step of the way. It's strengths come from the impeccable songwriting and mindblowing musicianship that have yet to be matched anywhere in the death metal scene.

It's quite disturbing to hear a band of such great musicians that really know their way around their fretboard (or kit) and have an acute knowledge of how to write fantastic, flowing compositions can make such twisted, deranged and downright disturbing music. The lyrics and vocals say it best - the former being poetic odes of all that is vile and the latter being an inhuman and uniquely grotesque sounding bark with a bizarre pace and range that don't really sound like anything else in death metal. Lord Worm really does but the rest of the scene to shame on this album.

But the other musicians are just as important, if not moreso. The riffset here is incredible, and it's impossible to pick a highlight (okay, Phobophile is sort of like Cryptopsy' Hammer Smashed Face but that's song's simply exceptionally good) as the album is so thoroughly consistant and never drops below high quality for a second. The shredding solos - normally only included as a release of tension, or occasionally to create atmosphere, are actually extremely memorable, on-point and important here, despite still sounding spastic and Kerry King-derived you can tell that every individual note was placed intentionally and the slightest change would change the whole vibe. And the drumming, as anyone who's heard the name Flo Mournier knows, is awe-inspiring. It really does feel like he's racing against the band half the time, and you'd expect him to fall out of time at any moment, but he never does. He really makes the kit come to life - I normally give drum machines a thumbs up as they can sometimes give a good, cold, cruel atmosphere to the dirtiest of dirty, grimey underground death metal demos, but I have to admit there's no way a machine could ever match the aural assault on this album.

And there you have it. Of course, if you're already a death metal fan you no doubt have this album already, but if you're just getting interested in death metal be sure to buy this immediately. If you have to own just one death metal album, make it None So Vile.

Overrated? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? - 100%

TheSunOfNothing, November 26th, 2009

In all of death metal, there are only two albums that, in my opinion, perfectly define the genre. These albums are Suffocation's "Pierced From Within", and this. Now, some people claim this to be an overrated album. I have a quick little message for these people. The term "overrated" means (obviously) that something fails to reach any of the expectaions one had for the album. Now, let's look at what one might expect from this album:

BRUTALITY. No one can deny this record is brutal. In fact, other than numerous melodic solos and the piano at the beginning of "Phobophile", this record is basically straight brutality for the 30 minutes it runs. Now, while this is a bad thing when done improperly, due to the (usual) lack of intelligence put into the music (it is common knowledge that brutality and stupidity come hand in hand), such is not the case here. Take one look at those lyrics, and you'll see that Lord Worm isn't trying to appear to be insane (like Chris Barnes or Corpsegrinder), he IS insane. As for the riffs, they vary greatly, from extremly technical ("Crown of Horns") to tremelo picked, more grindcore oreiented ("Dead and Dripping") to more standard brutal death ("Graves of the Fathers") to melodic and actually somewhat beautiful in my opinion ("Phobophile").

TECHNICALITY. Once again, no one can deny this record is technical. In fact, this is one of the most technical albums I have ever heard that continues to stay consistant rather than sounding like a huge mess of notes (see Brain Drill or Psyopus). While the guitars don't focus much on this outside of the solos, the drums and bass are where this is best displayed. Flo's drums here are utterly phenominal. And unlike John Longstreth (who I personally prefer), Flo doesn't blast his whole way through the album and rather keeps us awake with constant yet still somehow unpredictable fills and constant tempo changes. However, don't accuse him of being too inconsistant, as I assure you his constant changes do not effect the album's consistancy in any way, and won't have you praying for a Metallica cover later on the album. Then there's the classic Eric Langolis, who is actually put up front in most of the songs on this disc. There is the slap-bass section in "Orgiastric Disembowelment", the sweep picked bass/slap bass solo in "Slit Your Guts", the intro to "Graves of the Fathers", the intro to "Phobophile", and so on. Then there are the parts where he stands out even when the guitars and drums are shredding at full volume, likely most noticable in "Slit Your Guts", which is filled with some remarkable bass work, not just in the solo, but in the brutal death metal section after it where his bass techniques lead the way for the other band members. Eric basically leads all the brutal death metal inspired sections on this album by making them stand out ridiculously, whether it be with a bass solo or a slap bass fill. Then we have Jon, who's melodic solos were at this time something unheard of in tech/brutal death. Some of his most remarkable solos include the classic one in "Slit Your Guts", the epic one in "Phobophile", with my all time favourite being the one in "Dead and Dripping" (which leaves a truly lasting impression on the listener in a way I cannot describe). In other words, Jon has some of the most beautiful solos in death metal, which is ironic as these beautiful solos combined with the next factor would in most cases appear to be a recipe for disaster.

CREEPINESS. It takes a bit of examination to notice this factor of the album, displayed mostly by vocalist Lord Worm. While many vocalists simply grunt and growl lyrics without really adding anything to the music overral, Lord Worm is different. His indecipherable zombie growls, high pitched shrieks, and virtually unexplainable gurgle-squeals (such as the infamous closing scream of "Benedictine Convulsations") will have you wondering how the fuck he did this, and most of all, if he is in fact human. Lord Worm is one of the few vocalists that embodies the growl so well that it doesn't even sound like a human is making these sounds, and one of an even more select group of vocalists who actually send chills down my fucking spine! Examples of these vocals are scattered around randomly throughout the album, such as the opening to "Graves of the Fathers", or the last growl of "Phobophile" (likely the most chilling of all), and the opening growl of "Lichmistress". Even more chilling is the lyrics of the album which are, if I do say so myself, the best lyrics in any death metal, BY FUCKING FAR. I have never read lyrics this creepy in death metal. Here is a small section of the lyrics of "Crown of Horns", the opening track.

"Sire of sin,
You embody me
To you we congregate;
None so vile,
Your magnificent
Crown of horns
Inspires deeds maleficent.

Destroy the parasite [x3],
Destroy Jesus Christ.

They'll crawl in their perdition,
The righteous will be lost
Where gutted angels lie fucked...
Beneath the funeral cross;
We'll dig them a mass grave soon,
And bring to their knees
Those who would have rescinded
The laws of disease."

It's obvious Lord Worm knows his words. The lyrical topics here vary from gore, mutilation, satan, disease, sex, and so on, in a way that would send a slight shiver down even HP Lovecraft's spine.

PRODUCTION. The production of this album is phenominal. Every instrument (including the bass guitar) is equally loud, and the guitar tone, snare tone, bass tone, and bass drum tone are awesome. One cool feature is that when Jon is shredding it doesn't totally drown out all the other instruments, not even the bass, which is very rare in music these days.

Now, there is only one flaw I can point out about this album, and it doesn't appear to be a very noticeable one (and it's not big enough to take any points away from the album's whole score). You see, Lord Worm, in all his glory, only sings about half of each song. Now, while this is exceptible in most music, here he tends to cram all his lyrics into one spot which leaves most of the song devoid of vocals at all, leaving most of the riffs, designed for vocal accompaniment, slightly forgettable. However, with the combined effort of Eric, Jon, and Flo, these holes are stitched back together in a way unmatched by any band before or after.

