"Cryptic Implosion"


01. Fragmented Oblivion
02. The Endless Regression of Mind
03. Dysmorphic Avulsion
04. Vile Progeny
05. Conjoint Species
06. Nux Vomica
07. Gestation of Worms
08. Subcortical Desiccation
09. Domain of the Eternal Paradox
10. Collapse of Recreation

RATING: 7.5/10

Anyone that has spent any amount of time with the technically proficient extreme bands on the Willowtip roster will not be surprised to find out that "Cryptic Implosion" from Santa Cruz, California's ODIOUS MORTEM is a awe-inspiring slab of accomplished death metal aggression. Jumping from well-respected death metal label Unique Leader to the always consistent Willowtip, ODIOUS MORTEM also takes a big step forward from debut "Devouring the Prophecy" by giving its violent and swirling arrangements more depth and impact.

Perhaps the biggest difference from the debut album to "Cryptic Implosion" is the rampant use of jaw-dropping guitar solos that were basically nonexistent on "Devouring the Prophecy". The best part about the fleet-fingered fretwork is that it does not come off as a talent showcase (though the talent is prodigious), instead integrating into each track in a smartly composed way. In fact, the axe wizardry is often classically based; fast and furious, but tastefully done, that is, once you settle down from the initial shock and begin focusing on the meat of the tunes. The final two minutes of "Domain of the Eternal Paradox" could stand alone as a separate guitar instrumental, the vibe of which could be likened to a guitar-based mini-symphony. Ron Jarzombek (SPASTIC INK, WATCHTOWER) provides a mighty guest solo during "Collapse of Recreation" as well. The guitar work as a whole is breathtaking, to say the least.

The album also marks the addition of vocalist Anthony Trapani (ex-CARNIVOROUS) who frees guitarist Dan Eggers from those duties and allows him to focus on his blazing six-string playing. Trapani's style is similar in many respects to that of SUFFOCATION's Frank Mullen, just not as guttural and more intelligible. Musically, the tunes are consistently good and are kept to reasonably short lengths that allow the listener no chance to catch a breath. With lyrical content that is based largely around planet earth's revolt against its parasites, "Cryptic Implosion" stays away from the gore-for-gore's-sake fare heard from many bands of this type.

With groups like label mates ILLOGICIST and GOROD, not to mention ANATA (on Earache), traveling down the same road, "Cryptic Implosion" does not necessarily raise the tech-death bar, but is a rock solid album nonetheless and it keeps getting better. It is a grand example of the intelligently composed and ferociously aggressive approach heard from bands on both Willowtip and Unique Leader. Damn good.


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