Canada, Self-released, Technical Death Metal
Over a long career, any band will eventually have some missteps. Even the greats pen some weaker albums. By definition alone, not every album can be the best. However, the defining moment in a band’s career may be after that dropped ball: should they accept their fate, and fade into obscurity after increasingly uninspired releases?
Or return full-force, guns-blazing?
Flo Mournier and company, with original axe-swinger John Levasseur, have drawn the line in the sand, and shown which side of it Cryptopsy stands on. Although the self-titled seventh full-length contains only two original members, apparently that is enough to synthesize oldschool sickness with hard-hitting modern production for a reinvigorated and technical kickstart.
What was Levasseur doing in the 12 years between And Then You’ll Beg and Cryptopsy? Storing up ideas, apparently, as his riffs bounce and crush like two-ton rubber mallets. His leads are as sinister as ever, drifting slowly and accelerating quickly, like cautiously leaning off a skyscraper…. then diving with vigor. Meanwhile, Mournier brings his ever-destructive flurry of destruction. The drums are akin to being swarmed by killer bees. Car-sized, carnivorous, killer bees. With bludgeoning weapons.
The rest of (new) Cryptopsy powerfully support the leading duo. Guitarist Christian Donaldson supplies head-banging riffs and discordant splits aplenty. Widely-panned vocalist Matt McGachy growls like a frothing beast, dropping the metalcore hardcore. Oliver Pinard (Neuraxis, Vengeful) clangs and supplies sick slaps, bringing a modern approach similar to the masterful Asylon.
Such brings us to the point that will no doubt be the divisive element for fans: the modern. Producer/guitarist Donaldson delivers a wall of razors, robust with studio effects (such as a break for elevator music on “Damned Draft Dodgers.”) Said contribution is noticeable, changing the album as much as if he picked up another instrument.
Cryptopsy is a dynamic and technical redemption. The songs are memorable and diverse, budding with an interplay between building complexity (“The Golden Square Mile,”) and devolving bludgeoning (“Red-Skinned Scapegoat”). In addition, the subject matter of exploring the darker points of Canadian history makes for a refreshing change.
Hail Cryptopsy 5.0, a more modern, yet no less crushingly technical version of the band!
Reviewer: Witness to the Void