All in all, no album has, or likely will, be recorded with such a perfect lineup, in a way that every member contributes an equal amount to the album's sound and results in a masterpiece. While this is not the best album in death metal, it's really really really fucking close, and it's definatly on the top 3. While I can understand that this album isn't exactly for everyone, as it is unorthodox even by death metal standards, it is an essential album in the collection of anyone who claims to like death metal, and judging by the 4 main reasons people cite it as so amazing, it is obvious it delivers in all 4 areas. I'm not saying anyone who dislikes this album is an idiot (although I do certainly think that), I am merely saying that this album is one of the most underrated albums in all of metal, due to the fact that closed minded metalheads refuse to accept anything different.

All hail Cryptopsy!

Cryptopsy will leave you dead and dripping - 100%

COBHC_Oranos, July 9th, 2009

In 1994, Cryptopsy released "Blasphemy Made Flesh," a fabulous death metal release. On that album, terrified listeners got their first taste of the greatness of Cryptopsy: the heavy, heavy riffage, the absolutely demonic vocals of Lord Worm, and the legendary drumming of Flo Mounier, and, last but not least, some innovative bass-work not yet heard in death metal. As good as a CD it was, the production was flawed, and Cryptopsy hadn't reached their peak yet.

It was in the beginning of July in 1996 that Cryptopsy upped the ante in the whole of death metal, and inspired legions of followers with the release of "None So Vile," which, in some metal circles, is considered the greatest death metal album of all time. The frightening tunes on "None So Vile" have sonically pummeled many an ear since its release. The sheer speed of the music is nigh unsurpassed, even today. The brutality of it all ican sometimes be too much for any given person to take in at one time. "None So Vile" embodies that which is death metal: speed, brutality and technicality.

Lord Worm's style had changed from "Blasphemy Made Flesh" to this album. His vocals became even more unintelligible, if that's even possible. He shreds his vocal cords with his low, low growls and his tortured screaming. Many people in the metal community think he's the best vocalist there ever was, some sort of innovator, one to revere, and, while he is good at what he does, he isn't the best. Gurgly noises and shrill screams sound cool, but they more so fit the music than anything else. What I'm getting at is that they're not the great vocals you've heard so much about, but they're as evil as you'll ever hear, and they're perfect for this album.

Jon Levasseur was an awesome guitarist. You really don't hear his name too much, even when talking about Cryptopsy, because most are babbling about Lord Worm and Flo. But Jon should get WAY more credit. His riffs on this album are absolutely devastating. I'd suggest particular songs to listen to for examples, but there are riffs in every song that are superb. They're mostly tremolo picked monsters which are simultaneously technical and brutal. that, and his solos are are just plain fun to listen to.

Flo. Mounier. Is. Amazing. Almost every Cryptopsy fan will tell you that. And they're all right. He is possibly the greatest death metal drummer ever. He's lightning quick. He more extensively used gravity blasts on this album as compared to "Blasphemy Made Flesh." He's often credited as the innovator of gravity blasting. Even his regular blasts are fast in comparison to other death metal drummers. His fills are all over the place, and he loves his cymbals; lots of technical cymbal work. Flo is the ultimate death metal drummer. Period.

Eric Langlois plays slap bass. In a death metal band. Yet somehow, it works. Creative stuff, really. Check out "Benedictine Convulsions" and "Slit Your Guts for some examples. And, unlike a plethora of other death metal bands, his bass can be heard. Go Eric Langlois.

The production is SO much better than what is heard on "Blasphemy Made Flesh." Every instrument is heard with ease, and, unlike future Cryptopsy albums, the drums are not overpowering. Cryptopsy delivered the ultimate death metal performance on this album, hands down. There's no album highlights in this review: every song is great, and the album must be listened to start to finish to experience the full effect of the sonic onslaught that is Cryptopsy.

Your magnificent Crown of Horns inspire! - 99%

Wra1th1s, November 12th, 2008

What an apt album title, for there is indeed none so vile as Cryptopsy. What they accomplished with this album would change the way people play death metal. While copycats and shameless imitators like Brain Drill abound, few could even tap the balance between atonality and brutality as masterfully as Cryptopsy had done. And what is it that makes this album so godly?

1. First and foremost Daniel Greening a.k.a. Lord FUCKIN' Worm! While some people have likened his masterful gurgles to a frat boy after a binge I for one love them. In fact it's so godly the number of syllables aren't even the same. Listen to the first verse of "Crown of Horns," yeah I'm not even sure if he's still sane. He alternates between extraordinarily guttural gurgles with tortured screams and high-pitched ear-raping shrieks (like the one that kicks off "Crown of Horns.") I've yet to find another vocalist as versatile as Lord Worm. The lyrics deserve a special mention as well, the only serious contender for best lyricist in metal is Lord Byron. Lord Worm's insane, macabre, and blasphemous lyrics are easily the most disturbing I've read. The amount of depth he puts into the lyrics is equivalent to the amount of depth Alan Moore puts in a single panel.

2. Jon Levasseur and Steve Thibault, both are songwriters par excellence and Levasseur is one heck of a soloist. Sure it may seem wanky and atonal at first but deep down they are the most beautiful solos in death metal. Even Chuck is given a run for his money in certain spots ("Phobophile" + "Slit Your Guts" = orgasm.) The riffs are insanely fast and devilishly intricate, I've been trying to learn "Phobophile" and "Slit Your Guts" which is nigh impossible given the fretboard wizardry Messrs. Levasseur and Thibault use. I got as far as the pre-verse riff of each song before I gave up.

3. Eric Langlois is one of my favorite bassists and with good reason. His oddly jazz-influenced slaps and pops are jarring but they add a distinct flavor to the songs, not unlike Atheist. He continues pretty much where Fergusson left off though slightly more inventive, like that weird bit (the second bass solo) during "Slit Your Guts" breakdown (no not the homo-erotic -core variety as per Unspoken King, the good one a la Suffocation and the likes,) that part is one of the most awesome bass solos I've ever heard.

4. Last but most certainly not least, Flo Mounier. While the man can't write a song worth shit his drumming is impeccable, the blastbeats in the first 40 seconds of "Crown of Horns" is well worth the $22 I paid for it. His drumming is consistent throughout the entire album and he does not over-wank. I also want to commend his stamina for being able to play effin' fast and effin' complex fills and beats.

5. Oops forgot about the production. Yes, this album is clean borderline sterile even but this doesn't kill the album. In fact, being able to hear every instrument is the main reason why this album is so godly. The tone is absolutely superb and a clear improvement over BMF and the snare sounds heaps better as well. The bass is slightly buried but that's a given because everything is turned up to 11.

Let's not forget the actual songs. Every single one of them is death metal at its best, not a single stinker from "Crown of Horns" to "Orgiastic Disembowelment." Not a single bum note from the opening RAAAAAAWWR to the closing "Go Home and run to MAMA!!!" Personal favorites are the opener "Crown of Horns," "Slit Your Guts" which contains the absolute best breakdown in the history of true metal, "Benedictine Convulsions," "Phobophile," and the closer "Orgiastic Disembowelment." Even the not-so-fast "Lichmistress" kicks ass.

The only reason this doesn't get 100% is because I made a promise that I would only give it to Outworld's Outworld. At any rate this is one album that should not be missed, an absolutely monumental piece of disgusting, morbid, and dark art.

Buy this at any cost!

