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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.