Cryptopsy's last CD saw the return of vocalist Lord Worm, who had been away from the band for several years. He has exited once again, and the newest addition to the Canadian band is Matt McGachy. His presence has caused an uproar by a lot of Cryptopsy fans, who are unhappy with the new musical direction the band has taken on their latest release.
The beginning of The Unspoken King
sounds like traditional Cryptopsy. It's technical death metal with complex arrangements and skilled musicianship. Then things take a musical turn. There are a lot of 'core elements mixed in with the death metal. Then on the fourth song, the clean vocals kick in. To hear melodic singing from a group as extreme as Cryptopsy is surprising, to say the least.
In addition to vocalist McGachy, Cryptopsy also brought aboard keyboardist Maggy Durand for this CD. Her presence is minimal, with only a few keyboard parts and samples able to be heard. The result of Cryptopsy's new sound is a mixed bag. There are some really good riffs and technical parts, and Flo Mounier's drumming is as thunderous and skilled as ever. However, I'm not a big fan of breakdowns even in metalcore, let alone death metal, so their addition didn't do much for me.
McGachy's vocals are the most polarizing part of The Unspoken King. His harsh vocals are more hardcore than death metal, but they are sufficiently ominous and angry to fit the bill. His melodic vocals, taken on their own merit, are just fine. He has a decent voice, but singing just sounds out of place on a Cryptopsy release.
I can understand why a band would want to change musical direction, because after being together for as long as Cryptopsy has, things can get stale and you want to try new things. But was the musical shift and a different path of creativity and expression on The Unspoken King
worth the backlash and negative fan reaction? That's a question only Cryptopsy can answer.
(released June 24, 2008 on Century Media Records)