Rapid Fire Psychosis Syndrome. - 70%

hells_unicorn, July 7th, 2008

During the evolution of the more extreme sub-genres under the metal umbrella, it is likely that some sort of unofficial line was drawn that established the buffer between what was brutal metal and what was just plain noise. But much like George Carlin’s famous quote from his things you’ll never see, stating that “you’ll never see someone taking a shit while running at full speed”, someone will take it as a dare and you will inevitably end up with some subversive “Camp Kill Yourself” type that will down 14 laxative pills and put on his running shoes just to make some sort of a point. Cryptopsy hasn’t quite done that with this album as there is definitely a level of purpose to the madness on here, but this was definitely bending some of the rules of extreme metal, and would undoubtedly pave the way to someone just deciding to go for a full out grindcore sound with random riff fragments, stylistic interludes and drum fills guising as beats, as this band did themselves very recently.

Although it can be plainly observed that Jon Levasseur is about as technically brilliant of a soloist as you’ll see in this end of the death metal spectrum, his riff creation process on here is tantamount to both Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman getting together and re-recording Reign in Blood while sharing a crack pipe loaded with stew of methamphetamines and designer stimulants. Some times what occurs is a set of tremolo picked lines that are executed at the speed of light but mostly dwell on one note long enough that everything seems to slow down, like “Slit your guts”, which goes between 3 and 4 note drones to wild lead breaks that sound heavily neo-classical, not to mention the occasional off-the-cuff slap bass breaks. Other times the drums and riffs go through these sudden time changeups that go by so damned fast that they would sound like mistakes if they weren’t repeated exactly the same several times in a row, as typified in the almost random stop and go hyper grooves on “Benedictine Convulsions”.

Ultimately the primary issue with the riffs on here is that they are often just too damned technical and fast for their own good and sacrifice the necessary punch needed to keep the arrangement centered. The bass does a little to mediate this issue, but a lot of the time the slap bass work adds an additional layer of chaos rather than reunifying the arrangement. The solos basically sound slow behind the drums and the rhythm guitar tracks, despite being extremely fast and technical. But every single time they pop up, the entire song is the better for it as a moment of pristine light contrasts an incredibly dark atmosphere. They don’t quite reach that amazing level of melodic and showy brilliance that Chuck Schuldiner and Andy LaRocque exhibited on “Individual Thought Patterns”, but it’s about as close as this band has ever gotten to a true emulation of that epic progressive character that dominated Death’s 90s material.

While the drums have not really gone too much further into the realm of chaotic insanity, Lord Worm’s vocal delivery has all but completely left the traditional death metal approach and morphed into something akin to a proto-deathcore sound. The shrieks and barks trade blows at seemingly random intervals, and don’t showcase much aside from Worm’s abilities as the vocal answer to a contortionist. All you have to do is listen to the first minute and a half of “Crown of Horns” and you’ll be treated to a slew of babbled mutterings superimposed on the guttural bark side of the death metal voice, followed later by what sounds like a breakdown section with something closer to the consistency of the last two releases. Although the frequency of changes in the various harsh voices available is extremely high, there is generally some level of limitation to how many are used in each section, giving a semblance of spacing between the parts of this growingly contorted sum.

I’m hesitant to label this as a death metal album because it is pretty far removed from anything that I associate with the style, though a few songs such as “Slit your guts”, “Dead and Dripping” and “Orgiastic Disembowelment” manage to stay within the confines of the Cannibal Corpse mold of brutal death. If you took out the solos, slap bass passages and made these vocal passages even more random, you’d have a better version of Job for a Cowboy’s “Doom” EP. Perhaps it is the fate of every innovator to have their original ideas, be they good or bad, be dumbed down and repackaged into something fit for moron consumption by lesser musicians. I can’t fully hold it against Cryptopsy for being different despite what it helped pave the way for, but I can say that this is not something that I can call either classic or even above average, despite it’s flat out denial of the rules of listener accessibility.

"Run home and cry to mama." - 95%

Empyreal, April 18th, 2008

This album's title is about right; there are none so vile as Cryptopsy on this album. This was the sophomore effort for the Death Metal maestros from Montreal, and it's also their most well known and lauded/loathed. You can say it's overly technical noise, and you can say Lord Worm's vocals sound like shapeless, formless barking, but in all of those cases, you'd be wrong to assume that those are reasons why this album sucks, so there's no point in even trying. The truth is, None So Vile is one of the finest technical Death Metal albums ever created.

First off, the songwriting. These guys took a standard Death Metal formula and completely mutilated it, tearing into the fabric with innovative tendencies that were sharp enough to be a serrated scalpel, ripe with the blood of the recently deceased. It's easy to complain about lame Tech Deth Lite crap these days, but this was 1996, and this sort of sound wasn't near as common as it would be in the future. No band ever quite replicated the sound here, either - a twisted, pulsating mess of dirty, jagged riffs piled on top of one another, alongside a razor-sharp, barbed wire bass guitar, and drums so flexible and nimble that they might as well have been played by Shiva himself. Being a Death Metal album, you won't find a whole lot of variety here, and the whole album lurches along in a maniacal, crazed stomp, pummeling your face into a bloody, shapeless pulp with each note, riff and drum beat played. Every musician here plays to 110% of his ability, no exceptions.

The vocals will undoubtedly be a sticking point for some people, as the infamous Lord Worm utilized an inhuman guttural roar and a maddening shriek, trading off masterfully between the two styles and fitting nicely with the music; evil and demented as it is. He catches a lot of shit for being unintelligible and "annoying," whatever that may mean to his detractors, but don't buy into that, he is very good. Let me just tell you, this is Death Metal, a genre that (in the 90s) constantly pushed its own boundaries, challenging itself like a disciplined martial artist to become even more extreme and twisted and bizarre, and Lord Worm is an excellent example of this sort of mantra, with the music following suit. Any complaints about the man's style and delivery are, quite simply, more bizarre than the music they are directed towards. Fuck your brutal breakdowns and chugging riffs, this is what it means to be "brutal."

There are tons of standout moments here, from the bass licks on "Slit Your Guts," the frantic, melodic head-bashing in the opening "Crown of Horns," the slower grind of "Graves of the Fathers," the chilling, dark romantic piano intro to fan-favorite "Phobophile" - leading into more unholy, blasting chaos when the guitars kick in - and much, much more. There are enough standout moments here to last five Necrophagist albums, though, rest assured. In every song, no less. Cryptopsy are technical as Hell without sacrificing a bit of brutality, and they are melodic without sacrificing any of their malicious intent, and while it is not the best Death Metal album I've ever heard, None So Vile is an almost perfect overview of the genre, the very essence of why I love it. Go get this one if you haven't already.

Originally written for

Bahahahahahaha… No. - 15%

Bezerko, April 18th, 2008

It’s Friday, April 18th (Australian time). Yesterday Cryptopsy’s latest album “The Unspoken King” leaked onto the internet, which was promptly objurgated left, right and centre. Now, this is not a review of that album, and you can very well see that it sucks from the reviews of the album already available. No, this is a review of what is often regarded as Cryptopy’s peak, “None So Vile”, an album that has been used as a basis to criticise “The Unspoken King” due to it’s “brilliance”. But is the praise justified…?

