Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering – Tome 1 (EP)
Technical Death Metal
4 songs (16:51)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Goat

The history of Cryptopsy is well-known enough to not need repeating ad infinitum, but it's still interesting to note just how much the band's reputation was ruined with The Unspoken King, to the point where even the decent (if dull) self-titled follow-up didn't make up much ground. Hopefully this (first in a series, apparently) Book of Suffering EP will change the band's fortunes, as it's pretty good if a step down from the heights once achieved. Cryptopsy in 2015, now self-releasing material via Bandcamp, have recovered musically enough to the point where they're nearly equivalent to the Whisper Supremacy / And Then You'll Beg era; much-maligned vocalist Matt McGachy having improved to the point where he's on a par to Mike DiSalvo, which is high praise given how much I (and most everyone else) hated McGachy on Unspoken King and how underrated I think the DiSalvo albums are. Indeed, if the last time you listened to Cryptopsy was The Unspoken King, you're in for a treat, even if the band aren't back to their grisly train-wreck pace and feeling of all-pervading chaos.

Opener Detritus (The One They Kept) is a good way to begin, kicking off with a sample warning you of the sounds of hell, soon followed by a scream and battering from the band complete with buzzing of flies before the track kicks off properly. Galloping riffs and the usual technical percussive morass are present and correct, and for once there's little to complain about with the production either, the bass and guitar (just one guitarist for this album, Christian Donaldson) loud and booming. It feels like an intro to the rest of the EP, the song taking off well enough but feeling restrained in execution; which is a shame because the glimpses shown are good enough as they are even without all the Slipknot-ty screaming and effects. Fortunately the following The Knife, The Hand and What Remains is a killer, powering into heaviness almost immediately and driving the more outlandish expirations of the band's frontman into the song's structure to make for an enjoyable listen. After that, the twitchy tech-metal of Halothane Glow is powerful enough to override objections, and closer Framed in Blood gets close to being a powerful reminder of the band's past glory days.

Let's face it, it's unlikely that we'll get the perfect brutality of early Cryptopsy back any time soon. Yet in fairness to the band, they have improved massively from the nadir that was The Unspoken King, to the point that pretty much anything they come up with is worth hearing. Thankfully for us, the band are firing on enough cylinders to make the likes of The Book of Suffering an interesting glimpse into a world where Cryptopsy are worth listening to again. Only a glimpse, however, because this is only an EP. But based on this, the band have enough in them to still dominate like they once did, and although Tome 1 feels overall like half of a good album, the individual elements are good enough to make you want to hear part 2. Job done, I guess.

Killing Songs :
Halothane Glow, Framed By Blood
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Cryptopsy that we have reviewed:
Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering - Tome II (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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