September 02, 2019

Cryptopsy - Once Was Not (2005)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Technical Death Metal
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© 2005 Century Media
Review by Scott Alisoglu for Blabbermouth.net
It has taken a while for Canadian death metal techsters CRYPTOPSY to get back on track after the departure of Mike DiSalvo. The last studio album was 2000's "And Then You'll Beg", after which vocalist Martin LaCroix entered the picture, lasting long enough to perform on concert LP "None so Live" and eventually departing. It was time for the return of original singer and conspirator in CRYPTOPSY's genre defining death metal firestorm. Lord Worm's scratchy growls and schizoid screams on studio masterwork five, "Once Was Not", make it seem as though he never left.
The album is based around the concept of fear, its 50 minutes of devastation fueled by Worm's throat-shred terror tripping. A Latin-flavored acoustic instrumental, "Luminum" begins the album by creating a sense of dread for what lies ahead. As the bombing runs commence on "In The Kingdom Where Everything Dies, The Sky is Mortal", Lord Worm's scream acts as an announcement of his return, warning all to take cover. From thereon out, it's time signature blasphemy, rib-splitting riffs, and bouts of unpredictable musical passages. The clean guitar break and off-time beats during one part of this particular track are PRIMUS-like in their oddness, the first indicator of the madness to come. The French and English spoken word parts on "Carrionshine" are chilling, a seething guitar solo providing the exclamation point. A short break for jazzy licks and drums explode into refulgent savageness on "Keeping the Cadaver Dogs Busy" and fusillades of shred slice the air on "Angelskingarden". The creepy sound effects and middle eastern instrumentation of "The End" provides one last respite before the world implodes on "Endless Cemetery".
"Once was Not" is an album that envelopes, battering the listener with any number of rhythmic weapons from Flo Mounier's impressive arsenal, Alex Auburn's terrifying riffs, and a bassist in Eric Langlois who flatly refuses to bow to convention. Lord Worm's skillful maneuvering through the battle zone is the pinnacle of the band's hard fought victory and the listener's ultimate demise. Debates will rage over the place of "Once Was Not" within CRYPTOPSY's impressive body of work, and many will be blinded by nostalgia for the earliest albums. Whether the disc is seen as legacy defining (I'm leaning that way) matters little when one considers that few death metal acts can match the brilliance of CRYPTOPSY.

tags: cryptopsy, once was not, 2005, flac,

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