This band has gone through a lot of line-up changes and multiple eras, including a phase that garnered mixed feeling on their very short-lived deathcore era. Learning from this, the band reverted back to their original style while dabbling with modern tech-death techniques, with each release adding something new to the table.
This EP is on the side of dizzying, mind-melting, and relentless. “The Wretched Living” is a good representation of the general vibe of the EP. It sounds like they took a page out of Wormed’s (no pun intended) catalogue of chaos, with vicious tapping and string skipping.
The production on this EP is stellar as usual because guitarist Christian Donaldson produces, mixes, and masters everything, so they reach the exact tone they always need. You can hear the isolated beautiful timbre of Olivier Pinard’s bass at the beginning of “Sire of Sin” and “The Laws Of The Flesh” that is still audible throughout the whole EP.
The song that struck me most was “Fear His Displeasure” because they decided to use the kill switch effect as an actual theme of the song’s structure and not for a cool part in a solo.
I consider “The Laws Of The Flesh” the tamest (for Cryptopsy standards) song on this EP, albeit the track still being played at breakneck speeds, it features a melodic solo that doesn’t sound out of place. Matt McGachy’s vocals on the EP have matured a lot, he can perform so many timbres that I keep on having to remind myself it’s one singer. The biggest highlight for me is that long scream he pulls off in the final track. I haven’t heard a long scream like that since “They Deserve To Die” from Cannibal Corpse. Amazing job.
Finally let’s talk about Flo Mounier, the band’s drummer and powerhouse. He’s known to be one of the fastest drummers on the planet as he usually blasts at inhuman speeds throughout the band’s previous records. This is not the case here. Yes, you will get your dose of Flo blasting at insane speed, however, it seems he’s experimenting with more jazz-oriented rudiments, using off beats, more use of the toms instead of the cymbals, and just generally doing something more intricate than just blasting through a passage.
The only con I have for this EP is that albeit the amazing song structures, nothing really glued until my third listen. In other words, there’s no “hooky riffs” but that’s the double-edged sword. It makes you listen to it more, making you appreciate it more. These guys know what they’re doing, and I don’t see them stopping any time soon. Bravo!
Written by Peter Lountzis
*edited by Mike Milito