Cryptopsy – As Gomorrah Burns (Nuclear Blast)

Wednesday, 13th September 2023
Rating: 9/10

Believe it or not, As Gomorrah Burns is the first full-length Cryptopsy album in over a decade, coming off of 2012’s self-titled effort. They kept themselves busy with the two The Book of Suffering EPs and touring, but even since Tome II it has been 5 years. So the announcement of As Gomorrah Burns was nothing to take lightly, especially since it also marked the band’s partnership with Nuclear Blast, after a period of independence that has lasted since 2008’s The Unspoken King. The previous two EPs and the callbacks to Whisper Supremacy with the cover gave the band some extra credit from a personal standpoint, but how does the final product measure up? Turns out, it’s the strongest Cryptopsy album (to this scribe’s ears) since Whisper.

The album starts in the expected Cryptopsy whirlwind, with “Lascivious Undivide” and “In Abeyance” pulling out all the stops when it comes to frenetic chaos and fury. The two cuts all but take your breath away with their scorching energy, but “Godless Deceiver” then slows things down just a tad with a greater emphasis on groovy, melodic territory to counter that hellish speed streak. Truth be told, those are the key indicators when it comes to Cryptopsy’s latest. The adrenaline-soaked chaos that got the band its initial recognition is certainly there and has lost none of its caustic bite, but as some may shudder when hearing this, they’ve somehow made it a little more accessible to others by tapering in some interesting melodies and grooves. “Flayed the Swine” offers up some almost epic sounding melodies at points, with strong groovy headbanging sections that lead into dizzying sections of speed, and in this particular case, soloing. “Obeisant” all but revels in some slower, punishing grooves compared to the opening cuts – allowing the speed to be given a greater emphasis when it does appear, making it more destructive in return. The same can be said for it’s closing follow-up in “Praise the Filth,” where jarring speed clashes with a gritty, slow burn atmosphere that feels like a genuine extension of what the band has been building to over the course of the album.

While Cryptopsy can still capitalize off of urgency and blistering tempos, As Gomorrah Burns commands additional weaponry for them to manipulate into their crazed structure. Some obstinate fans seem intent on wanting None So Vile part 2 (spoiler alert, it’s probably never coming), but Cryptopsy continues to augment their techy-yet-listenable formula to impressive levels. Something that makes As Gomorrah Burns one of the most intricate yet headbangable exercises in extreme music this year.

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