When you’re like us and operate on the assumption that most metal music is bad (or at least mediocre), you probably want to avoid Cannibal Corpse, since they’re still kind of the poster child of lame albeit studio-proficient death metal. In case you don’t, you can always see them on their upcoming US tour. As mentioned in the title, Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn will be supporting them. The first two bands in that selection admittedly produced some good content in their early days, but seem to be operating at a similar level of tired rehashes these days. Tickets will go on sale this Friday (December 11th), so you should soon be able to ignore our warning if you feel doing so is absolutely necessary.
Would it be too brief to say that The Book of Suffering is like older Cryptopsy, but not quite as good? Probably not. Cryptopsy’s legacy after 1996 appears to be one of steady decay and loss of focus, although you could be forgiven for placing too much importance on the aberration that was The Unspoken King. Bands that aren’t able to jump to a new trend successfully often retreat to what they know, hence this utterly safe and sterile EP. It’s almost as if Cryptopsy wasn’t merely imitating None So Vile, possibly with some brief intrusions from more recent albums, but that the only song they’d heard by previous band lineups was that album’s introductory track (“Crown of Horns”), and that this EP was an effort to imitate that specifically.
Cryptopsy wastes no time in trying to forge the appropriate links in your brain. The spoken intro to “Detritus” (which is so obviously self-referential that it will probably insult you) made me suspect that the band was about to blast and scream, and from then on not a moment passed that wasn’t analogous to something off None So Vile. The overall effect evenly splits between being more orderly and more chaotic than this EP’s obvious inspiration. 20 years of studio experience understandably make for a more precise performance, as does the apparent use of a template. On the other hand, the Cryptopsy of the past had a better understanding of how to glue riffs together to create narrative and contrast in their songs. This incarnation of the band isn’t quite there yet and often uses breakdowns laden with pinch harmonics instead. Furthermore, None So Vile drew on a greater palette of musical language; part of this is that Lord Worm was a more versatile vocalist in his prime than Matt McGachy; a greater part is that Cryptopsy wasn’t relying merely on themselves as a template. Funny then, that this problem should also happen to another one of today’s reviews…
In summary, the main problem with The Book of Suffering is that it’s uninspired, more than that it’s pseudorandom. Cryptopsy knows how to sound as if they are about to collapse into random noise at any moment without actually doing so, but they don’t do much of interest with this approach. Maybe if they hadn’t burnt themselves playing with the metalcore fire, this wouldn’t be a problem, although the amount of people looking forwards to a second The Unspoken King has to be rather less than those who will nonetheless accept The Book of Suffering as a continuation of form, if not necessarily substance.
Tech-death gurus Cryptopsy have released a 45-second teaser video for their forthcoming EP, The Book of Suffering: Tome 1. Tome 1 is the first in a planned series of EPs collectively titled The Book of Suffering. Check out the teaser video at this location.
- 5/14 WORCESTER, MA @ RALPH’S ROCK DINER
- 5/15 TRENTON, NJ @ CHAMPIONSHIP BAR & GRILL
- 5/16 NEW YORK, NY @ NIHIL GALLERY
- 5/17 AMITYVILLE, NY @ REVOLUTION
- 5/18 BALTIMORE, MD @ BALTIMORE SOUNDSTAGE
- 5/19 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA @ SHAKAS LIVE
- 5/20 ATLANTA, GA @ MASQUERADE
- 5/21 SANFORD, FL @ WEST END TRADING CO.
- 5/22 MIAMI, FL @ CHURCHILL’S
- 5/23 PENSACOLA, FL @ THE HANDLEBAR
- 5/24 SAN ANTONIO, TX @ KOROVA
- 5/25 AUSTIN, TX @ DIRTY DOG
- 5/26 DALLAS, TX @ GAS MONKEY
- 5/27 KANSAS CITY, MO @ RIOT ROOM
- 5/28 DES MOINES, IA @ VAL AIR BALLROOM
- 5/29 CREST HILL, IL @ BADA BREW
- 5/30 CUDAHY, WI @ METAL BAR
- 5/31 CLEVELAND, OH @ AGORA
Progressive death metal band Defect Designer announce their signing with Sleazy Rider record label.The band has posted artwork for upcoming album Ageing Accelerator. Artwork is done by Seth Siro Anthon, famous for his work with Soilwork, Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Sybreed and other acts.
Cryptopsy rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with None So Vile, an album of blasting terror which utilized the style created by New York’s Suffocation to make simpler and more direct songs incorporating a rock/blues influence.
Although the band’s last decade or so has been spent trying to pursue modern metal styles, the “Ungentle Exhumation” demo showed them in the style of their first album (Blasphemies Made Flesh) but with the manic intensity of None So Vile.
It is thus considered by many Canadian death metal watchers to be the definitive Cryptopsy work. It can be purchased from the Cryptopsy bandcamp page for $8 CAD.