Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering - Tome II (EP)
Hammerheart Records
Technical Death Metal
4 songs (17:40)
Release year: 2018
Cryptopsy, Hammerheart Records
Reviewed by Goat

Taking three years to release the follow-up to 2015's Tome I may suggest that Cryptopsy were polishing their new material to avoid any Unspoken King-esque horrors. And there are plenty of bands who could do more with less, refining their sound and songwriting until only the best is presented to their audience. Yet the counter-argument is that it's hard to be too excited about the four songs here, barely eighteen minutes of new music from the band after a long three years, and on top of that a mere continuation. Letting the music speak for itself is the only outcome, and while Tome II does struggle a little to escape the shadow of its predecessor, the songs here are tight and brutal enough to more than rival it in terms of quality and guarantee that fans of that will love this.

Even continuing the 'dead naked woman' cover theme, Tome II again shows the Canadians at their solid best. Opener The Wretched Living forgoes the samples that opened Tome I in favour of brief feedback and immediate brutality, crunchy riffs and blasts with Matt McGachy's usual shriek/grunt atop. As ever, the band are marvellous technically, with that same DiSalvo-era feel to the intricate and ever-changing bass-guitar interplay and Flo Mounier's octopus-like battery. Cryptopsy are a band eternally fated to have their current line-up compared unfavourably to past ones, yet it's a testament to them that there's nothing to complain about by now. Big names like Jon Levasseur and Alex Auburn have come and gone, but present-day lone guitarist Christian Donaldson does a fantastic job, cranking out the twisted riffs and jagged grooves flawlessly. And while fans were right to want to defenestrate McGachy on his initial Unspoken King outing, he's come on leaps and bounds since, spewing up some inhuman shrieks and moans on Fear His Displeasure especially.

Not that the rest of the EP is far behind! Sire of Sin is a near-classic trainwreck that takes the brutal template as laid down by Suffocation and speeds it up to headspinning levels, even finding time for a doom-tinged breakdown that will leave many a circle pit devastated. The Laws of the Flesh is possibly my favourite song of the bunch, opening with some tasty basswork and soon ratcheting up the tension and brutality, some downright weird grooves adding an uneasy atmosphere that is enhanced by the sheer heaviness and intensity of that near Anaal Nathrakhian blasting song ending. I loved this EP a lot but am more than a little frustrated by it; I don't feel that I can recommend this as best of year, although the material here is genuinely that good. Just eighteen minutes of music is simply too little and although putting the two EPs together and treating it as an album would be an option (the band have released the two as a limited edition compilation for those interested) ultimately The Book of Suffering releases have to be judged for what they are. And that is brief snippets of death metal excellence that are over far too quickly, and that make me hope that Cryptopsy can return with a full-length of this quality very soon indeed.

Killing Songs :
The Wretched Living, Sire of Sin, The Laws of the Flesh
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Cryptopsy that we have reviewed:
Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering – Tome 1 (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Cryptopsy - Cryptopsy reviewed by Bar and quoted 73 / 100
Cryptopsy - None So Live reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Cryptopsy - The Unspoken King reviewed by Goat and quoted 19 / 100
Cryptopsy - None So Vile reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 10 reviews click here
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