|Artwork and Design by Mircea Gabriel Eftemie|
The first thought that jumps to mind is not a positive one: Why in blazes has the legendary Canadian tech-death band, Cryptopsy, chosen such a hippie piece of album artwork? And it inevitably leads to another negative (or positive, depending on how you see it) thought: Did Cryptopsy spend too much of their record money on beer? C’mon, it is not like they play the kind of metal that encourages people to live a laidback lifestyle (only bands like Red Fang can be excused for such a lack of personal discipline). If anything, the kind of metal they play is often interpreted as being the embodiment of humanity’s physical and mental imperfections.
As the group’s seventh and first independently released full-length album, 2012’s “Cryptopsy” does not take anything further in terms of sonic extremity; unless one considers that the departure from the deathcore sound of the previous album is extreme in its own way. This is unexpected, considering that bands (and especially those of a legendary status) usually release albums independently in order to pursue a particular sound that no label would be interested in backing. If anything, shouldn’t 2008’s “The Unspoken King”, which was released by Century Media, have been an independent record? And this, released by Century Media?
Regardless, what one gets from this self-titled effort is still quite similar to old Cryptopsy: pummeling grooves, rapid time signature changes, frenzied tempos, grotesque growls, and the idiosyncratic tendency to occasionally break out into a jazzy interlude (“Red-Skinned Scapegoat”).
Still, it is not stupendously fresh in any manner, but that is not to say that it isn’t enjoyable. Amidst the hurricane of precisely-crafted noise, some traditional aspects of death metal can be found, and they will certainly make the ears of older metalheads perk up in nostalgic comfort. Simple pleasures such as that oh-so-delicious guitar shredding that kicks in at the 3-minute mark of “Amputated Enigma”, and the blatant overusing of blast beats are there to anchor the otherwise overwhelmingly technical song-writing.
Apart from the continued absence of Lord Worm and a noticeably sterile production as compared to older albums, this sounds like Cryptopsy returning to form. Why, then, does no label want to take on this born again Cryptian? Only the Cryptian God knows.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]