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Once Was Not... - 90%

Rasputen, October 29th, 2005

Admittedly, I kind of shut myself off from Cryptopsy as far as the post-Lord Worm material goes. But when I heard he had returned, I was ready for greatness. The man not only writes brilliant lyrics, but his vocals are nothing short of disgusting. He adds an aura to the music that the other Cryptopsy growlers couldn't bring.

And indeed he does on "Once Was Not." The lyrics are certainly a high point. Extremely vivid, the Lord puts his Ph.D. to work. There is some variation from his efforts on "None So Vile" and "Blasphemy Made Flesh," but it is certainly the old Lord Worm.

The songs themselves, however, do not hearken back to such a day. This is not classic Cryptopsy, but rather a modernized death metal sound. Canada has seen an influx of "deathcore" bands, namely Despised Icon and Ion Dissonance. Cryptopsy, whether intentionally or otherwise, are fit for this category. I hesitate to call this one death metal, but I'd hardly dismiss it as "-core." It's full of the tempo changes and insane riffs you'd expect from Ion Dissonance or Despised Icon. However, there's a level of brutality here absent from the releases of Cryptopsy's Canadian counterparts.

Flo Mounier is a beast, pure and simple. He changes tempo at the drop of a dime, and has a lot of start-stop patterns (sorry, as you can tell I'm not a musician, so bear with me). As can be expected, he'll leave your head spinning. Always one of my favorite elements of Cryptopsy, along with Lord Worm.

The production is squeaky-clean, as it must be when these guys play at light-speed. Every instrument can be heard clearly, including the bass. Nothing's gayer than having a talented bass-player drowned out in the chaos.

This is definitely a bold venture, a creative venture, as Cryptopsy isn't afraid to utilize acoustic passages and even a couple spoken word parts. If you're one of the "tr00-philes," then you'd better stay away from this.

Overall, a fine effort. 9/10