On Cryptopsy's first full-length, the technical, percussive death metal of Suffocation is given a maniacal, chaotic flair and blended with a classic melodic sensibility. Around 1994, the original wave of creativity in the death metal scene started to dry up, as many genre-defining bands released lackluster albums. However, Cryptopsy offered a new vision of extremity with Blasphemy Made Flesh. Flo Mounier is one of the fastest drummers to play death metal, and tremolo-picked melodies flow over his hyperblasts and eccentric cymbal accents. Instrumental performances are technically impressive, but occasionally sloppy in an almost punk way. Lord Worm's vocals are all over the place, punctuating phrases with spewed, almost awkward rhythms. He intuitively switches from a belch to a shriek in a way that, when coupled with the about-to-fall-off-the-edge playing, gives this album an off-kilter personality. Riffs are surprisingly melodic in a conventional sense, as some of these minor-key melodies could be recontextualized into an Iron Maiden song. These songs are essentially linear, as each riff is run through a variety of tempos before undergoing a slight mutation to carry the song forward. Then, a new musical idea is introduced suddenly through a stuttering transition or a slapped bassline. The switch between technical death metal, rhythmic pounding, and sped-up Iron Maiden riffing is occasionally jarring, but this album "works" as a whole. Cryptopsy's ear for catchy rhythm and desire to push the boundaries of an aesthetic make Blasphemy Made Flesh a resounding success.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Todd Nief