No. No it’s not. This has to be the most boring album I’ve ever heard; in fact I’d rather sit through an hour long drone doom album than listen to this technical death metal abomination. Now, it is often argued that Cryptopsy were innovators in the tech death genre, and that may well be true; but the genre has so much more to offer. “None So Vile” offers a horrible mish-mash of boring (!) riffs, over-the-top drumming and monotonous vocals. The guitar solos are almost indistinguishable from the main “rhythm” of the album due to the disjointed nature of the core guitar riffs, that’s how messed up this is. I could listen to an album from any genre of metal and hear wonderful riffs segue into a solo which would display itself as a triumphant pillar of technicality and sheer awesomeness in the composition; Cryptopsy’s solos make me shit myself with boredom.

Actually, the album does that as a whole really. Flo Mounier’s drumming, while highly technical and certainly very difficult to pull off, suffers from an atrocious sound featuring a weak and obnoxious snare plus a bass drum sounding like someone defecating on a trampoline. What should be an outstanding drumming performance of crushing brutality ends up as the percussion of a children’s show. Lord Worm’s vocals, which I admit are quite cool, do not fit the album. In an endless maze of shitty riffs that stop before the pull a groove, Lord Worm’s constant stream of “HUR” and “ARGH” seem out of place. They’re really the only part of the band’s repertoire that is consistent all throughout. A commendable effort Wormy, but it just didn’t work.

Okay, so I’ve been bashing this album constantly, are there any redeeming features? Yes, there is! Gasp, Eric Langlois’ bass work on this album is outstanding, appearing just when it needs to so as to inject some life into an otherwise dull pool of miasma. The bass is technical, yet not so technical as to be annoying and disruptive (*cough* Jon Levasseur on guitars… *cough*). It really is a cracker effort and easily worth 10%. Occasionally the band slows down a bit and produces a riff actually worth something, so I’ll slap on an extra 5% for that as well. These parts could be great rather than the “good” that they are, but Mr. Mounier seems content to hit his bass and snare drums during these moments, ruining any headbangability in the album.

Technical death metal can be done right, just listen to Psycroptic’s first two albums; this however is not done correctly at all. It’s an overlong album which more than outstays its welcome. I can occasionally enjoy listening to “Orgiastic Disembowelment”, but other than those rare occasions this album does nothing but repulse me. I’ve mildly enjoyed writing this review; after all it is supposed to be somewhat therapeutic to write one’s thoughts done on paper (or type them on a computer as it is). To be honest, writing this review could’ve been an extraordinarily joyous experience but for one thing…

I listen to albums as I review them.

Technical death metal that will melt your face - 93%

TheMorticiansFlame, March 17th, 2008

If you are looking for a technical death metal album that is fast, intense and has some of the craziest vocals, then look no more. None so Vile by Cryptopsy is an album that you should most certainly pick up. It is a technical death metal gem, and everybody should give it a quick listen through, it is only about a half hour long anyway.

Technically, this album is astounding. The guitar parts are disjointed and frantic, but coherent and catchy at points. The drums are obviously going to be incredible thanks to the mastery of Flo Mounier, his jazz influenced drumming adds much to the technicality and originality of the songs, which is probably the reason why the drums are mixed so high on the recordings. The guitar solos are also technically impressive. They are fast and very cool to listen to, though ears that are used to hearing pure clarity in guitar solos, will find it distressing. The bass on this album is also another huge tribute to its technical style. The break on "Slit Your Guts" with the bass is some of the best death metal bass playing you will hear. This album keeps Cryptopsy at the top of the death metal skill level, and is challenge to all other technical bands out there.

The vocals on this album can be pretty hard to listen to, but if you like them, you totally like them. The intro to the album's opener, Crown of Horns, has a cool roar and then the sickest speech part you'll ever hear. The album kicks in and you realize just how intense Lord Worm is. His screaming, gutturals, and even the weird noises he makes that sound like vacuum cleaners are absolutely awesome and add originality to this album.

Another thing about this album is that it keeps its momentum going throughout the entire work. Each song is a masterpiece and you do not even feel like skipping over one or letting a song go by without listening. Some of the highlights though are "Crown of Thorns", "Slit Your Guts", "Graves of the Fathers", and "Benedictine Convulsions". That is just to list some of the best, though every single song on this album is fantastic.

Overall, if you enjoy fast-paced technical death metal, then this album is a surefire hit for you. Pick it up and you will not be disappointed.

None So Impressive - 100%

hexen, March 16th, 2008

Upon first exposure to None So Vile, one instantaneously detects the multifaceted composition brilliance, veracity and musical intrepidness. This music reveals itself with layer upon layer of polyrhythmic structuring fabricated ahead of an audacious tempo. None So Vile manages to synthesize highly experimental music through leaps of highly technical passages alternating between speed and grooves; these are musicians who feel comfortable playing outside any zone of musical predictability.

This album is the most successful at capturing the elements of death metal through a highly original sound, thanks to the introduction of this to the death metal realm, Cryptopsy are one of the few bands labeled as "percussive" death metal. Highly intriguing and unpredictable at all times, yet not harsh on the ear, None So Vile is a perfect example of good death metal altogether.

Guitars flow with consistent variation from atmospheric, utterly nihilistic phrases into chaotic polyrhythmic segments. Scattered, the more abrasive and comprehensible riffing is impressive as Cryptopsy fear not an invitation to fans of catchier projects e.g. Pantera, Metallica… but fill every detail with intricate, beautiful riffage.

More so, execution of technique is highly prominent throughout this work, as Cryptopsy have polished their production in comparison to their seminal Blasphemy Made Flesh with the inclusion of articulate aggressiveness and a diminishing of bass, yet the production perfected to reasonable extent were every instrument is undoubtedly audible.

Virtuosic leads soothe the accompanying chaos, as guitarist Jon Levassuer wallops dexterous solos arranged at the peak of each song assists with the enunciation of the brutality yet egregiously clarified music. Hints of classical influences as some leads incorporate enjoyable neoclassical sections, not coming close to the tediousness of other bands such as Necrophagist when it comes to lead parts.

The nucleus of Levasserus' leads is his profound ability to experiment, yet maintain the sovereignty of individual tracks and maintain the interest of guitar experts and those who know nothing about it altogether. At right hand side of the abrasive guitar composition is the eloquent bass driven by Eric Langois, funk derivatives interleaved throughout this music widening its perception and displaying a show of versatility on the composers' side.

Lord worm could be considered as showcasing vocal talent through the entire record, powerful grunts and incredible screaming abilities reign supreme over the album, perfectly synchronized with the relentlessness of the guitar strumming and palm muting. Highly intelligible lyrical content are inconceivable behind the enunciation of each grunt, so it advisable that one regularly read the lyrics booklet to extract the psychologically disturbing ideologies, anti Christian sentiments and enunciations emanating from Lord Worm.

Unlike a lot of North American death metal, Cryptopsy seem not too interested in political perspective but more or less focus on individualistic matters. Although the lyrics overall create the atmospheric sense that bands like Vader sound, or should I say, feel like, Cryptopsy are intelligent musicians with the obvious intent for destruction.

