Genre: Technical Death Metal
The newest period of Cryptopsy, with the arrival of Matt McGachy replacing Lord Worm and Christian Donaldson filling Jon Levasseur’s shoes began with a very ambiguous record, “The Unspoken King”. Even the most faithful fans began making terms with the idea that this may have been the beginning of the end for Cryptopsy. The return of Levasseur in 2011 and the release of “Cryptopsy”, the year after, brought the lost balance back in the band, which then gave up on the deathcore elements and the clean vocals. After the anew departure of Levasseur, right after that record’s release, clouds began to gather over the fan’s heads once again. What would the future hold for the band? “The Book of Suffering Tome I” is here to make these clouds disappear. Donaldson and Mounier stepped up working on the songwriting and they did quite a job! I think that these four songs are easily the best ones the band has written the last ten years at least.
However, let’s do some technical detail digging first. The Ep was crowd-funded through indiegogo, as Cryptopsy, since their previous release, have decided to walk alone (with the help of their fans, to be fair) and go without a record label contract. In case you are thinking that releasing an Ep three years after “Cryptopsy” is a poor output, you need to consider that this is just the first part of a project by the band, which intends to release at least three Ep’s back to back – thus the “Part I” on the album title. We are not yet aware if there will be any differentiations in the musical style or something else among these Ep’s… The recordings took place in Montreal, in Grid Studios, produced by Donaldson, the mixing was made by Alan Suecoff and the mastering by Alan Douches. The sound is plain perfect. Finally, Matt McGachy’s lyrics are involved around hideous crimes that took place the last thirty or so years.
Those four songs seem to be the product of intensively thorough work. The chaotic song-structure, Cryptopsy’s trademark, is by all means evident, still, the band, in a somewhat magic fashion, achieves to breathe order in chaos, transforming each song to a delightful treat for the fans of brutal technicality. Old meets new in harmony, with classic death metal riffs in turns with slam, grindcore, even math rhythms. Matt’s vocals develop in the same pattern – bree followed by classic brutal growls and then screams that refer to grind bands. The man has made huge leaps since “The Unspoken King”, one must acknowledge that for sure…Now, let’s get to the rhythm section starting with the, relatively new in the band, bassist Olivier Pinard. His strong biography note (Vengeful, Neuraxis, Nader Sadek) guarantees his efficiency and he manages to live up to the expectations. His solo fusion attempts (another Cryptopsy trademark), are utterly successful. Alone the fact that Cryptopsy are often referred to as “percussion death metal”, displays the impact that the (top-class) drummer, named Florent Mounier, has on the band’s sound. However, this term does not do justice to Chris Donaldson, considering the amazing job that he has done in this Ep. Without this, the unsurprisingly seminar drumming by Mounier would be meaningless.
A lot of words for an Ep, one might think, but when you witness one of your favorite bands coming back 100% (that started by all means with “Cryptopsy”), then words naturally don’t come short. We shouldn’t oversee the fact that Cryptopsy’s new sound as well as the reminiscence of Lord Worm’s unique vocals, may urge some of the die-hard fans of the early period of the band not to share the same feelings for this Ep. Well, that sure makes sense, still, in my opinion, this is one of the best releases in the genre in 2015. We are eagerly waiting for the next tome in the “The book of Suffering” series!