Review Summary: Well, Cryptopsy had to change at some point, and this isn't too shabby.
The Unspoken King is the most maligned in Cryptopsy's extensive discography for the simple fact that it was Cryptopsy tapping into the trends of the day, and this is not rightfully so at all. The Unspoken King is not a complete sellout release that should never have been made, but simply the band doing what they needed to do so badly-change. And Then You'll Beg and Once Was Not had already proven the band was not invincible, and that there were many chinks in the armor they had worn so proudly with classics such as None So Vile. Lord Worm was out of the picture, having quit after Once Was Not, and the band now had new vocalist Matt McGachy and keyboardist Maggie Durand on the team. The result was The Unspoken King, a great release.
Album opener Worship Your Demons immediately displays that Cryptopsy have lost none of the edge that albums such as None So Vile had, with its ultra technical guitar work that is up there with the best, and the vocal work is breathtaking. For those lord Worm fan boys out there, listen to this song to be convinced that Matt has every bit of the power Lord Worm had behind his vocals. He can do both ultra low growls and manic insane screams. This album also contains some great clean vocals delivered by Matt, with Leach having a soaring chorus, and The Plagued opening with some beautiful vocal work, that reminds me of Dream Theater a little in the notes he hits.
The guitar work to this album is every bit as technical as past efforts with the addition of solos that actually sound decent, instead of the random sweep picking found on previous releases. Leach and Silence The Tyrants are the best evidence of this. The riffs are as crazily fast and hard to play as fans have come to expect, as The Headsman and The Plagued will show. The Headsman has some crazy lead playing, and The Plagued is just a lesson in how to play ridiculously fast and still sound nearly perfect. The drumming is also top notch, with Flo having ditched none of his crazily speedy blast beats, giving this album a real feel of intensity that was missing from every album they have done since None So Vile. His patterns are supremely complex, with some of the most insane fills in metal.
The real down side to this album is the use of the keyboards, which take away much of the real heaviness of the album with the stupid messing around on keyboard. They are not well played by Maggie, and nor do they feel at home on the songs they are found on, in particular feeling disjointed on Anoint The Dead and Resurgence Of An Empire. Also, the death core elements found throughout this album are extremely annoying, with the introduction of Resurgence Of An Empire and the chugging open string breakdowns found all through the album being the obvious examples. These really do reduce this band at times to being no heavier than bands like Job For A Cowboy, who have a fake heaviness. These mainstream sellout elements really detract from this album a lot.
This is a mixed bag album, but I really enjoy it and recommend it to everyone with an open mind. If you are a Cryptopsy fan and want a new side of the band, then this is definitely for you. Is this the perfect album, and the end to all the awful deathcore that has come before it? Neck, but it is a damn good shot at the genre.