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Following on from their raw and brutal if underdeveloped 1994 debut 'Blasphemy Made Flesh', Cryptopsy released what is almost universally regarded as the album of their careers in the form of their 1996 effort 'None So Vile'.
'None So Vile' deviates little from the formula of its predecessor, but simply does everything faster, heavier, tighter and more intensely. The album consists of jazz-influenced, whirlwind guitar riffs performed by Jon Levasseur (both lead & rhythm guitar) and insanely fast and technical blastbeat-and-drum-fill-heavy percussion courtesy of Flo Mournier with the band sounding as good as ever. As with the debut the songs still leap about dementedly as if suffering from attention deficit disorder, remaining a gratifyingly incoherent mix of furiously dense breakneck-speed riffing and crushing grooves with Flo seemingly trying to fit as many drumbeats into each bar as he possibly can.
Whist still impenetrably fast and heavy, the songs on None So Vile are more varied than those of its predecessor with more interesting changes in momentum throughout that prevent the album from ever becoming stale. The band's production problems of old are gone too, with the new album possessing a suitably crunchier and bassier sound as opposed to the flat and lo-fi sound of its predecessor, with the Eric Langlois' bass work fitting in well with the other instruments rather than standing out like a burbling, twangy sore thumb as it did on 'Blasphemy Made Flesh'. The deleriously melodic solos are back too, and whilst nothing all that special musically speaking, they suit the unhinged nature of the music nicely. Lord Worm's vocals are as sick as ever here, consisting of a range of beastial and deranged-sounding, unrestrained barks and violent rasping screams that once again work well in conjunction with the powerful, eccentric riffs and Flo's relentless blasting
None So Vile is a brutal and incredibly musically tight death metal album packed full of hugely catchy and enjoyable jazzy riffs and ferocious clattering drums, possessing just the right balance between all-out-blasting and crushing mid-paced grooves throughout. Its quite a short album at just over 30 minutes but such is its musical density and sonic violence that you're unlikely to notice. Cryptopsy would lose vocalist Lord Worm after this album and would never quite regain their momentum, producing a string of good-but-inferior albums before eventually taking a sad nosedive into the deathcore purgatory they inhabit today, with None So Vile ultimately proving to be their finest moment. A death metal classic.
1. Crown of Horns 03:57
2. Slit Your Guts 04:02
3. Graves of the Fathers 04:11
4. Dead and Dripping 03:53
5. Benedictine Convulsions 04:00
6. Phobophile 04:38
7. Lichmistress 02:31
8. Orgiastic Disembowelment 04:51
Total playing time 32:03
'None So Vile' is Cryptopsy's most famous album, and one of the defining works in the genre of technical death metal. With its flippant disregard for form and its desire to provoke all but the tiny minority of fans it's aimed towards, this is perhaps the definition of a love-it-or-loathe-it album. So just to be controversial, I think it's pretty average.
This is half an hour of relentless, random death metal, taking delight in its lack of coherence. While each song maintains its momentum and interest throughout, none are particularly memorable or distinctive, and the whole thing needs to be taken as an experience rather than a collection of songs. The music is certainly brutal and aggressive, with Lord Worm's deep growls doing their own thing above the instruments, and the production quality (vastly improved over its predecessor) means that every nuance can be heard, even if it doesn't all make a whole lot of sense.
The vile subject matter isn't an issue as Lord Worm can't be deciphered, and even non-metal fans who appreciate experimental music should find something that appeal to them, perhaps even the jazz-influenced drums reminiscent of Atheist. Perhaps the oddest thing about this album is that, for all its defiance against logical and accepted structure, it still throws out comparatively tame guitar solos in the expected place.
1. Crown of Horns
2. Slit Your Guts
3. Graves of the Fathers
4. Dead and Dripping
5. Benedictine Convulsions
8. Orgiastic Disembowelment
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Crown of Horns
2 Slit Your Guts
3 Graves of the Fathers
4 Dead and Dripping
5 Benedictine Convulsions
8 Orgiastic Disembowelment