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Death Metal Meets Jazz-Fusion - 89%

bartosso, February 18th, 2013

Cryptopsy is undoubtedly one of those bands that try their fans fidelity every now and then. On Once Was Not they underwent another transformation, this time into a more experimental, jazz-fusion-influenced (and still very technical) grind/death metal band. I must admit it was a very welcome change as I'm not a huge fan of either the Blasphemy Made Flesh/None So Vile eras, or even less of the Whisper Supremacy/And Then You'll Beg one with the terrible vocals of Mike DiSalvo.

The album is produced in a modern, but a bit odd way and while I really like it, I think it's an acquired taste. The drums are very high in the mix, just behind vocals and with a strong, punching bass drum and a very organic snare drum and cymbals. Bass and guitars are kind of hidden, so during blast beats they tend to be a bit drowned out, but still I think a perfect balance between organic, brutal sound and selectivity has been achieved here.

Cryptopsy present here some of the most unrestrained songwriting ever heard in deathgrind. The record is pervaded with an atmosphere reminiscent of a surreal trip through a cold, post-apocalyptic world where horror and comedy merge into one grotesque amalgam. With the use of jazz-fusion-inspired riffs and clever industrial undertones, the band manage to create nine well-flowing, brutal, wild, and unpredictable compositions. The stuff Flo Mounier's doing with his drum kit is just beyond belief. Brutal, well-flowing and jazz-influenced drumming combined with painfully-technical and jazzy axe-craft from Alex Auburn make this album a compelling experience. However, combined with the rasping and unintelligible yapping of Lord Worm, the music takes on a whole new dimension. It's weirdly organic and surprisingly technical. I'd even say it's scary and, oh yes, it's absolutely fantastic!

This is a bold album by Cryptopsy and I think one of the most interesting death metal efforts out there. Despite being a little bit inconsistent, it still has uncanny atmosphere and, most of all, boasts some of the most well-flowing brutal death metal on board. If you're looking for a different approach to death metal without sacrificing brutality, this album is for you.

TRACKS BY RATINGS: 10/10[masterpiece!!!]: In the Kingdom Where Everything Dies, the Sky Is Mortal; Angelskingarden; Endless Cemetery || 9/10[fantastic!]: Carrionshine; Adeste Infidelis; Keeping the Cadaver Dogs Busy || 8/10[great]: The Curse of the Great; The Frantic Pace of Dying || 7/10[very good]: The Pestilence That Walketh in Darkness (Psalm 91: 5-8) || OVERALL = 89/100

-- Originally written for Metal Music Archives [www.metalmusicarchives.com] --