Review Summary: A masterful return from a band seamingly in a dire position
Hailing from Canada, death metal act Cryptopsy rose to fame through the release of a string of technically outstanding albums. Following their first three efforts, the band's albums suffered a massive dive in quality. Until 2012, and the release of their eagerly anticipated self-titled effort, which promised a return to the visceral style of their earliest outings.
Cryptopsy is a 35-minute tangle of schizophrenic tempo changes and outstanding instrumentation. Two-Pound Torch showcases masterful guitar riffs and excellent bass work in a gruelling opener. Fans of the band will be happy to note that the insipid deathcore elements of predecessor The Unspoken King have been retracted from the musical cacophony.
This album stylistically falls somewhere between the all-encompassing madness of None So Vile and the more complex compositions of Whisper Supremacy. Ominous utilizes some glorious power-chord riffing and Flo Mounier's signature violent drumming to scalp the listener, whilst Red Skinned Scapegoat is maze of different riffs that tear through the audience like a knife through butter.
The one minor negative on this release is the lack of vocal variety. Whilst Matt McGachy sounds far more suited to the guttural grunts here than the high shrieks of his Cryptopsy debut, he sounds very monotonous. Despite this, he rips through lyric upon lyric in a cascade of insanity throughout this album.
Cryptopsy's eponymous album is a fantastic return to the frantic assault on the senses that their earliest works embodied. This is a cracking effort that marks a huge step forward for a band previously on a slippery slope.