Drumming isn't standard death metal for most part, Flo Mounier obliterates the ear drum with pounding double bass, snare tactics and pragmatic filling which does good for the music. This man is the creative force behind Cryptopsy hence them being "percussive" death metal. Flos' signature gravity blasts, technical and versatile drum lines perfectly complimenting the guitar/bass duo of Levassuer and Langois. Syncopations and jazzy drum structures are found all over the highly original drumming notion of Mounier as, from an individual perspective, elevates this album to an exceedingly high mountain of intensity.

After assaults such as these, people witness how a musical band can seemingly deconstruct the aspect of music within itself, in order to create something as anarchic yet focused as None So Vile. Despite the later failures of this band after the departure of Lord Worm, Cryptopsys' ability to astound through more than skill is brilliant.

I Seriously Can't Find a Flaw - 100%

lord_ghengis, June 7th, 2007

I honestly thought that other than Phobophile, this was going to suck. I'd already though up awesome review titles like "None So Dependent On One Song", "None So Over-rated" , "7 Vile Filler Tracks" or "None So... Screw It, Just call the album Phobophile". But no, Cryptopsy had to go and make every single song worthy of standing on equal footing with it.

I heard Phobophile quite a long time before I got the album, in fact it was only re-issued in Australia recently, and hearing that song just made me think that there was no way that the rest of the album could be that good. I'd seen the drumming to a few of the other tracks on Flo's Drumming video, but there really was no way of hearing the songs on those, just the drums, which were more than adequate at all times.

Basically, Phobophile is the, and I use the term loosely; "Single", of the album, as it does have the biggest hook on the album. And really, a death metal band shouldn't be able to write a riff which is so easy to hum as you walk around the house and get away with it, but they do.

Other songs such as "Slit Your Guts" and "Graves of the Fathers" do have similar big hooks in them, but none at that speed and intensity. Most of the other catchy stuff is quite slow (For Cryptopsy) and breaks up the pure speed and aggression that the band gives us most of the time. So this isn't the most brutal album ever written, as there is a lot of melody. But it's hardly Opeth either. I'd have to say that given its catchiness and ability to instantly get stuck in your head, this is pretty damn brutal.

For the main part the band is very fast, and sounds more or less similar to Suffocation as the riffs kind of fly along as more ugly, beastly riffs with fast picking than the catchy riffs of that previously mentioned song. All the songs have slower grooving sections which are very crushing, and very successful at forcing the listener to be caught up and start throwing themselves around. Overall the band has managed to get a formula that works well, and with the 32 minute run time they haven't run it into the ground. What you get is frenzied bursts of technical death at crazy speeds, with perfectly executed crushing sections to stop everything becoming a painful blur, and even better, It makes the album an unbelievably good listen from start to finish.

When it comes to technicality, you'd be hard pressed to find a band with a more competent line up than this. Firstly, you have Flo Mounier. And I am yet to hear anybody, in any form of music drum this well. Hell, his actual drum takes on this album are more interesting than his drum solos. As others have already noted, he's only about one third blasts. And with that, he has a heap of different blast beats. But the fact is he knows what he's doing, and only blasts when needed. One last note on his blasts, these aren't Gravity blasts, he's just fast as hell. Then you have non-blasting Flo, which is the most original drumming in Death Metal. He can do amazing fills at the highest of speeds without getting caught behind, to put it simply, his drumming is downright godly.

Unfortunately, his kit sounds a little bit on poor side. His snare is really quite 'paint can'-like, with not too much crack and a lot of echoing. His toms have always been a little high, as they are pretty small, but they help emphasise his fills. His kick drums are triggered, but they sound pretty good. Not to loud, not fake sounding or clicky. This right here is a perfect example of how to trigger bass drums correctly.

For some reason, the guys playing the strings tend to be over-looked when people speak of Cryptopsy. Jon Levasseur is incredible on this release. He's certainly more restrained than what he is on "Whisper Supremacy", but it works and it's his incredible ability to combine the very technical stuff he plays with a still easily digested melody at the same time. Easily some of my favourite guitar work is featured on this album. He does it all, big heavy crushing parts to get you hooked, countless violently fast riffs which tear paint off your walls, and oh my Satan, The solos. Now, the guitar production is a little thin and weak, but if you can see past that the soloing is exceptional. Again, he does everything. Shredding, traditional Death Metal squeal solos, all of it is exceptional. In the 32 minutes he has he loads this album up with so many ideas and different sounds.

Eric Langlois is sometimes a source of frustration for some people. I love it, as he is pretty jazzy, and I like jazzy, out there bass. He pops and slaps and basically fights to keep himself from being smothered in the wall of Flo and Jon, and succeeds. Basically it's not sitting in the background bass, and thats how I like it, but for some reason it annoys some people. Just like many Thrash fans dislike the more prominant use of drums these days.

Finally we have the other most recognised member of the band with Flo. Lord Worm. Lord Worm is a sick man, his vocals are a indistinguishable group of HURGHS and quite an impressive array of other little odd squeals, shrieks and screeches. Now, I know that indistinguishable growling is kind of standard in Death Metal, but Worm has a slightly different take on it. Instead of having an ultra brutal growling voice, it honestly sounds like HURGH HURG HURGH, it's hard to explain, but it sounds different to any other vocalist I've heard. Now, his voice is an acquired taste. But his lyrics are marvellous. Now, it's a complete bonus. Because you'll NEVER pick up a whole line, let alone a whole verse without a lyrics sheet. Hell, If you can pick up a single word you've done a good job. Really, you may as well read the lyrics without the CD going, because it's often hard to even keep up with the vocals when reading. For instance, allow me to translate the first verse of Phobophile into Lord Wormish.

"In The Kitchen
With A Screaming triple amputee:
It's completion depends solely
On my needs:
Said Amputee's stumps
Are my way of saying; "Thank You
Just For Being You"
It's Fear Tastes Better Than Its limbs."

Now in Lord Wormish

"Hurgh Hurgh Hur Hurgh
Hurgh Hurgh
HurghHurgh Hurghee
Hurgh Hurgh Hurgh Hurwoh
Hurgh Hurgh
HurghHurgh Hurghee
Hurgh Hurgh Hurghee Gaaaah!
Hurgh Hur GAH YAH!!
Hurgh Hurgh
HurghHurgh Hurghee"

See, there’s not even the same number of syllables. When I read along the first verse is done and I'm still thinking I'm at "just For Being You". Now, the lyrics are great. All about violence and gore and stuff. But it's just got a smarter way of going about it than usual. But do the vocals work? I think that they fit perfect. Honestly, you'll be able to sing along with Worm on most of the tracks with a few listens. Only in Hurgh's and screeches, but still, they're memorable Hurgh's and screeches, and they are somehow catchy, despite being the least melodic aspect of the band.

Production wise the album feels pretty good. The drums sound a bit off, but that purely due to Flo's tastes, and Jon has a few little thin-ness problems when playing fast sometimes. But it's all quite clear, and a few thin sections are completely worth technicality with this sort of clarity. Vocally, Worm can sound a little too low, quiet and indistinguishable. It almost seems like Worm himself forgot where he was up to, and decided he'd just hide it by grumbling into the microphone. Other than that though, I have no complaints. Everything is nicely mixed as nothing is overpowered by any of the other instruments.

