Friday, 29 June 2012

CRYPTOPSY - Blasphemy Made Flesh (1994)

01  Defenestration
02  Abigor
03  Open Face Surgery
04  Serial Messiah
05  Born Headless
06  Swine Of The Cross
07  Gravaged (A Cryptopsy)
08  Memories Of Blood
09  Mutant Christ
10  Pathological Frolic

Cryptopsy is a Canadian technical death metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 1988 by drummer Mike Atkin, guitarist Steve Thibault and vocalist Dan Greening (who would later take the name "Lord Worm" because he would ingest worms on stage). The band has sold over 300,000 records. 'Blasphemy Made Flesh' is the band's debut album and was released on November 25th, 1994 through Invasion Records. The album was re-released in 2001 by Century Media Records with a different cover.

The Cryptopsy on display here is of an understandably less experienced and talented sort, but this is not as apparent as it is on the debut album of many legendary bands. Musically, the entire group is in fine form throughout-Flo Mounier's astonding drumming is, well, astounding even in this early stage of his career, with the only noticeable fault being the inability to keep his invention, the hyperblast, going for as long as we would see in the future. Jon Levasseur's and then-guitarist Steve Thibault's riffing and soloing are fluid and expertly played, and then-bassist Mark Fergusson consistently makes his presence known with a fine performance on the bass. As for Lord Worm, his vocals are of a distinctly different tone on this album, higher in pitch than on later releases, but still powerful and his trademark screams are perhaps more noteworthy than the rest of his repetoire.

Honestly there's only one or two clunkers; "Serial Messiah" isn't particularly solid and "Swine of the Cross" is just average DM. The rest of the tracks range from good to great, "Gravaged" and "Pathological Frolic" are completely awesome. The latter has darkly humorous lyrics about a dead man, Geoffrey, who died from auto-erotic asphyxiation. The best track here is easily “Open Face Surgery”, which features one of the greatest screams ever recorded, clocking in at around 27 seconds long. That, my friends, is power. Frank Mullen can't do that. Dave Vincent sure as hell can't. Chuck Schuldiner couldn't. Only the Worm.

So, what you get here is tight musicianship and songwriting, including an awesome drummer, an absolute maniac on vocals, a generally uncompromisingly brutal approach and, if you care to read the booklet, excellent lyrics. Lord Worm being the master of the English language that he is (literally; he's an English teacher/lecturer), his lyrics are always a treat. They're never anything less than disturbing. Overall, it's a fine metal album in general and pretty much mandatory for fans of brutal death metal, although Cryptopsy would better "Blasphemy Made Flesh" with their 1996 follow-up 'None So Vile'.

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