EP Review – The Book of Suffering – Tome II by Cryptopsy (Defen Society 3000/EarHertz)

Canadian deathcore/technical death metallers Cryptopsy have released a new EP called The Book of Suffering (Tome II). The Book of Suffering II came out on the 26th of October via Defen Society 3000 and EarHertz.

The hard hitting sounds of Cryptopsy have been around since 1992. They existed before that as well though, starting out in 1988 but going under the name Obsessive Compulsive Disorder then Necrosis and then Gomorrah before becoming who they are today. As the name suggests, there was a The Book of Suffering (Tome I). That came out way back in 2015 so fans of the band have waited a long time for new music. In their near 30 year existence, Cryptopsy have released 7 studio albums, a live album, a compilation and now 2 EPs.

Book of Suffering

Cryptopsy are a 4 piece with just one original founding member in the band. That is Flo Mounier who is on drums and backing vocals. Around Mounier, the band has changed an awful lot with every position changing hands multiple times and a list of over 15 former members. They have been pretty settled for a while now though with Christian Donaldson on guitars having joined in 2005. Matt McGachy is on lead vocals, joining in 2007. Finally, on bass it’s Olivier Pinard, who joined in 2012.

On to The Book of Suffering (Tome II) then and we are talking 4 tracks here weighing in at around 18 minutes of music. The EP opens with The Wretched Living and gives you a taste of exactly what to expect across the EP. Vicious heaviness, guttural vocals and technical riffs pound at you relentlessly. It starts off with a screech of guitars and then explodes into life with deep growls and insanely fast blasts of drums. The riffs shoot off in different directions, sometimes sounding at odds to the main rhythm of the song. They are interesting though and I also like when the second vocals come in at a higher pitch. It freshens the song up a bit.

Sire of Sin has a great bassy start to the track before a cool riff comes in. This lasts for a few fleeting seconds before the song erupts into hellish chaos. The vocals come out so fast it is near impossible to understand what is being said. The drums sound machine made, they are so fast and hard hitting. The dual vocal harmony is present again and there is a wicked little solo with technical spiralling guitar notes. As the track prepares to end it settles into a slowed down groove with thunderous drums and a banging bass.

Fear of his Displeasure has the best intro so far using a guitar line that suddenly stops and switches for a blast of death before that stops and goes back to the line. There is a bit more of a settled rhythm to this track at the start making it easier to get straight in to. The Laws of the Flesh takes the technical bit and goes to town on it, especially at the start. Nicely timed drums seem to be fighting against the guitars that are off playing little lines with a metallic tone. It soon settles down into a fast and dark sounding track with a crushing riff and insane drums. There is a wicked solo near the end that adds a dose of needed melody before it returns to punching you in the face for the end.

The Book of Suffering (Tome II) is the music non metal fans refer to as “but they are just shouting” or “how can you even understand what they are saying”. In truth, a lot of the time I struggle to pick out most of the lyrical content. Some of the shouting is ran so close together it sounds like a dog barking. A pretty hard dog, of course. We aren’t talking poodles or terriers. Musically, Cryptopsy are insanely capable and the drumming is mind blowingly quick and powerful. It certainly hits the mark in regards to hard hitting, brutal death with technical riffs and patterns.

Despite all that though, other than the slightly slower Fear of His Displeasure, it isn’t easy to tell the tracks apart. Crunchy guitars, blasting drums, go crazy for 4 minutes – that is pretty much the structure. It is a lot of heaviness and while that is fun for a while, it lacks the little pinch of variety to make me want to keep coming back to it time and time again. Still, a solid EP that, if nothing else, you can play to shock your non metal friends or convince your mother you are a devil worshipper.

The Book of Suffering (Tome II) is out now on all the usual streaming services. You can grab some merch and a physical copy of the release at their Bandcamp store. Find out more about Cryptopsy at their website, Facebook and Twitter pages by following the links.

The Book of Suffering - Tome II by Cryptopsy (Defen Society 3000/EarHertz)
  • 6.5/10
    The Final Score - 6.5/10
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