And then finally, you have the song writing. Cryptopsy actually got it right here. It's not random as it is on Once Was Not, it's not annoying and too stop-go like "Whisper Supremacy", everything flows. As I said, it goes from fast to crushing very quickly, but it's not overly hard on the songs, and they tend to maintain flow from start to finish. All the songs are really very well written, and probably have more shape and direction than most bands playing more simplistic styles of music.

As for best songs, I probably have to stick with Phobophile as the best, as that riff is just so damn catchy, but almost every other song is just below that. Everything is just so perfectly executed and written. Catchy, but every layer of the music is so deeply intertwined and interesting that you can listen to each song repeatedly without getting bored.

This is perfection... Honestly, I can't find a way to justify taking away a mark.

The evelasting testament to Death Metal. - 100%

Link5232, January 21st, 2007

What is there to say about this album that hasn't been said before? Multiple words could be used to describe this album: Timeless. Essential. Masterpiece. Definitive. Sickening. Yes, even sicking falls into this category, because believe it or not, back in 1996 when Cryptopsy released "None So Vile," it was unlike anything else at the time. Now, granted, I didn't listen to metal let alone Cryptopsy in 1996, but I can only imagine what it must have been like being a Death Metal fan in 1996 and popping this album into your CD player for the first time. From the first drum hits and guitar riffs of "Crown Of Horns," it would have been obvious, and still is to this day, that Cryptopsy improved on themselves since "Blasphemy Made Flesh." But then you combine some of the most technical and speedy Death Metal to date with the sickening screams, snarls, growls, and grunts of vocalist Lord Worm, and I'm sure that 1996 was the year Death Metal changed forever.

"None So Vile" is a testament to the Death Metal formula, and the odd thing is is that not many have tried to emulate it. I don't know why. Maybe it might be because of how difficult it would be to emulate an album of this calibur, or maybe some people just don't think "None So Vile" is as classic as it is to some others. I myself have dreamed of the day for another NSV, not necesarily from Cryptopsy themselves, but maybe from a band who gets what other Death Metal bands don't seem to get: Cryptopsy is a massive influence upon Death Metal.

Many factors contribute to the influence Cryptopsy struck upon Death Metal. One of them is absurdly seen from Flo Mounier's maniacal drumming. As far as I'm concerned, two words can sum up this man: Speed Demon. But just because he's speedy doesn't mean he loses any shed of technicality. Myself being a drummer, there are times where even Flo loses me. His rolls can be confusing, his blast beats are sound shattering and defy even the speed of light, and some of his snare to tom to cymbal patterns are down right baffling. How this man became such a great drummer is far beyond my comprehension, but luckily he did, because when it comes to it, Flo is one of the reasons why Cryptopsy is Cryptopsy.

But Flo is not alone in making Cryptopsy. With the duo of Jon Levasseur and Eric Langlois on guitar and bass respectively, Cryptopsy was noted for their technical music playing. Just look at songs like "Slit Your Guts," "Graves Of The Fathers," and "Phobophile" to see how this duo completely tore apart everything that may have been considered a standard for Death Metal at that time. These two remade the standard by bringing shredding guitar and audible, crushing, and technical bass playing into the mix. The playing by these two is a testament to technical playing.

But what truly makes Cryptopsy, and many would agree, is Lord Worm. This man is down right beastly. No true word in the English vernacular could describe what this man brings to Cryptopsy and what he did for Death Metal on "None So Vile." At this point in time, I don't think anyone could have anticipated vocals like this. He is downright in-fucking-human. His screams are vicious, his gutteral growls are putrid, and the longevity at which he can perform and hold these vocals is insane. But not only did Lord Worm bring a sickening unnatural vocal style, he brings forth a style of lyricism that was complex yet somewhat simple. Lord Worm writes lyrics that are poetical descriptions of gore, murder, and insanity. I'll never forget the first time I read the lyrics for "Crown Of Horns" and remember being oddly perplexed but disgusted...

"Capricornus Rex in tenebris
I long to feel the dark caress
Of your cloven hooves;
I seek the loving warmth of your anus
As I place my worshipful
Lips about your teats."

In retrospect, this is the album that many Death Metal enthusiaests should live their lives by. Yet it increases more and more everyday that Cryptopsy never gets the true respect they should have garnered over the years. We may never exactly see another "None So Vile," but we can only hope that Cryptopsy returns to their roots (and they reportedly will come October of this year) and creates another sonic Death Metal assault that lives up to, if not surpases, what "None So Vile" created in 1996.

Death Metal Brilliance At the Highest Level - 100%

ChrisDawg88, June 23rd, 2006

The name Cryptopsy has practically become synonymous with technical death metal over the years. The band gained instant recognition in its early stages largely due to the unique talents of its two founding members, vocalist Lord Worm and drummer Flo Mounier. Since its inception over a decade ago, Cryptopsy has enjoyed a successfull if fragmented career, making a large impact in the scene but also going through numerous line-up changes, most notably the departure of Lord Worm in 1996. Despite having perhaps one of the most confusing band histories in its genre, many can sum up the entire existence of Cryptopsy in three simple words:

None So Vile.

In 1996, Cryptopsy entered the studio with a veritable dream team of musicians and recorded an album that more than measures up to the sum of the parts that created it. Along with albums like Suffocation's Pierced From Within and Nile's Amongst The Catabombs of Nephren-Ka, None So Vile helped to revitalize a slumping mid-90's death metal scene and set new standards for musicianship, brutality, and songwriting that few today can match. In many ways, Cryptopsy's second album is the epitome of everything that extreme metal stands for.

The amazing talent that Cryptopsy had managed to accumulate under its moniker pretty much speaks for itself; depending on who you ask, the band was made up of death metal's greatest drummer, guitarist, bassist, and vocalist. The individual performances on None So Vile are exceptional, but together, the band displays a tangible chemistry and shared mindset that Cryptopsy would never again be fortunate enough to possess. Flo's drumming, while not yet on the level technically that he would reach in the future, is nevertheless sublime, always choosing the right fill, the right time to blast, the right time to pummel with a grooving double-kick segment. Eric Langlois's bass playing is not only audible (a statement in itself) but a huge part of the unique sound on this disc; his funky playing was way ahead of its time, and some of the noises this man manages to get from his instrument are as bizarre as they are ingenious.

The other two stars of the show are the fantastic creative force of guitarist Jon Levasseur and vocalist Lord Worm. Levasseur proves himself not only as an amazing guitarist but an even more amazing songwriter. The riffing on this album is simply the best in death metal; dark and technical yet fluid and catchy, Levasseur takes the Baroque-style melody base from the band's debut and expands upon it by fusing the evil harmonies of Morbid Angel with the brutality of Suffocation and the oft-kilter fluidity of Demilich to create songs that crush and confuse on the first listen but continue to amaze years later. Vocally, Lord Worm is a usually a love-hate matter, but his unique style is a huge part of this album's impact and appeal. From piercing, hair-raising shrieks to lowest of the low growls and every sort of noise in between, Lord Worm captivates throughout the album, proving once and for all that vocals can be a vital instrument in metal when done in the right way. Lyrically, Worm is a genius. To this day death metal has never scene lyrics so poetic and memorable, even when discussing topics so ghastly. The fact that they are unintelligible (Hell, barely pronounced) through most of the album doesn't matter; the lyrics are simple outstanding, and reading them is essential to truly appreciate how important Lord Worm was to this band (read any of DiSalvo's lyrics and you will see what I mean).

