Once Was Not

Once Was Not
Label: Century Media
Rated: NONE
WorkNameSort: Once Was Not

Technically a death-metal band, Cryptopsy employs Lord Worm, whose vocals resemble slit-throated blood gurgles more than words. Yet even music fans who have sworn to stay away from such singers should sample this quartet, because its exhilarating instrumentation makes Worm's demonic belches about as distracting as a tambourine tap. On this wildly unpredictable album, every around-the-bend note holds the promise of transcendent virtuosity. Drummer Flo Mounier tears through daunting double-bass rolls without reducing his beats to indecipherable blurs. Working with Eric Langlois, who dazzles during his brief bass solos, Mounier creates genuine grooves, which is a feat almost impossible to achieve at these speeds. Alex Auburn ranges from crystalline acoustic guitar interludes to enchanting harmonic leads to booming breakdown riffs. And Worm, who disappears for large stretches, contributes menacing atmospherics. If the rhythm section plays the thunder and the guitar pyrotechnics resemble lightning, he's the storm wind rustling leaves.