Cryptopsy's reputation has been in a constant state of flux over the last 4 to 5 years and since the dust only recently has settled from the controversy of the band's last album, The Unspoken King, they have a lot of damage control to do. Fans might hope for a call back to the golden days of vocalist Lord Worm and the band's first 2 albums Blasphemy Made Flesh and the classic None So Vile, perhaps something like the band's more recent output sans the album that was already mentioned. So what do we get with this comeback album that the band has self-released? For one of the few things in Montreal that has a surefire answer that isn't the NHL lockout; Cryptopsy has actually accomplished something of merit.
Only a few of the members of the band's last lineup still remain with founding member/drummer Flo Mournier leading the charge, Matt McGachy on vocals and guitarist Christian Donaldson, returning from a 6 year absence is founding guitarist Jon Levasseur, and the additon of bassist Oliver Pinard complete this quintet. What immediately jumps out at me with this record is the modern production seeing as most of my experience with the band is the Lord Worm era, for what it represents though is a great usage of production to up the ante for the rest of the album. "Red Skinned Scapegoat" features many of the things that are a Cryptopsy trademark, stop and go musicianship and they always leave room for a jazz break and then come back at you full force, just to let you know they're not messing around.
McGachy does a good job with the vocals and at times really lets himself go and becomes what Cryptopsy fans would've hoped for him to be a few years ago. The strength of the band lies however on the music itself as the band finds themselves a bit more revitalized with a 2 guitar attack with some input from both new and old members resulting in the album's blistering pace which is further spearheaded by drummer Mournier. The pace changes from a straightforward pummeling to the frantic technical sections that squeeze each and every note into the tiniest of spaces, making it all work in unison.
Another track that grabs you by the throat has to be "Shag Harbour's Visitors" which features a standard death metal pace but constantly changes throughout, as the song slows to a bit of a mid paced riff which is then duplicated and in double time by Mournier. Levasseur and Donaldson seem to have a great sound together as they tend to give each other a bit of a respite from time to time so as to not skimp on the riffs; no need for any blank space. This is not the best tech death of the year or Cryptopsy's best, but it doesn't need to be. Cryptopsy needed to once again prove that they could make some tech death that they as a group could be proud of and that statement rings through loud and clear. A return to form and possibly a stepping stone for even better things to come.
7.5 out of 10