REVIEW: CRYPTOPSY – “The Book of Suffering – Tome 1” [EP]
Cryptopsy is easily one of the most iconic extreme death metal bands to ever exist, creating legendary albums like ‘Blasphemy Made Flesh’ and ‘None So Vile’. The band is also notorious for doing an epic 180-degree turn and diverting from their signature sound in 2008 to produce the abortion that is ‘The Unspoken King’. After some major line-up changes over the years, the band seems to have settled in as a collective and is really making an effort to revive the legend that the name “Cryptopsy” carries. With one full-length under their belt, the band seems to be coming back into their own, and is putting out material that is up to the standard set back in 1992. ‘The Book of Suffering – Tome 1’ is a short 4-song EP that truly gives me hope for the future of the band, especially as a die-hard fan of their original incarnation. The record is short, simple, brutal, and to the point, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Considering it’s only 4 tracks long, I’ll break each one down as quickly and concisely as I can.
“Detritus (And The One They Kept)” opens with a cool sound clip before jumping straight into the action. One of the first things to catch my attention was the heavy presence of bass in the mix. Olivier Pinard does an amazing job keeping to the tradition of gritty, nasty bass tones with a mix of finger-picking and slap techniques originally laid down by Eric Langolis. One of the other immediately apparent things is that Flo Mounier clearly hasn’t lost his edge as a drummer, with blast beats galore in every track, as it should be.
“The Knife, The Head and What Remains” is track two. The composition is absolutely fantastic, bouncing back and forth between dissonant riffs and nasty grooves. In all the tracks, the vocal work by Matt McGachy is fairly impressive. While it retains the extreme edge and intensity established by Lord Worm, Matt does a great job in finding his own unique sound that cuts like a knife.
“Halothane Glow” is a brutal track that has an awesome dissonant, grinding feel. Easily the best part of the track is the clean guitar break that really adds to the raw intensity the band is known so well for. Again we see a great back and forth between the nasty, discordant riffs and the fat, crunchy grooves.
Lastly, there’s “Framed By Blood”. I will always geek out when I hear the bass get even a moment alone on a track, especially when the tone is so massive. The guitar work is really well done on all these tracks, with the solo on this track being my favorite. It’s sweet, simple, and strangely refreshing amidst the beautiful chaos that the band creates so well.
I hate that I keep making comparisons to the original works the band put out, but at the same time, I feel like it’s something the band brought on themselves with the disaster that is ‘The Unspoken King’. Coming back from such an abomination is a long climb, but I feel like the band will finally rid themselves of the stigma with another solid album or two. I think ‘The Book of Suffering – Tome 1’ is an epic EP that truly does their legacy justice, and I feel confident in saying that the band is back on track in holding up the incredibly high standard of extreme death metal that they created.