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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, √Čric 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.