I'm guessing that you would like to hear about the actual songs now, right? Put simply, all eight are classics. "Crown Of Horns" opens the album on a blistering note, with Lord Worm kicking things off with a shriek and a string of growls that never fails to make me shudder and smile. "Slit Your Guts" contains some of Worm's most delightfully depraved lyrics and the band's trademark flow of riffing, while "Graves Of The Fathers", "Dead and Dripping", and "Benedictine Convulsions" showing the band truly going all out on their respective instruments, the latter containing a groove segment in the beginning that I never tire of. "Lichmistress" is the shortest and most intense of the songs, and "Orgiastic Disembowelment" serves wonderfully as an "epic" closer. If I had to pick one song to really represent the brilliance of this album, however, it would definitely be the wonderfully titled "Phobophile". If you only listen to one Cryptopsy song in your entire life, make it this one. That's all I'll say on that.

All in all, None So Vile is about as close to perfect as any death metal album can be. Even the work's short running time is perfect for the nature of the music and helps to give each song its own feel and identity. Basically, this album has everything anybody could ask for in extreme metal: amazing, creative songwriting, brilliant musicianship, and a vocalist who sounds like the personification of all things dark and evil. Simply put, None So Vile stands tall as the best death metal album of all time, and a classic in every sense. With that, I think I'll let Lord Worm have the last word, as I think it sums up this album pretty damn well:

"I am Messiah
The grand delusion;
To hell-wracked things

Paranoia be thy name - 93%

DeathsColdEmbrace, May 25th, 2006

By now Cryptopsy has gotten enough press and exposure that everyone knows how good each individual artist is (Lord Worm and Flo Mounier both gaining legendary status) and None So Vile is renowned the world over as a seminal work in death metal. As my score would indicate, I agree, but the reasons why aren't so simple.

There are plenty of bands that have the virtuosity Cryptopsy has, as death metal practically demands it in all arenas. The difference here is that each member functions as a complete dynamic within themselves, each layer having equal importance. Atmosphere is achieved without a spaced out production, extensive use of keyboards, reverb, or any other studio gimmicks. While the themes are perhaps less important than the vehicle itself, they are standard fare for such extreme music: paranoia, insanity, overwhelming violence, and of course anti-Christianity (what kind of metal would it be without it). But as I mentioned before, the delivery is what brings None So Vile above the rest of the crowd. Riffs swirl in and out of step while the drums morph in and out of highly patterned riffs, the whole time the tempo steadily increasing. The vocals betray anguish and distrust, causing the listener to occasionally look over his or her shoulder in suspicion. That suspicion is well founded as a quick turn is delivered with jarring bass fills and chords, only to be married yet again to the surmounting direction the rest of the instruments have already alluded to. The solos rely on traditional heavy metal chromaticism yet are tastefully strewn throughout the paranoiac chaos adding to both the accessibility and the labyrinthine freneticism of the album as a whole.

The reputation that this album has is a bit odd. Seen as the pinnacle of grinding speed, shredding riffs, and guttural vocals, many dismiss None So Vile as a mishmash of ideas not followed to their logical conclusions. Yes, this album does grind and shred, and yes the vocals are guttural indeed. But, even for 1996, this is not the pinnacle. Precisely because these elements are necessary for the dynamic of the expressive range, not some jocular novelty gimmick designed to appease moshing hordes. NSV does, however, have the capacity to achieve this effect, as I can see a simple fan of slamming NYDM getting into this as much as purveyors of underground musical esoterica. This album can be enjoyed played loudly or softly, and different elements make themselves present as such. High volume yields overwhelming blasted patterns and guitar slams, while low volume reveals the true psychogenic venom behind the tremolo-riffed melodies (while not being typically melodic, an argument can be made as I find many sections of this album getting stuck in my head).

When humans are lead into a certain direction (which anyone who listens to death metal is bound to be lead) and then entreated to something unexpected, there are often two distinct reactions. The first is obvious: attention regained from surprise or fear. The second is a more subtle, evolutionary reaction: inexplicable smiles or even laughter. This is from the same internal device as hearing a punch line of a joke (after all, if you expect the punch line it ceases to be funny). The point of these distinctions is that one of the joys (and, I suppose, horrors) of this album is the amount of times, after years of listening to it, I continue to recoil in terror as a shudder wracks my spine, only for it to be accompanied with a smile.

The samples at the beginning and end add to the ironic surprise, as it's clear while these artists take themselves seriously they also acknowledge a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek humor that must be had to seriously involve yourself with something as absurd (in the most traditional sense) as death metal. One other aspect that I truly appreciate is that Cryptopsy doesn't disappear up its own ass and that its members know the value of restraint, resulting in the album being barely above 30 minutes.

One of the most brilliant death metal albums ever - 100%

Noktorn, November 19th, 2005

Most people who know of me will hear about my encounter with Morbid Angel's 'Altars Of Madness' at thirteen years old. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of that incident in my life; not merely did it change the way I saw music, but the way I saw my very existence. It shook me to the core of my being and forced me to reevaluate every decision I had made up to that point and where my future was headed. That album sent me on a long journey of self-discovery, culminating in an adaptation of nihilism and a greater love of life. However, fewer people know about the other musical epiphanies I have encountered throughout my years: Cryptopsy's 'None So Vile' is most certainly one of them.

Rather than 'Altars Of Madness'' transportation of me into the metal community, 'None So Vile' sent me 'further down the rabbit hole', so to speak, entrenching me firmly within the artistic community that we like to call our homes. It was the album that made me feel like a member of this community, and confirmed that it was truly one that I could not depart from. My very first encounter with the Quebecois madmen was through tracks of this album, which I found more compelling than nearly anything I had heard before. And upon finally getting the full CD, I rapidly learned that it was exquisite beyond anything I had ever heard before in music, be it metal or otherwise. Words cannot accurately describe the complete and utter awe I felt upon the completion of its slim half-hour running time.

'None So Vile' is a forceful album. Every moment of you is precisely designed to sweep you off your feet and overwhelm you in every dimension possible. 'Pummelling', surely one of the most overused adjectives when used to describe death metal, is undeniably appropriate in this case: the music has a definite aura of complete devastation about it. Unlike 'Blasphemy Made Flesh''s infatuation with the sick and deranged, this album portrays a sense of blackened grandeur about it, which the subtly epic melody that would come to define Cryptopsy's later sound. Each note and movement is perfectly crafted, assembling the very apocalypse before you with an offhand talent that leaves you stunned.

Each member's performance is uniformly unique and excellent. The inimitable Lord Worm's vocal performance is dramatically more consistent and measured, and while missing a bit of the spontaneity of previous works, he makes up for it with an increasingly vast and narrative style. On a lyrical front, his words are as beautiful and sinister as ever, and, of course, with the hints of perversion that make his writings so notable. The rhythms are less scattershot than before; while it's still impossible to understand any of the words, one can at least follow along with the lyric sheet without an excess of difficulty. Each line brings another clever twist, description, or metaphor, making the lyrics here much more worthwhile than those of almost all other bands.

