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Shadow Music Ryan Harding Review by
Ryan Harding
Century Media

The first few times you listen to this album, be sure to look at the sky because it’s going to go flying right over your head. This third full length from Canadian Death Metal act CRYTPOPSY is an attention span deficit presentation of brutality, constantly shifting gears from fast to lightning quick to speed of light to warp speed. Their previous release, NONE SO VILE, was in itself an instant classic. For CRYPTOPSY ‘98, though, exit one vocalist (Lord Worm) and enter a replacement vocalist (Mike DiSalvo, ex-INFESTATION) and new guitarist Miguel Roy. Lord Worm was quite proficient at indecipherable low vocals and high-pitched screaming.

DiSalvo brings more coherent vocals to the table, not as brutal but still appropriately rough. Could they have chosen better? Quite possibly. They didn’t play it safe, and may turn off some fans. But those fans will have to be incredibly shallow, because the intensity of WHISPER SUPREMACY levels their previous efforts musically. And vocally, Mike is able to offer his own brand of aggression.

The high points of CRYPTOPSY are many, with the focus on three key members - guitarist Jon Levasseur, drummer Flo Mounier, and bassist Eric Langlois, the NONE SO VILE alumni.

Levasseur's patented zany riffs especially ornament stand-out tracks “Loathe” and “Depths You've Fallen.”
Mounier is an extraordinary drummer, able to blast and gallop through the album's most twisted song structures and achieve technicality without seeming like he's trying to win a talent show.

Langlois replaced a gifted bassist on the last album and offered impressive playing especially on “Slit Your Guts” and “Benedictine Convulsions.” He manages to sound like he’s right at home with the complexity of the album, at odd intervals being the only instrument playing (as on the split second on “Emaciate”).

What keeps CRYPTOPSY from falling prey to typical talent show antics is the utter lack of pretension in their music. No little keyboard/ synthesizer asides or clean guitar playing interludes. They keep it fast and thoughtful, on the aforementioned tracks as well as “White Worms” and “Cold Hate, Warm Blood” (with its misleading opening melody). WHISPER is half an hour of labyrinthian brutality, one of this year’s best and one of the elite in the history of brutal death.

5 Perplex Skulls.

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This review copyright 1998 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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