CRYPTOPSY – Once Was Not

Perhaps Once Was Not is a reference to a CRYPTOPSY chapter now closed–an eight-year span featuring the work of vocalists not-named Lord Worm. Regardless of the strides the Canadian death metallers made during that period of time, their recent reunion with original vocalist, Lord Worm, finds CRYPTOPSY re-stepping its truest and sickest form. Once Was Not combines the production clarity and over-the-top ferocity of the band’s Mike DiSalvo-era works with the guttural, gravedigging variety of the more definitive pre-1997 CRYPTOPSY. While not quite the second coming of None So Vile, Once Was Not is far better. CRYPTOPSY have managed to capture the essence of CRYPTOPSY (death metal on the extreme tip), and infuse it with some more hooks and new venom, like samples and orchestration. Lord Worm‘s performance is thoroughly convincing despite an eight-year hiatus, reminding us all why his singing style is so deliciously flamboyant (deathly speaking). Alex Auburn steps up as the sole guitarist following the departure of longtime axeman, Jon Levasseur, and does an able job. Of course he’s subtlety overshadowed by the drumming finesse of Flo Mounier. Flo‘s trademark blasts are intact, but he manages to push forth with really diversifying the drumming. So much so that he really beefs up the tunes with some unexpected flavor. Flo and the boys have really nailed it on the head with this latest development. Not a pinch of Once Was Not is lacking or incongruent musically. Coupled with the return of the comforting growls and shrieks of Lord Worm, Once Was Not is everything CRYPTOPSY were and should continue to be. (Century Media Records)

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