This CD is amazing not only because it is the rarest in my collection and damn-near impossible to find, it is also one of the single greatest achievements in 90's death metal! Canadian masters of destruction Cryptopsy, like the last band I reviewed (Arch Enemy), was signed to the independent Swedish label W.A.R. (which apparently went out of business). These two bands each put out one monumental album on W.A.R. and they are two of the most sought-after metal releases because they were never reissued and never even made it to the US.
I felt for sure I would never find this album until Century Media (the band's current label, which also loves to resurrect old titles) or Relapse (another label reissuing old W.A.R. titles) reissued it, which could be years from now. Relapse claimed they were going to release it in "Spring of 1999." Never happened. How did I find this copy? I wrote to somebody in Canada who personally knew the band and he found out that it is still in print in Japan! They got him one copy, which he reluctantly sold to me (and for that I am forever thankful). Strangely enough, even though this album is apparently in print in Japan, it is still impossible to get as no importers list it.
So was this CD worth all the months of sweat and tireless searching? Yes! This is one of the heaviest albums I have ever heard by any band (think of Napalm Death on speed folks! --ed). It is quite a step above their first album Blasphemy Made Flesh in terms of precision, speed, and songwriting. Production is also much better here; the guitars are brought to the front, Lord Worm's growls make a nice backdrop for the warp-speed guitars and hyperblast drumming. The bass is still audible too, but it wasn't as up-close as in Blasphemy, where it sounded like a guy plucking a rubber band. Let us also discuss the drumming on this masterpiece. Flo Mounier is simply the best drummer in the business. He is the fastest drummer I have ever heard, and he is the most precise drummer I have ever heard. And yes, I've seen him perform live and he is even better!
None So Vile was definitely a major progression from Blasphemy. Their first album was very raw, not as technical, and sounded more like a grindcore album. None So Vile is pure technical death. From start to finish there is not one dull moment on this album. It begins with a clip from Exorcist III; first we hear a loud growl, then a voice says "I do that rather well, don't you think?" From then on it's sonic chaos as Cryptopsy rages through eight blistering tracks. Lyrical content ranges from gore to blasphemous, and Lord Worm always pens the best lyrics. You can not understand a thing he says, though. In Blasphemy his 'vocals' were much more prominent, but the person who mixed this (Pierre Remillard) intelligently placed them at a further distance from the listener. His growls are not as important as the technical skill and precision of the musicians to his side.
The cover art to the album is also impressive. It's a 17th century painting by Elizabeth Sirani depicting "Herodias with the head of John the Baptist." Very evil, if I may say so myself. The CD is packaged very nicely with many interesting black-and-white photos of the band and of scary locations. Underneath the clear back where the disc sits is a cool red photo of Lord Worm screaming into the mic. In the booklet we learn that most of the photos were taken by the evidently multi-talented Flo Mounier! The lyrics of all the songs are included, but you have to strain your eyes to read them because they are printed in white against a background of black-and-white band photos. My copy also came with an awesome little book of liner notes containing a wealth of information on the band's history. Unfortunately it's in Japanese.
What more can I say about this disc? Every track rips from start to finish. Write your local congressmen and urge them to have this reissued in the States. My favorite tracks are "Crown of Horns,"
"Phobophile," and "Lichmistress." All are great though, and I'll always listen to this CD from start to finish. Lord Worm left the band after this release to pursue a "real" job at a brewery. The new vocalist is ok, but something about the band has changed. They have one album with the new vocalist called Whisper Supremacy. It is very good and sounds similar to None So Vile (perhaps a bit more 'techno' sounding), but it just isn't the same. I can't wait to hear what the next Cryptopsy album will bring.
Sound Quality: 65