Technical Death Metal
In my eyes, Cryptopsy’s second album is one of the defining moments of its genre. Taking everything that made the debut so good, and multiplying every aspect of it by two. NSV is one of the most brutal and interesting albums out there. The production quality, speed and overall intensity is massively improved over the debut and while the production certainly is a lot cleaner it works in the album’s favour and is certainly nowhere near as glossy and over-polished as a lot of modern tech death tends to be, mostly to its own detriment in the eyes of many listeners. No, this album will still blow your head clean off. Call it a happy medium.
The ever insane sounding Lord Worm gives maybe his best performance on this album. The guy sounds like a fucking rabid animal. I’ve seen some opinions that his performance is too monotonous or gravelly, and I have to disagree. He throws in all kinds of possessed noises and on the whole just sounds fully evil. His lyrics are as usual very well written with a poetic quality to them, disturbing and articulate as opposed to many standard Death Metal lyrics. Sure they’re nasty and everything, but he does it with a flair that is pretty uncommon to this style of music (he’s a teacher of English, somewhat unsurprisingly). Jon Levasseur and Steve Thibault (who for some reason is not credited, he left after this album) contribute some infectious riffing and soloing with abstract and twisted structure and a keen sense of melody without being anything near “melodic Death Metal”. Flo Mounier is as crazy behind the kit as ever, using the hyperblasts a lot more on this album and doing some backing screams to good effect. New bassist Eric Langlois is all over the place, a more than worthy successor to the excellent bass player on the debut album. He uses more a funk style and tone with some savage slap playing during the breakdowns and is perfectly audible. For 1996 this is surely a serious benchmark soundwise.
Although most of their albums have something good to offer, None So Vile is perhaps the highlight of this band’s work. Cryptopsy has always been a musician’s band as well as a listener’s band and the musicianship on display here is nothing short of seriously impressive. It may seem a bit crazy and jarring if you’re unaccustomed to this kind of DM but personally I Iove this kind of demented sounding music. Canada seems to be the wellspring of some of the most crazy and fascinating music (these guys, Gorguts, early Kataklysm, Purescence and Obliveon to name a few) in metal. What are they smoking?