Natalie Zina Walschots
After a foray into deathcore with their last record that left many long-time fans questioning their allegiance, Montreal-based technical death metal band Cryptopsy have returned to form with the edgy, intense and self-titled Cryptopsy. Long-time guiding force Jon Levasseur has returned to the band on lead guitar, and his power and technical prowess is keenly felt on this album. It is also fuelled by an anxious, frenetic energy, a primal itch and sense of discomfort that never allows the listener, or the music, to settle.
Album opener “Two-Pound Torch” in many ways embodies the statement Cryptopsy want to make with this record: that they are as wild as ever, with supreme technical skill. The track is filled with dynamic, unpredictable percussion and frequently changing rhythms that are nonetheless handled seamlessly; every jolt and bit of juxtaposition is carefully chosen and deployed, the precise grain of the sandpaper textures intelligently selected. While the complexity of the music may evoke jazz in theory, there is also a genuine brutality, all hungry knuckles and itchy trigger fingers, that keeps the core of “Two-Pound Torch” pugilistic at heart.