Blasphemy Made Flesh

Cryptopsy - Blasphemy Made Flesh ©1994 Displeased
1. Defenstration
2. Abigor
3. Open Face Surgery
4. Serial Messiah
5. Born Headless
6. Swine Of The Cross
7. Gravaged (a Cryptopsy)
8. Memories Of Blood
9. Mutant Christ
10. Pathological Frolic

Originally released in 1994 by Invasion records, this was re-released by Displeased a few years later. And a good thing they did re-release it.

Cryptopsy play psychotic death metal - this term can almost be defined by their music. Every track has a multitude of riffs, which are used to create practically a "wall of sound". They aren't necessarily brilliant or very cohesive and flowing, but the free structure of every track and the unpredictability of tempo changes make it strangely enthralling. The guitars are a little low in the mix and not very powerful or bass-y, so it is a bit difficult to hear the riffs and really appreciate the brutality they present. The leads are quite good, too - more schizophrenic than Suffocation's - at times neo-classical-esque sweeping, sometimes abrasive random notes. Lord Worm, the vocalist, is too damn good. Growling, rasping and shreiking in a depraved semi-human semi-alien voice, Worm spits out gruesome autobiographies of serial killers. The vocal pattens on "Defenestration" might be totally unintelligible, but as rhythmic and repulsive instruments they are beautifully effective.

The bass is unusually high in the mix (often louder than the guitars!) and is perpetually dynamic - the playing/slapping/tapping always flows with the song and thus we never get the unimaginative -0-0-0-0-0-0- variations that present a stagnant element in other bands. The drum sound is a little hollow and gets annoying at times - it doesnt do justice to Flo Mournier's athleticism. Blasts abound (though not as much as in their next release) - Flo is the undisputed king of the hyperblast (he even beats Pete Sandoval here). I don't know exactly what the "hyperblast" is, but it is supposed to be some sort of unique style where the snare is battered at full speed and the double bass run is used instead of the single kick (which is the method employed in traditional blast). Sometimes he is unable to maintain coherence for too long, but that is taken care of in their next release.

Overall, this is a very good release - though I'd definitely place it below None So Vile, it has many of the elements that NSV does to a less refined and perfected extent. Mandatory for Brutal Death Metal™ enthusiasts. Hell - buy it just for the cover art!

Review by Rahul Joshi

Review date: 02/1999

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None So Vile

Cryptopsy - None So Vile ©1997 Wrong Again Records
1. Crown Of Horns
2. Slit Your Guts
3. Graves Of The Fathers
4. Dead And Dripping
5. Benedictine Convulsions
6. Phobophile
7. Lichmistress
8. Orgiastic Disembowelment
10. Pathological Frolic

"They do that rather well, don't you think?"

This was originally released on WAR but quickly went out of print when the record company went bankrupt. However, Century Media will be re-releasing it soon - hopefully with bonus tracks!

Cryptopsy follow this "brutality is stupid only when it is absent" maxim (I in fact agree with it, to a certain extent). When a CD starts with the sounds of a demonic possession (sampled from the Exorcist series), you know its no "Beautiful Female Vocals" or "Epic Instrumental Passages" sort of thing. And then the blasts come in, and your brain gets numb, and you're staring blankly and trembling with fear/excitement...

This is a definite improvement over Blasphemy Made Flesh and has the "X-factor" to make it a legendary release (already on the net are people bidding ridiculous amounts for this out-of-print gem. To these people: its worth every cent!). The production is slightly better, though the improvement in the guitar and drum sound comes with the compromise of the bass and vocal sound. Worm's vocals are considerably less over-the-top and are firmly relegated to background-vomit; also gone are the reedy rasps prevalent in BMF. The bass has a less overbearing tone and can only be heard during the less violent parts (which can be counted on the fingers of a single alien who uses the binary number system). The guitar riffs, however, are more discernible now and also better written and arranged - it is the "smoothest" and the most fluid of their three releases. The drums sound better too - less hollow yet still acoustic enough to (thankfully) remain un-overproduced. The blasting has taken the centre stage, here - it is more precise in timing and sustained for much longer sections than in BMF. However, more precise doesnt mean any less structure - it is still of a largely abstract structure, as if a person took a Suffocation record and deliberately disarranged it. Flo is all over the place (image comes to mind of an eight-limbed demon attempting to destroy a human drum kit). The drumming is so impressive that at times it creates its own little "riffs" and patterns - its like he can vary the pitch of drums and cymbals like some string/wind instrument (I am guessing this is a by-product of sheer speed and chaos)!

