Most serious death metal addicts I know rank the early albums of Montreal’s Cryptopsy (recently inducted into DECIBEL’s Hall of Fame) among their personal favorites, especially None So Vile (1996), recorded at a time when the “classic” Cryptopsy line-up was in place — vocalist Lord Worm, Jon Levasseur on guitars, Flo Mounier behind the kit, and Éric Langlois on bass. But I doubt I’ll get much argument when I say that more recent albums — and especially 2008’s The Unspoken King — have greatly disappointed the band’s long-time fans.
The band’s musical decline (at least compared to their early glory days) can be traced to Levasseur’s departure in late 2004. He left, and we got Once Was Not (which was not all bad, in part because Lord Worm was back in the fold, briefly) and The Unspoken King (which just plain didn’t measure up to this band’s legacy).
Well, the great circle of life spins, or some shit like that, and Jon Levasseur is now a Cryptopsian again (since May 2011). My fairly simple mind fairly boggles at the contemplation of what he and co-guitarist Chris Donaldson are going to cook up for the band’s next album. Neuraxis bassist Olivier Pinard replaced Youri Raymond (who replaced Langlois last year), and he will be strong, and of course the paranormal Flo Mounier will continue to be his otherworldly self. And then there’s vocalist Matt McGachy, who will ne’er replace Lord Worm in the hearts of the Cryptopsy faithful, but he’s really not bad, and in any event he will be overshadowed by the instrumental extravagance of his bandmates.
And speaking of instrumental extravagance, after the jump, I have a few tastes of what we have in store for our greedy selves from the “new” Cryptopsy, plus a few more morsels of news about the next album.
In January, Cryptopsy started releasing play-through videos by most of the band’s current members of songs from past Cryptopsy releases, and I’m collecting them here. First, here’s a video released late last month of Levasseur performing “Serial Messiah” from Cryptopsy’s debut album Blasphemy Made Flesh, which was originally recorded before he joined the band.
Now, was that sweet or what? Next up, Chris Donaldson with a play-through of “Worship Your Demons” from The Unspoken King:
Continuing with the new videos, here’s new bassist Olivier Pinard doing a bass play-through of “Cold Hate Warm Blood” from Whisper Supremacy.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Flo Mounier just fucking around before a band rehearsal in January. Jaws will drop:
To close out this feature, here’s a video of Jon Levasseur talking about his tuning and his gear (and doing a few demonstrations), and along the way there are small bits of info about new music. I’ll also quote this comment from Matt McGlachy in a press release about one of his side projects (The Era Of): “Cryptopsy fans need not worry: With the return of Jon Levasseur, we have been writing some of the most brutal material I have ever heard. Jon has been a pleasure to play with, and the connection between him and Flo is undeniable. We are now hard at work preparing a new Cryptopsy album to be released in 2012.”
To say I’m stoked for the new album is a criminal understatement. This is seriously good stuff!
I so agree. What is already shaping up to be a really strong 2012 for metal looks even stronger now. On this evidence, Cryptopsy vault themselves into the upper reaches of the year’s most anticipated albums!
I don’t know, “The Unspoken King” was just terrible and the vocals had a lot to do with that. So until I hear something I really have no hope. and just so I don’t appear to be a complete purist who out of hand rejects everything Cryptopsy has released since “None So Vile”, I actually thought “Once Was Not” was a decent album.
The vocals are the big question mark for me, too. But I have faith in Jon Levasseur . . . and all these video releases (including even an extremely brief clip yesterday of Mike McGachy practicing vocals for a new song) point to something worth being hopeful about.