Review: As death metal grew into an accepted style, the question of new directions became heavy and Cryptopsy thrust against it one effort, in Blasphemy Made Flesh, to resurrect the blasting intensity and ferocity that death metal originally had, but in a time when music is faster and more violent as a whole.
Their music, with its long blast beat sequences and dark recursions into structural destruction, brings a fervent expression of bitter humans feeding off of a self-destructing universe enslaved to concrete aggression. Underneath a grunting, forced vocal beats heavy inertial rhythm and varied but classic death/speed metal guitar: much downstroke percussive strumming alternating with tearing streams of chords. The band crests the edge of technicality but pursue a goal of depravity beyond that simple classification, emphasizing speed technique and churning textures of riff in death metal with strong heavy metal roots.
1. Defenestration (4:34)
2. Abigor (3:51)
3. Open face surgery (4:25)
4. Born headless (4:01)
5. Serial messiah (4:29(
6. Swine of the cross (3:06)
7. Gravaged (A Cryptopsy) (2:48)
8. Memories of blood (3:33)
9. Mutant christ (4:22)
10. Pathological frolic (4:39)
There are periodic lulls but they are artistically used; 'unrelenting' would be a good adjective, as these pause for breath as the aerobic assault resumes. With this and the similarities in percussive style in mind, many would file Cryptopsy as a Suffocation clone, but analysis of the music reveals this to be deficient in structural and rhythmic comparison. Suffocation break their rhythms into cycles and responses, where Cryptopsy use the simpler technique of more linear rhythms interacting only at the level of the song as a whole.
Patterns of classic death metal in a cognitively linked riff salad permeate the music of Cryptopsy where Suffocation use speed metal/death metal hybrid song constructions of even divisions in an extension of Slayer, Sepultura, Deicide and Morpheus Descends. For Cryptopsy innovation comes in the development of an acerbic almost technical style while retaining the brutal classic death metal foundation that makes this music scary to outsiders, leaving composition at a level some generations behind for the state of death metal at the time of this release.
In pursuing some of the ideals of Suffocation and other extreme classic bands - emphasis on impact, recursive rhythm, complexity, and expressiveness - Cryptopsy have leapt over the clone barrier and surpassed the lackluster performers in this zone of music. While their songwriting skills linger, it may be only a matter of time. For the interim, "Blasphemy Made Flesh" provides what death metal needs: a resurrection of its raw spirit and energy to be channeled into forms new and old.
Review: Cryptopsy work in the ambiguous areas between death metal and grindcore with their rhythmic and harmonic work, much in the way "Legion" from Deicide or "Mortal Throne of Nazarene" from Incantation took the anti-tone progressive nature of complex composition and enhanced it into dangerously anti-musical yet lucid death metal. Where this style succeeds is where the musicians can apply its strict precision to their designs.
In "None So Vile," Cryptopsy update their death metal stylings to closer approximate this aesthetic, and although they only shadow the musical innovations of their metallic ancestors the compelling rhythmic violence propelling the abstract, anti-organic phrasing to accentuate harmonic nihilism in the music holds together a complex set of ideas, within a range of conceptual space, in what is clearly a better strike than most of their contemporaries can handle. Simultaneously with technical growth has come a reemergence of heavy metal influences in these songs that are essentially blues, rock and metal merged into a stream of chords played with the most extreme influences of death/grind at the time.
1. Crown of Horns (3:57)
2. Slit Your Guts (4:02)
3. Graves of the Fathers (4:11)
4. Dead and Dripping (3:53)
5. Benedictine Convulsions (4:00)
6. Phobophile (4:38)
7. Lichmistress (2:31)
8. Orgiastic Disembowelment (4:51)
Blasting chops of guitars syncopate under a crucifixion hammerbeat and in conventional death metal style integrate several riffs into a wrapping conclusion which bursts through delicate, silvery, and rare melody of speed-picked notes, tone preconception free but relevant in the hardcore sense of instantiated languages: in each riff, elements are introduced and manipulated according to their relative relationships, creating an objective space of nihilistically minimized musical pieces.
Percussion is intense showmanship of reasonable technilcaity, from the tension-laden uphill climbing march beats of ancient hardcore bands to the blastbeat fleeting ring of off-beat sub-phrases stitching out fragments of a subconscious conclusion. Its power is energy more than innovation, although through the use of natural elasticity of the human wrist it excels. In acidic deconstructors the farflung essence of vitriol spills through harmonic barriers as the deranged and irreverently energetic voice of lead guitar, over the passage of riffs thoroughly borrowing from grindcore but rooted in the thundering finality of destruction that metal and thrash employ.
Of vocals: rich, full, deep tone and abrasive deconstructive patterning on the inside of each sound, an incomparable strength of signal and a beautiful relentlessness, played well against the cruising bass backdrop with a counterpoint cadence borrowed from the furious, embittered mainmen of hardcore fifteen years ago. Through simplification and repetition in structure and yet development of individual elements to have more flavor and individualized conception, Cryptopsy have brought themselves into a world of crossover music that holds much of the future for extreme metal-influenced genres.
Rhythmically similar to a police beating, this release opens areas for exploration in metal through excessive rhythmic violence. Cryptopsy investigate counter-rhythms in strum and the use of melody and dissonance to enhance otherwise straight heavy metal powre chord combinations. The resulting evolution of style enforces the minimal and nihilistic composition of alienation in the midst of a familar framework. Combined with the surgical precision workhorse rhythm of complex but effective drumming, this album emanates a powerful but dreamlike prose of the emergence of death metal.