The string section: Éric Langlois and Jon Levasseur. The former's bass has been dropped into the background a tad more than on 'Blasphemy Made Flesh', but is still easily recognizable in the soundstream. This album possesses the continuation of his atypical (for death metal, at least) slapping and popping style that gives a sardonic twist to the grim sense of melody generally found on this disk. The latter's riff crafting ability is undeniable; every song is packed to the brim with numerous figures, nearly all of which are easily recognizable and beautifully constructed, mirroring the rest of the music flawlessly. Be it the strange, creeping opening of 'Lichmistress', the tremolo madness of 'Dead And Dripping', or even the simple yet menacing two-chord chug of 'Crown Of Horns', he never disappoints.

And last, but in no way shape or form, least, is Flo Mounier on percussion. Surely, anyone involved in the death metal scene has heard stunningly hyperbolic praise heaped on his performance in Cryptopsy. And I must say that every ounce of it is deserved. Not merely is Mounier's capability in technicality as well as brute force and speed stunning, but the real gem is his writing ability. Cryptopsy's music on this record, full of small stops and breaks, lends itself wonderfully to his performance, where each fill is neatly used as a transfer to the next riff, like small knots in a string. There is a beauty to his work on this album: 'Benedictine Convulsions' shows his ability to both push ahead and fall back when appropriate.

But what is music without songwriting? 'None So Vile' doesn't just have it in spades; it takes the whole damned deck and changes the way we look at death metal. Each of the eight tracks on this album has a sublime, unique atmosphere that no other track replicates. Within the barest moment of playing time, one can recognize one of the songs on here; not through gimmicky samples, but through the narrative songwriting employed on each. 'Lichmistress' begins with a riff exhumed from the very earth itself, as every chord pulls itself slowly from the dirt, perfectly reflective of the atmosphere and lyrics. The claustrophobic panic of 'Dead And Dripping', the romantic insanity of 'Phobophile', the heavy-eyed, lurking horror of 'Orgiastic Disembowelment', or the definite, rolling pace of 'Slit Your Guts'; each is unique, special, and a work of complete sinister beauty.

'None So Vile', while not the best album ever made, as I thought before, still gets a play nearly every day from me. It stands as one of the best death metal recordings ever made, and its very presence is a blessing to the metal community, proving how, eleven years later, the Quebecois monsters are still shaking the earth with this LP. Brutal, brilliant, beautiful: but most of all, exquisite Art.

I could hate metal and still adore this... - 99%

Antikrist, April 14th, 2005

It seems from the testimonies of the other reviewers that this album speaks to me in a way that most others don't seem to detect. As has been said countless times, Flo Mournier is truly the best drummer of the last two decades and perhaps ever. While many drummers can play faster, the fills he creates are brilliant. Blast beats take up only maybe one third of the drumlines, and the fact that he can come up with original fills in a genre where the drumming is almost completely redundant and opportunity for original drumlines is slim is simply unbelievable. Metal drumming is for the most part more about skill than writing, and even the most brilliant bands like Diabolical Masquerade or Blind Illusion use relatively simple drums as simply a backbone upon which the creativity of the guitars, bass, and keyboards can be built. Flo's drumming transcends all of that and is truly of artistic value in itself. And he possesses great skill as you've probably read in the other reviews, he is FAST!

Extremity for its own sake is incredibly useless (see Revenge), but here I see the true fusion of extremity and art. The riffs defy just about every genre limitation one can think of, switching rapidly and unexpectedly between moments of "technical death" speed to tremolo-driven material remeniscent of a more modern Pleasure To Kill. Eric Langlois's bass is simply spectacular in its own rite as well, as he incorporates slapping and popping into the music perfectly, one of the only instances in metal I've seen where they are not either drastically under- or overused (the same can be said about artificial harmonies, which the band also uses perfectly). See the last riff of Benedictine Convulsions for a perfect example of the bass skills. In terms of the technical prowess of the band as a whole, not much else needs to be said that hasn't been said before.

Whereas many great death metal outfits seem to be driven by an unspeakable wrath and unlimited energy combined with a talent for constructing cogent pieces of music (Suffocation or Origin for example), Cryptopsy combine their extremity in taste with a powerful desire to create. They enter Death/Atheist territory in a way no one (including Death and Atheist) had done previously. It's really something I can't fully explain, but don't listen to what anyone says, the more you hear this, the more you realize exactly how creative it is.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to decipher Lord Worm's vocals when you read along. When you listen when reading and pay attention to his voice, you see that he actually is saying what is written there and after a while you can even decipher small bits without having the lyrics alongside you. One thing he does which can throw a listener off is he doesn't follow any convention of verses. He will often pause in the middle of a stanza and continue it as he picks up again, which is once again transcendant of just about all other metal. At times he seems to even be following his own variations of pentameter, stressing on certain syllables and not others. Read along to the first verse of Slit Your Guts for example.

Finally I must say that this album is the ultimate acquired taste. If you're new to metal, don't expect to like it. If you like brutality, don't expect to understand it (though you will thoroughly enjoy it). The best I can say is that if you're anything like me after a few listens you will begin to catch on to the brilliance of this that goes far beyond the technicality or speed of it and once you do you will never get bored of it. Give it a chance. I honestly see myself still enjoying this album when I'm fifty years of age. It's that good.

Go ahead and run - 72%

Cheeses_Priced, March 17th, 2005

I remember back before I first heard this (seems like this album was somewhat rare for a while) the rumors and buzz went something like so: this was the most brutal death metal album ever recorded; Lord Worm’s vocals were the sickest ever recorded; Flo Mounier’s drumming was the fastest and most technical ever recorded. Contact Guinness right away!

The drumming essentially lives up to billing, hyperbole aside.

The vocals I’m not so sure about. I was really put off by apparent randomness of them on first listen. Countless listens later and… I’m still sort of put off by the apparent randomness of them. I wouldn’t be too shocked to find out that Lord Worm didn’t write lyrics until after he’d finished recording. Or that they tracked his vocals to the wrong songs.

As for the brutality? I’d say it’s in the ear of the beholder. Even Suffocation, Cryptopsy’s most significant immediate precursor, strikes my ears as more brutal than this; their deliberately convoluted riff structuring just has more visceral impact for me than Cryptopsy’s dissonant chainsaw guitar attack. The trebly production on this album does not help matters.

But “brutality” and “extremity” are pretty meaningless, taken alone. The songwriting is more important. And the songwriting on this album is, well…

…“Phobophile” is very good. Very melodic, perhaps recalling the band’s earlier days. “Slit Your Guts” is not so melodic, but still pretty catchy; the dissonant opening riff is very attention-getting.

Other than that, the album’s kind of a fog in my mind, even after all this time. I’ve gone back and forth on my opinion of it more than once… the truth is that I kept waiting for it to click and it never did. And now I’ve given up – it’s had its chance. Even in the parts where there’s nothing specific that I would really complain about, per se, it just doesn’t hold my interest that strongly.

These days, if there’s anything bringing my opinion of this album down, it’s probably having heard Blasphemy Made Flesh, Cryptopsy’s debut album. Why None So Vile is the supposedly legendary death metal classic and not that album is beyond me entirely – the songwriting is stronger, Lord Worm delivers a better performance, and the production’s better. So, if you’re new to the band, I’d advise looking there instead.