None So Vile (1996)
Canada, Wrong Again Records, Brutal Technical Death Metal
1996 has always been one of my favourite years in humanity’s shoddy history, for 2 reasons specifically. The first reason is that I was born in 1996, so I have to celebrate it as the year that I first entered the world and first starting pissing people off. The second reason is this album. It stands out more than any other album I’ve ever heard, except maybe for Cephalectomy’s An Epitaph To Tranquility. In fact, this album was released just 20 days before I was.
The first think I would like to make clear is that this abum is quite literally insane, and (in my honest opinion) the greatest technical death metal record of all time. Mere words are useless in describing this album, so there isn’t really any point trying. This album is a turning point in the genre, and will most likely be talked about another 16 years later. I hoope so.
The album kicks off in a surely unusual style at the time. A demonic roar, and a quick quote, before blasting into pure perfection. The tone is completely unique, the drums make incredible use of the kit and show unstoppable versatility. It’s a safe assumption that Flo Mounier is only half-human at best. The bass tones rumble through the ground and knock about in your genitals, the treble guitar tones on songs like Benedictine Convulsions smooth out and interlock into constant sound. There isn’t much of a chance to slow down on this album, except the piano/bass intro to Phobophile.
Lord Worm is what makes this album so incredible though. Diehard Cryptopsy fans will be fully aware of Lord Worm’s position as vocalist on their first two releases, Blashpemy Made Flesh and None So Vile, then he got taken over by some deathcore kid. Following their career is like being at a concert for a band that blends death metal and deathcore, you go to mosh, get a couple of decent pits going, then some kid in his sister’s jeans and a Bring Me The Horizon vest turns up and starts flailing his arms around. At least Mr. Worm returned for Once Was Not.
Lord Worm’s vocals are not the only applaudable aspect of his input to this release though, his lyrics are superb. Here’s a little part of Graves of the Fathers:
“Sextons of the churchyard
Have seen unblessed things;
Ground no longer hallowed
Has sprouted new graves.
Descendants of clan
That unsurped maternity
hear whispers in their blood;
This summons of the Fathers.”
It seems apparent that Lord Worm’s original career as an English teacher has certainly paid off to bring lyrics of this caliber. Sometimes the lyrics delve into the realm of poetry, as shown in Phobophile:
“Terror of morality
I draw from the slowly dying damned
Monsters live behind my eyes;
I let them out and people die.
And all the grave worms
That come for their piece of meat?
I give them dead things..
The wretched living are mine alone”
What else amazes me is that the entire album continues to keep music at the high standard that it opens with. It’s one of the most consistent tech-death records I’ve heard in a long time.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is the application of a brutal death metal breakdown in the middle of the album. No, not a deathcore chug-fest. Cryptopsy didn’t reach that stage until Flo decided they should sell out. I mean a real breakdown. And there’s an ear-shattering, 22 second long scream, that I still haven’t heard anyone recreate.
While writing this, I’m slowly getting more and more tired, and less and less verbose, so I’ll sum this up with one short statement:
THIS ALBUM REEKS OF AWESOME.