|Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
September 14th, 2012
Release length: 34:54
As many have already heard through the band’s recent audio streams, this album sounds pretty damn heavy, but still shows traces of the modern digital Deathcore sound. The guitars have a bit of a cleaner distortion, but it still has a strong edge to it that works perfectly in the more technical aspects against the twanging chords of the bass. Outside of there though, that instrument is a very deep and equally loud and vital element to the music that bludgeons the listener on nearly each and every track. The drumming stands out well too amid the louder audio quality. The snares have a mixture of deeper and tighter sounds erupting against the tight click of the bass kicks, while the cymbals are at the right volume, and just crisp enough to really add to the truly punishing tone of the music. The vocals thrive off it with gutturals that are just indecipherable and primal half the time, but often not too low, holding that signature Brutal Death Metal squeel to them here and there that works perfectly with the chaotic music, as well as the straight brutality.
Unfortunately, Cryptopsy is only eight songs long, clocking in at under thirty five minutes total, and it just isn’t enough. There’s a great deal of quality through, as well as crippling and infectious rhythms and madness that will have your neck muscles working overtime, especially when it hits you that, despite their last album, the band hasn’t lost their touch. “Two-Pound Torch” kicks things off with a desolate, atmospheric introduction of what sounds like distant drums against the wind, growing slowly into an explosive bludgeoning assault, pounding away at the drums while shifting in and out of brutality and complexity. The build continues until a distinctive segway that changes the pace from blistering to a more mid-tempo one, but this also shuffles through the track. A similar slow introduction is utilized with “Shad Harbour’s Visitors.” A slow guitar performance leads to a pounding mid-pace offering with various blast beats thrown in, but never excessively. The music itself has plenty of changes in speed too, but in a restricted manner, not leaving the song to feel as though it is going all over the place like before. This leads to a very fluid offering with many catchy and headbang worthy moments that cause the song to just fly by, and your arms to reach for play previous button.
While many songs do stick to a similar build as “Two-Pound Torch” and “Shag Harbour’s Visitors,” some songs do have more to offer. For example, the latter of those two has a very dark atmosphere working for it that will grab the listener’s attention right away. This does exist here and there, but not on all songs. There’s also the little Jazz passage towards the end of “Red-Skinned Scapegoat” that comes out of nowhere to a rather brutal offering in what seems like the band just trying to keep you on your toes. The same goes for the brief muzak area of the ruthless “Damned Draft Dodgers” just before the three minute mark. This is easily one of the most memorable songs off the album, which is thanks to how intense the brutality becomes, meshed so well with some rather complex material at faster speeds that can leave many seasoned Cryptopsy veterans with their jaws slightly open and quite impressed.
“Amputated Enigma” is another song well worth taking notice of, as it has some slower, commanding bridges here and there with a richer, deeper tone thanks to the bass-heavy focus throughout the track that makes it a very distinctive offering, and easily one of the most enjoyable despite there never being a moment where the music just hits the mark for you to release everything it had built up, though “The Golden Square Mile” does find quicker material hammering away at the listener. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite feel as though you can just let all of the pent up stress out, and that’s largely due to some of the more generic technical work and showing off that occurs, mixed with more of a lighter atmosphere that feels mainstream in the sense of a digital popular Brutal Death/Deathcore bands like Whitechapel or Waking the Cadaver, though thankfully doesn’t quite have the same kind of watered down music.
This self-titled effort shows that Cryptopsy is back and as brutal as ever. With only a few hiccups to found here and there, such as some sections that can feel like they’re just showing off a bit, an atmosphere that’s a little too consumer-friendly, and building tension you don’t get to let out with a flurry of blistering rage, it’s clear the band is trying to make up for lost time by issuing a relentless album of quality material that is well worth the wait. There are plenty of chances to bang your head throughout the album, or start a mosh pit wherever you may be standing. Long gone are the days of The Unspoken King, and back are the day of Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile. If you’ve been waiting for the next brutal assault from this band, then Cryptopsy is simply a must, regardless of whether you’re a random listener of Death Metal, a long time veteran, or a fan who felt betrayed four years ago. Cast all preconceived notions you may have about the group’s future intentions aside, as this is a warm welcome back to what the band is best at: Pure, unchained violence.
01. Two-Pound Torch – 5:04
02. Shag Harbour’s Visitors – 4:22
03. Red-Skinned Scapegoat – 5:57
04. Damned Draft Dodgers – 3:58
05. Amputated Enigma – 4:02
06. The Golden Square Mile – 3:13
07. Ominous – 3:47
08. Cleansing the Hosts – 4:31
|Overall Score: 9/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Cryptopsy via Clawhammer PR.