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Cryptopsy: Once Was Not

Cryptopsy is an extreme metal experience not to be forgotten. As with much of their back catalog, Once Was Not is a technical, brutal, yet melodic death metal journey, and these four French Canadian lads this time around have utilzed the production services of Sebastien Marsan to give their sound more clarity and conviction. Plus, the fact that original growler Lord Worm is back in the fold is also a reason to celebrate.

If you've never heard Cryptopsy before, be prepared for an aural assault like no other. Imagine a cross between Nile, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Meshuggah, and you have some sense of the brutal mayhem that these guys can create. The complex and intricate nature of their music is very impressive, as the mammoth yet technical riffs of Alex Auburn mesh with the powerful drum riffery of Flo Mournier on tracks like "Adeste Infidlis" and "In the Kingdom Where Everything Dies, The Sky is Mortal" (how's that for a Nile-esque song title!). The band get can downright doomy when they want to as well, like on "The Curse of the Great", a song that features some gravelly and chilling vocals from Worm, whose vocals are an acquired taste, but once you get used to him, he is the sound of Cryptopsy. The epic grind of "Keeping the Cadaver Dogs Busy", and pounding mayhem of "Angelskingarden " are two more manic reasons why this band are one of the more technical of all the death metal bands. This is mind-numbing stuff, and not music that you can take in with one or two listens.

The music even takes on a bit of a symphonic tone on the skull-crushing "The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness (Psalm 91 : 5-8)", which sees the rhythm team of Mournier and bassist Eric Langolis working overtime while Auburn is just shredding on the guitar. "Endless Cemetary" closes things out in fine fashion, and is another of those relentless and massive pieces that again reminds me a bit of Nile due to the intense nature and fullness of the production. Auburn also lays down some wild jazz/metal solos on this one that are extremely impressive.

If you are a technical death metal fan who likes your music with chops galore, blood soaked vocals, big fat production, a bottom end that never rests, and oh yeah, plenty of killer riffs, then Once Was Not is a mandatory purchase.

Track Listing
1. Luminum
2. In The Kingdom Where Everything Dies,The Sky Is Mortal
3. Carrionshine
4. Adeste Infidelis
5. The Curse Of The Great
6. The Frantic Pace Of Dying
7. Keeping The Cadaver Dogs Busy
8. Angelskingarden
9. The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness (Psalm 91 : 5-8)
10. The End
11. Endless Cemetery

Added: March 24th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Cryptopsy Website
Hits: 3060
Language: english

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Cryptopsy: Once Was Not
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-03-24 06:59:25
My Score:

The Death/Extreme Metal band Cryptopsy means business and with "Once Was Not" prove that by not only pushing the limits of what has been done before but also by bringing back Lord Worm on vocals. Extreme Metal defies an easy description as while the music is brutally fast there is also an accomplished level of technical expertise showcased that merits a lot of respect. Members Alex Auburn (guitar) and Eric Langlois (bass) are exceptional but the presence of drummer Flo Mounier makes sure that a lot of the music is borderline superhuman. Mounier does things on the drums that make one think the recording had been sped up two or three times in order to accomplish them. The lead in acoustic track will throw you off before the assault begins on "In The Kingdom Where Everything Dies, The Sky Is Mortal". "Carrionshine" is a more straight ahead Metal track in terms of Slayer-esque guitar riffing, but under it all Mounier seems to defy gravity and human capabilities. His playing alone is sure to make aspiring drummers question their level of commitment and practice routines. "Keeping The Cadaver Dogs Busy" also was an interesting number but I still have problems figuring out the vocals when the singer growls everything. Lord Worm's return still should gather a lot of interest in the band again since he is such a memorable character (he eats worms on stage as I am told...)

I never listened to them before this and was able to enjoy it based on what was happening on the album. Clearly Cryptopsy is not going to be everyone's thing but if over the top Metal display is your scene and you are an open enough fan of Progressive styling then this will impress you. It's technical, tight and above all aggressively in your face.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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