Home > Music > Cryptopsy – None So Vile (1996)

Cryptopsy – None So Vile (1996)

folderWhat a Cryptopsy Crypturvy recording this is.

Now that we’ve got the awful puns out of the way, we have a work of not only Canadian, but French-Canadian death metal. While I hesitate to apply labels to scenes, Quebec (and maybe bi-lingual New Brunswick) has seen its share of musically adventurous bands. While this is apparently some distance from the peak of Cryptopsy’s ambitions, it’s still a particularly intricate work, and yet also one mashed into a fairly compact 32-minute package.

For reasons more related to its genre than its length, this album certainly sounds rather chaotic and frenzied. This is more from the contributions of the rhythm section than anything, although due to the vocal performance on display here we’ll have to expand the definition of such to include the band’s then-vocalist and lyricist (Lord Worm). That I would lump them in at all with the percussion is a testament to their complete and utter unintelligibility, although the actual lyrics are quite well written. Between him and the drummer (Flo Mounier), I get a sense of the album constantly trying to jump off its own rails, perhaps more due to the hyperactive drum fills and occasional tempo shifts than the vox actually doing so at times, such as during the bridge of “Benedictine Convulsions”.

The compositions here, though, are rather more orderly, even if the specific death metal stylings of Cryptopsy obligate an especially noisy and fast approach. The production steers my thoughts in this direction, as it’s anything but chaotic, with all the instruments enjoying about equal prominence, and the actual sound of the infamous drum section being somewhat anemic. To be fair, the guitar tone and occasional slap bass makes up for it. Quibbles aside, Cryptopsy leans towards the monophonic end of metal, although the riffs here have their share of dissonant chords. Some obvious comparisons come to mind, although None So Vile strikes me as fairly breakneck for 1996 in ways most of its relatives aren’t. Despite the active and varied drums and emphasis on rhythm to different song sections, tracks here also frequently lapse into high paced tremolo sections that stereotypically belong more on a Morbid Angel album (or even your stereotypical Norwegian black metal works, which I admittedly doubt were a major influence on Cryptopsy). Finding albums that employ both these substyles in significant quantities seems a bit rare, but maybe I’m not paying a lot of attention to such a possibility.

None So Vile is ultimately a benchmark of growing death metal ferocity, and one of the major lights in the genre’s period of relative commercial failure during the mid-90s. If you like this specific style, you won’t want to omit this from your collection. Personally, I have no strong feelings on it, but even I can appreciate this album for its combination of brevity and intricacy… does that sound like anyone you know?

Highlights: “Slit Your Guts”, “Benedictine Convulsions”, “Phobophile”

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