CRYPTOPSY
"Cryptopsy"

(Defen Society)

01. Two-Pound Torch
02. Shag Harbour's Visitors
03. Red-Skinned Scapegoat
04. Damned Draft Dodgers
05. Amputated Enigma
06. The Golden Square Mile
07. Ominous
08. Cleansing The Hosts

RATING: 9/10

Often a veteran band comes off as uninspired when they take the easy way out by self-titling an album well into their careers. Said maneuver suggests an in-house restructuring or a rebirth, but often self-titling is trite and it's a cheat.

Montreal death grinders CRYPTOPSY, however, suffered the tortures of the damned from press and fans alike in 2008 when their experimental "The Unspoken King" was torched almost universally. As even the colossal KREATOR writhed through rejection when dwelling too far left-of-center on their industrial-laden "Renewal" and "Cause of Conflict" albums, CRYPTOPSY was just about written off by the metal public. Never mind "Blasphemy Made Flesh", "None So Vile", "And Then You'll Beg" and "Whisper Supremacy" are considered essentials if you're a fan of this style.

Dig it or not, "The Unspoken King" had balls, albeit probably not in the band's best interests. Vocalist Matt McGachy has probably had to weather taunts of "Lord Worm" in his face like Robert Lowe stomached jeers of "Messiah" into his. It didn't help matters for McGachy that "The Unspoken King" had him mixing up elements of high-end metalcore yelping and unsystematic bits of cleans. All unforgivable from a sect of fans who would demand the impalement of MORBID ANGEL for the same offense.

Lessons learned, it appears, since blast beat maniac Flo Mounier and his retooled CRYPTOPSY (now including NEURAXIS bassist Olivier Pinard) get back to where they once belonged with "Cryptopsy". For the band's devout, this is the album they've been waiting for. For CRYPTOPSY as a collective, this is a confident reclamation that might is right and there's plenty enough room for innovations and dabbles.

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Hit-and-run splashes of fusion jazz and other non-metal variables sneak into the scheme on "Cryptopsy" and they're so brilliantly snookered even their fiercest critics will give them props. The ethereal and concise note sequences haunting the top layers of "Red-Skinned Scapegoat" are but one decorative element of many. The random interplay of jazzy bass and fusion guitar goofs amidst the banging thrash, grind and black motifs will leave listeners dizzy and breathless. Forget the metalcore breakdown that manifests on the same song; this time, CRYPTOPSY turns it ugly and ugly is the primary palette of this album. The hilarious xylophone rhumba interjection splicing the smarmy "Damned Draft Dodgers" keeps CRYPTOPSY's violent overtures from going over the brink, but the brink is where you'll find yourself most of the time.

"Cryptopsy" is focused on brutality, speed and mathematical bedlam. In other words, back to basics with a brainier attack formation. Matt McGachy should no longer have to face hecklers, albeit hecklers are bred perpetually no matter the conditions of their environment. It's who they are. For the purposes of CRYPTOPSY's current standing, McGachy is a brahma bull from start-to-finish. Ralphing, puking, screeching, McGachy sticks to task and he bleeds his esophagus raw for his manic efforts.

Jon Levasseur and Chris Donaldson weave complex lines galore (try keeping up with them on the careening "Amputated Enigma") and their solos cover all ends from punitive to exquisite. Flo Mounier, as ever, delivers his scattered beat patterns as calculated rivets, while the addition of Olivier Pinard was a savvy choice. CRYPTOPSY opens themselves overtop Pinard while allowing him to harness the group before they grow reckless. The precision of the entire unit through the main drives of "The Golden Square Mile" should be considered homework by those looking to emulate this arduous technique of metal music.

Too much audile chaos to process for many listeners, CRYPTOPSY nevertheless comes back to form in 2012 and rewards their fans, proving that sometimes the self-titled rebooting edict has cred.

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