Cryptopsy - Cryptopsy
Self-released
Technical Death Metal
8 songs (34:53)
Release year: 2012
Cryptopsy
Reviewed by Bar
Major event

Let's not beat around the bush, this is kind of a make or break album. Essentially, this is the album on which Cryptopsy must try to build a case for redemption, just four years after releasing one of the most universally maligned metal albums of all time. Following The Unspoken King, this once great band seemed to have become little more than a pale imitation of their former selves. I suppose it makes perfect sense, then, that the follow-up should simply be called Cryptopsy. It’s an attempt to send the message that they are still worthy of that hallowed name and all the qualities that have become synonymous with it. Of course, such a statement can also be a double edged sword – if they fail to embody those qualities this time, it might be the final straw for a fan base running low on faith.

I have to admit, despite all my doubts they’ve made a pretty good effort of getting back to basics. There are two basic qualities which, as I mentioned, have become synonymous with the name Cryptopsy. Basically, the playing should be extremely technically proficient and the music should be uncompromisingly heavy. On both counts, this album delivers surprisingly well. The band does not attempt to recreate the insane speed and technicality of their early work and this is also a different beast to their 2005 effort Once Was Not (forgetting The Unspoken King altogether). The album has a familiar propensity for jagged, stop-start riffs, and retains a tendency towards jazzy explorations, but Cryptopsy is much less experimental than previous albums and has a cleaner sounding production. Both factors make it a more straightforward listen, but I can accept this as a fairly logical extension of ideas presented previously. A band must grow, after all.

The album's strengths are thanks in no small part to the return of badly missed guitarist Jon Levasseur, who is appearing on a Cryptopsy studio recording for the first time since 2000. He brings with him virtuosic playing skills and a talent for writing proper death metal riffs, both of which are assets that make him essential to the success of this album. The impact is immediately evident, as Two-Pound Torch explodes out of the gate with plenty of raw ferocity and the band launches into the twisting, turning riffs that Levasseur has made his trademark. Throughout the album he and Christian Donaldson rip into various memorable riffs, some of which introduce subtle hints of melody and others which just pulverise. Jon's presence in the song writing process has obviously been paramount to the direction of the band, and now only the most trace elements of Deathcore remain from The Unspoken King.

If I'm being honest, the Core elements are barely there. Some breakdowns are still present, but they’re much more gracefully implemented than before. These are breakdowns in the old school tech-death sense, not in the chugga chugga Deathcore sense. Other than that, the only vestiges left are the vocal stylings of Matt McGachy. Even so, he does much better this time around. He eschews his assortment of screams for a pure, low growl on the vast majority of the album and there is no sign of clean singing anywhere. He’ll never be your favourite vocalist but it seems he’s listened to some criticisms of his work and is making a solid effort.

So while Cryptopsy’s eponymous album may not be the pinnacle of their work, neither is it an embarrassment to the name. The band has held true to the ideals that originally made their project successful and the music is more than listenable as a result. If not an outright triumph, I see this is an encouraging sign that Cryptopsy is on the correct path to redemption.

Killing Songs :
Two-Pound Torch, Red Skinned Scapegoat, Damned Draft Dodgers, Cleansing The Hosts
Bar quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Cryptopsy that we have reviewed:
Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering – Tome 1 (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Cryptopsy - None So Live reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Cryptopsy - The Unspoken King reviewed by Goat and quoted 19 / 100
Cryptopsy - None So Vile reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Cryptopsy - Once Was Not reviewed by Aaron and quoted 96 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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