Cryptopsy

None So Vile

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    9
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Cryptopsy's second album and its last with original vocalist Lord Worm, None So Vile offers just about everything a listener could want from an extreme death metal recording. It's incredibly tight, fast, and complex; the riffs are well-placed and darkly catchy; the guitar solos are completely over the top; and the vocals -- a mix of psychotic low-end growls and tortured screams -- are suitably intense and scary. Combine those ingredients with Lord Worm's creative handling of death metal subject matter (you'll have to consult the lyrics, since the vocals are indecipherable), the sparing but effective use of samples, and the simply awe-inspiring presence and stamina of drummer Flo Mounier, and you have the makings of a classic album. The brief 32-minute playing time is wholly appropriate and helps compensate for the album's only mentionable flaw, which is that the lack of dynamic variation leads to a slight feeling of sameness that sets in midway through. The gloomy, classical-tinged piano intro to "Phobophile," the album's sixth and incidentally most memorable track, does add a welcomed contrast and helps break up the flow. In any case, listeners should be aware that this album is almost entirely relentless and not for the faint of heart. Subsequent Cryptopsy albums may be more innovative in their use of out-there time signatures and guitar harmonies, for example, but None So Vile achieves near perfection on its own terms, within the death metal genre.

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