Review Summary: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!
For those of you who have not yet experienced the pleasure of getting their ear drums molested by Lord Worm's famous screams on 'Open Face Surgery', you're missing something. Lord Worm is considered to be one of the best death metal vocalists to have ever roamed the face of the earth, and that is not an exaggeration as he proves on Blasphemy Made Flesh
, Cryptopsy's debut album.
Let me get this out of the way first: Blasphemy Made Flesh
is not None So Vile
. Its sound is completely different, but you can surely sense that it is None So Vile
's predecessor. Despite this, chances are that if you like None So Vile
you might not like this album, because it sounds even more raw and unpolished, and the production is completely different.
As I said before, Lord Worm is growling at the top of his game here. Although he would never again boast out a scream as magnificent as those on 'Open Face Surgery', they do display this man's amazing vocal capabilities. Aside from is earthshattering screams, Lord Worm is of course primarily known for his insane growls. Never has there been a death metal vocalist with such animalistic sounding, masterfully created primal vocal sounds. Lord Worm's massive vocal skills surely help to make Cryptopsy stand out from the death metal crowd. Those of you who have heard None So Vile
might be surprised with Lord Worm's growls, as he never goes as low here as he does on that album. This is not a bad thing however, as that would not really fit in with the more unpolished style of this album. Lord Worm's vocals do have a small negative side-effect: you can't possibly understand anything he says. Of course, this is death metal, so understanding the lyrics really isn't really that important, you might think. But this is a shame because his lyrics are something you will want to hear. They do cover topics familiar to the death metal genre, but Lord Worm manages to give them a delightful twist, as if he were to make a sort of poem out of them.
I just want to hold your pretty hand
The rest of you can be dissolved in acid
I just want to hold your pretty hand
Of course, even the best vocalist of the genre still needs a great band to back him up. Luckily, the other members of Cryptopsy aren't sitting still. Ever. Flo Mounier, well known for his drumming at inhumane speed, is doing an excellent job here, not only displaying his lightning speed drumming skills, but by actually giving the songs another level of depth. This is because his drumming isn't just fast, it actually contributes to the technical feel Cryptopsy is trying to create here. Oh and his snare drum is amazing, you have to hear the album to believe it. Another band member who is doing an excellent job here is the bassist Martin Fergusson, who is actually playing a more prominent role in the songs than the guitarists, because of production problems. He adapts to his leading role with a certain kind of grace that I have yet to see in other bass players.
Normally, the guitars should play the most important role here, but they do not. That is entirely the fault of the lackluster production. The guitars are very low in the mix, which makes them sound a lot less powerful than they actually are. This is a shame because the guitarists are actually very skilled, and their riffs are nothing less than fantastic, as they prove on the standout track 'Serial Messiah'. To be fair, it does give the bassist and the drummer the chance to shine, but it really doesn't sound very realistic in the end, and as such the production can surely be considered to be the album's weakest link. Something else worth noting here is that there is not an awful lot of variety present on this album, which does not bring down the quality of the music, but it may put off some listeners who are not used to death metal.
Blasphemy Made Flesh
is a worthy predecessor of None So Vile
, with its raw and unpolished nature, realised by Lord Worm's fantastic vocal performance and an amazingly skilled band. The production brings the album down a notch, but it can't keep Blasphemy Made Flesh
from being nothing less than an absolute must have for any technical death metal fan.