Cryptopsy - None So Vile
Displeased Records
Technical Brutal Death Metal
8 songs (32:05)
Release year: 1996
Cryptopsy, Displeased Records
Reviewed by Goat

Let’s face it; Blasphemy Made Flesh was an excellent album. Speeding up the classic Suffocation template and with a mutant zombie by the name of Lord Worm vomiting forth the vocals, it showed the world that Death Metal could be experimental without losing an ounce of brutality. However, listening to it again in preparation for the writing of this Classic, although the riffs and vocals are as timeless and neck-achingly gorgeous as ever the drumming sounds dated and ever so slightly at odds with the rest of the music, mostly because of the god-awful production. Of course, this was the band’s debut and although pretty damn near to the perfection that the name of Cryptopsy would become synonymous with, it’s album number two that you must turn to for the earliest example of truly classic Death Metal from the Canadians.

None So Vile may as well be called Oh My Fucking God as far as I’m concerned, since that’s what I usually find myself saying after sticking it on for just…one…more…listen. It’s extremely rare that a Death Metal band is capable of both crushing your head in with grunts and blasts and seducing you with sweet, catchy songwriting, yet Cryptopsy did it with style. Taking the previous album, dusting off the production and injecting the songwriting with the sort of chemical performance-enhancers that are usually left for sports cars in crap films about street racing, the band made a masterpiece that was simply too good. Throughout all of the drama since - style and vocalist changes and ever-present sell-out accusations from disgruntled fans - each new release from the Crypt has been weighed, measured, and found considerably wanting against the thirty-odd minutes of perfection that None So Vile bears.

Any other band would do its damndest to try and replicate this level of success - such success as can be achieved in the Brutal Death Metal world, that is – by simply remaking None So Vile, but say what you like about Cryptopsy, the band is never content to repeat past glories when it could be striking out for new territory. This means that None So Vile is definitely not some oft-mentioned starting point for certain mainstream Metal magazines to point their armies of clones towards in a tightly-controlled, premeditated journey of ‘discovery’. How many of you have had your enjoyment of Slayer’s Reign In Blood or Metallica’s Master Of Puppets damaged by the armies of bands fervently believing that they are doing the Gods of Metal a favour by repeating the past ad infinitum? If there are bands out there technically capable of copying the skill displayed on this album, they have far better things to do with it.

Having said that, if you are interested in Death Metal in the slightest, whether you’ve just discovered Job For A Cowboy or your playlist regularly features Infestor demos, you need None So Vile. One cold, dead caress from its fingers will have you gasping and sweating like a polar bear in a solarium. Quite simply, this album is brilliant. From the twitchy, twisty riffing to the battery laid down by Flo ‘best drummer in the world’ Mounier, there’s not a single moment out of place. The album opens with a sample from Exorcist III: Legion; a bestial moan and an old man saying, ‘I do that rather well… don’t you think?’ before chaos sets in, Worm’s screams over some savage riffery and the first of many mind-bending blasts from Flo. Although the drums and vocals are still quite near the front, it’s nowhere near so bad as it was on Blasphemy Made Flesh, both the guitars and the bass being clearly audible, and the end result is devastating.

There’s not a weak song present, and the album avoids repetition simply by making the songs different. The sadistic melodies of Slit Your Guts flow into the speed and groove of Graves Of The Fathers, and the tracks are clearly different yet stylistically the same; both have the melody, the groove, yet how the band implements them is completely different. Of course, to your average In Flames fan this will be a torrential downpour of wrongness, but if that breakdown in Graves Of The Fathers doesn’t seize them by the throat then nothing will.

Speaking of wrongness, Lord Worm’s lyrics are some of the most foul yet fun that you’ll ever find in a Death Metal booklet. From the furious antichristianity on Crown Of Horns, to the perversely murderous Phobophile, to the insane poetry of the likes of ‘Impaled on one of its many legs/A bug-eyed Mary gapes on in horror/As her only son is chewed to bits/By spiderchrist; she is flecked with gore’ (from Benedictine Convulsions). Not that you’ll be able to understand any of this in the form that it emerges from Worm’s maw; the man takes the art of growling to extremely high levels, and few can fathom the depths of the grunts, yelps and screams that dwell at the heart of Cryptopsy’s music.

None So Vile, overall, represents hateful violence in a musical form. There are only eight tracks present, but the sheer power that they hold is immense. If you’ve ever heard a Death Metal riff and thought, ‘hey, that sounds good’, then this is more than vital. Not to insult Power Metal or its fans, but there’s a meaty soul to Death Metal which its more frilly cousin will forever lack; the difference between a steak and a soya burger. Cryptopsy not only provided the steak, it hunted down the victim and ripped the meat out with its bare hands, and it’s that sense of danger that most Death Metal has suffered the lack of ever since – why not reacquaint yourself with its taste?

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Cryptopsy that we have reviewed:
Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering - Tome II (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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
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