Review Summary: RUH RUH RUH RUH
Around eight months ago, I read, on this very site, something about Cryptopsy vocalist Lord Worm’s insanely long scream in the song “Open Face Surgery.” It sounded interesting so I opened up my AIDs-infested Limewire and downloaded the song, despite the Death Metal tag. I was blown away. I had never heard anything like Cryptopsy before. The song completely turned my world upside down. It was my first taste of death metal (all I listened to then was pop-punk) and my view of music completely changed. I fu
cking hated it man.
I deleted the song but kept the band at the back of my mind. As I started to grow musically and listen to other genres, I decided to give Cryptopsy another try. I downloaded their 1996 album None So Vile. Just like when I heard “Open Face Surgery,” I was blown away, but this time it was for a different reason. I loved it. I don’t mean “loved it” in a happy, gooey feeling sort of way. I mean that I was terrified and morbidly fascinated with the music, and I loved that feeling. None So Vile opened me up to a whole new musical world, one that I had chosen not to acknowledge until I heard that opening roar in “Crown of Horns.” Cryptopsy made a convert out of me.
Lord Worm is the best death metal vocalist I’ve heard, hands down. He’s got vocal chords made out of steel, evidenced by the fact that he can hold screams and growls for well over a minute. He sounds like ten chainsaws running at once, he sounds like the mangled screams coming from a torture chamber, he sounds like a primordial beast roaring as it rears up on its hind legs, proclaiming triumph over a recent kill
. You have to hear him to believe him. Beware though; his vocals aren’t exactly easy to get into. If you’ve never heard something like him before, as it was with me when I first heard “Open Face Surgery,” you just might hate it. I only have on complaint, which is that he is absolutely impossible to understand. Normally with death metal this wouldn’t be such a problem, but Lord Worm’s lyrics are fantastic. Although he usually writes about typical death metal subjects, he does so with poetic skill. For example, read some select lines from “Slit Your Guts,” which is the best song title ever: Pardon, please, the narrow confinement of your limbs; unfortunately, it’s necessary for your correction. Shriek to your heart’s content, if you wish. I promise you pain and nightmares, in that sequence
. That’s a familiar story for the genre, but Lord Worm gives it quite the poetic twist, infusing the narrator’s voice with a sick cordiality. The song goes on: Permit me to introduce you to “Tuesday.” I favor her, this pretty blade, so tall and fine; hatred and violence are not our ways, but firm we are. Squirming is useless; so is this colon. Cry for me!
Brutal scenes of torture, yet the shock is lessened somewhat by Lord Worm’s amazing lyrics. It wouldn’t be so farfetched to refer to him as the Bob Dylan of death metal.
But don’t let me mislead you into thinking that Lord Worm is all that Cryptopsy has to offer. Their music is incredibly technical on all fronts. Drummer Flo Mournier is amazing. Incredibly fast double bass playing coupled with great cymbal and snare work have made him one of my favorite drummers. Check out “Graves of the Fathers” for his best work on this album. Jon Levasseur’s guitar playing is fantastic as well. His riffs are bone-crushingly heavy (and they aren’t all played at 100 mph either) and he throws in some skillful solos here and there. I'm not too impressed by solos anymore, but he's definitely one of the better metal guitarists. Eric Langlois is an absolutely overlooked bassist. His great bass licks are rampant throughout the album (check out the slap fill in “Slit Your Guts”) and this is accentuated by the fact that you can clearly hear his bass in every song. On a technical level, this is one of the best groups of musicians ever.
Cryptopsy’s None So Vile is my favorite death metal album. Almost everything is perfect. Lord Worm’s vocals and lyrics are top notch, and the musicians are all extremely skilled in their respective crafts. Cryptopsy write songs that will slit your guts and feed you your head on a platter. You’ll love every minute of it.
It’s for your own good;
You need guidance, I provide.
What is your pleasure?
This is mine:
A welcome change!