The metal community collectively shudders when these albums are mentioned in hushed tones, and furtive glances are cast about to see if anyone else is listening. These albums are best left unspoken, almost as if metal has its collection of weird uncles best left unmentioned during Thanksgiving dinner.
It takes a lot for bands to live down such albums; some never do. The uproar over the release of The Unspoken King, Cryptopsy’s last album, has abated, and Cryptopsy have been largely forgotten, legacy notwithstanding. When a new self titled album was announced, barely a ripple was felt except for a “We’ll see,” sort of attitude. A self titled album also seems to be saying that a new chapter is being introduced, and the listener should be prepared for a new beginning. Perhaps.
Cryptopsy eschews the ill-advised deathcore of The Unspoken King, and is largely a return to the version of Cryptopsy last seen on 2005's Once Was Not, the last album to feature Lord Worm on vocals. Very tightly played, crisp modern death metal with time changes galore, fluid drumming from Flo Mounier, and jazz-influenced improvisation are all over the album, as Cryptopsy still demonstrate that they’re amongst the best musicians in the business.
The reintroduction of guitarist Jon Levasseur is noteworthy, as his influence is readily apparent with time changes seamlessly introduced, and a notable fluidity to the music that has been absent from recent albums. Cryptopsy also acknowledge where they’re coming from with a few moments of pure jazz that fit in quite nicely, most notably within “Red-Skinned Scapegoat,” a standout track.
With their new self-titled album, Cryptopsy are definitely signaling that they’re back as a force to be reckoned with, but what remains to be seen is whether or not the metal listening community still cares.
(released November 20, 2012)