All the tracks are very distinctive; "Crown Of Horns" is especially technical and has some cool drum passages, "Benedictine Convulsions" sort of epitomises the album with really good and tight songwriting, and "Phobophile" utilises the most unpredictable use of a piano...note the reverse psychology here - you think that when it starts with a piano, it will suddenly burst into a frantic blast-fest. But then we get a quiet, slow bass line and you start thinking that they'll slowly develop it to a climax. But then just halfway through a certain bar in this riff it does indeed burst into a "frantic blast-fest". This technique of messing with the listener's mind is just damn impressive! Anyway, it is a well-done track. "Lichtmistress" is surprisingly "sane" in the beginning and has an almost normal first half before spiralling into chaos like the others.

As a whole, the songwriting (guitar riffage) is very good, but not exactly groundbreaking. However, it just has this charisma about it that makes the urge to put it on again irresistable. Ersatz Suffocation? No way, dude! Sick, masochistic ear-bleed? Yes! Causes "ill"-effects like insomnia? YES. Should I get it, then? Ugh...YES!

Review by Rahul Joshi

Review date: 02/1999

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Whisper Supremacy

Cryptopsy - Whisper Supremacy ©1998 Century Media
1. Emaciate
2. Cold Hate, Warm Blood
3. Loathe
4. White Worms
5. Flame To The Surface
6. Depths You've Fallen
7. Faceless Unknown
8. Serpent's Coil

Clocking in at a scant 31 minutes, Cryptopsy's latest, and debut for Century Media, is best summed up with the old William S. Burroughs adage: "We do our work, and go." No filler, no grief, no fat. But like pretty much anything on Century Media, Whisper Supremacy (get back to me on the title) plunders with a purpose; blasting musical butchery with unhinged speed topping the list of vile ingredients comprising the affair. Comparable to early period At The Gates sans all melodic discourse, Cryptopsy have had their brand of controlled chaos blazing a path for the strong and the few since their inception in the underbelly of Canada's metal scene in the early 90s. Terms like 'technical' and 'progressive' ring contrite at this point. It has been well established Cryptospy can play circles around their competitors. While bordering on manic math rock, the sheer intensity with which the band enforce their sound (underscored by the killer mix) still successfully dents the head with indications that old-school style American death metal is well-alive, pillaging and stomping its way from the underground. Completely out of control and damn-near in a league of its own. One of the more impressive in the style I've heard.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 10/1998

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Review #2:

Out of a twenty four hour day, I figure that I'm awake for about sixteen to eighteen hours of it. Figure six to seven hours spent working or running errands plus a couple others just dinking around. That leaves maybe eight hours of the day where I can play the stereo and choose the music I want to listen to. Which brings me to Crytopsy's latest half-hour CD. Considering that so much of life is spent doing unpleasant things, such as jobs or spending time with the girlfriend's family, why on earth would I want to subject myself to more unpleasantries? Since Crytopsy specializes in heavy brutality and relies on "technical" ability (read: the drummer can play many different rhythm patterns in a row and the guitars spend most of their time trying to keep up), it already separates out who is going to enjoy this album and who is going to despise it. I fall into the latter. I'm aware that there is a fan base for brutal, technical death metal out there (and you know who you are) but I find it completely annoying to spend an entire CD trying to find a couple interesting riffs or some semblance of interest for me. Some have told me it takes some effort to appreciate the nuances of this style, but quite frankly, there's not enough time in the day for me to want to do so. Chances are the fans of the style will like this, but the rest of the world can live on just fine without it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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And Then You'll Beg

Cryptopsy - And Then You'll Beg ©2000 Century Media
1. And Then It Passes
2. We Bleed
3. Voice Of Unreason
4. My Prodigal Sun
5. Shroud
6. Soar And Envision Sore Vision
7. Equivalent Equilibrium
8. Back To The Worms
9. Screams Go Unheard

Cryptopsy are one of Canada's most prominent purveyors of vile musical nastiness, second only to Luc Plamondon. And Then You'll Beg is their second album for Century Media and they show no sign of wanting to make their music more appealing in any way.

Chaotic, ultra fast drum blasts abound (in fact there's very little else in the drumming); chaotic, ultra-fast riffs are the rule; and chaotic, ultra-ugly porcine grunts are the vocalist's only means of expression. Chaotic, ultra-fast slap bass sometimes surfaces for a split second, only to mark a break between two chaotic, ultra-fast riffs. The musicians are clearly quite proficient; "We bleed" in particular features an impressive extended guitar solo (in which most of the phrases start out wonderfully but fizzle incoherently at the end, though). However, the constant mess that this music is thwarts everyone's chances to express anything else than primitive brutality.

Yet another album that the world didn't need.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 06/2001

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