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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 well...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.