Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

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: √Čric 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.