Cryptopsy – The Book of Suffering: Tome I (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 13th October 2015
Rating: 9/10

When it comes to death metal, one has to show some reverence for Cryptopsy. Their opening trio of albums, including the benchmark None So Vile, are some of the best and influential albums the genre has seen. But the band seemed to take a left turn for a bit, with so-so offerings leading up to the absolute clunker that was The Unspoken King. Reaching that point, the band seemed to realize the mistake and turned things around with 2012’s self-titled affair. Going with the ‘less is more’ route, The Book of Suffering cuts the fat and goes straight for the throat.

The first of a planned trilogy of EPs, Tome I contains four cuts of pure madness in the way that only Cryptopsy can deliver. “Detritus (The One They Kept)” opens with fury and it does not relent for the entire length of the EP. Save for some massive grooves of course, which become evident during “The Knife, The Head and What Remains.” There’s also some interesting variations on the usual Cryptopsy fare without getting in the way of what they do best, with the almost Meshuggah-esque riffs during “Halothane Glow” delivering some heavy crunch and some more modern approaches during “Framed By Blood” fusing nicely with the frantic speed (perhaps this is what The Unspoken King could have been). Of course, one can’t talk of Cryptopsy without mentioning the drumming of Flo Mounier, and his work here is just as jawdroppingly good as on Cryptopsy’s best output.

Those longing for the unbridled intensity and chaotic aggression that put Cryptopsy on the map twenty years ago should drop their plans and grab The Book of Suffering at first notice. When Cryptopsy is firing on all cylinders like they are here, there are few bands that can match them in terms of brutality. One can only hope that the two scheduled EPs to come are at this same level of musical insanity.

Cryptopsy official website