Sound — 5
While this release certainly is controversial, the sound and production of it is not. It should come as no surprise that Flo Mounier, the drummer, visionary and driving force behind Cryptopsy takes up a lot of the spotlight with his drumming and commands quite a large portion of the spectrum to his very well crafted work. However, he occasionally takes up too much space, somewhat depending on what he's playing. A section with blastbeats will come up and you wonder what happened to Alex Auburn (guitar), because Mounier's drumming tends to drown out other instruments. Maybe it's just my stereo, which is not state of the art, but I rarely come across balance issues like this. If we purely focus on the production of the album, it's a pretty good one. It will not give you strange, expletive emotions but it falls a notch or two below what you might expect from a band of Cryptopsy's stature.
Lyrics — 5
We're not getting lyrics akin to those of Lord Worm, but that should not be expected either (Lord Worm was a pretty special guy, after all). The topics and phrases come off as a bit more stock, but they're certainly not cringeworthy nor does my crap-o-meter reach new heights when paying special attention to the lyrics. The product presented pleases this listener quite well, and as far as this album is concerned, they do the trick.
Overall Impression — 3
Prior to hearing this album, I'd poked around the internet a bit, hearing people draw comparisons between the album and the kind of things that come out of your butt. I had a hard time seeing Cryptopsy, the mighty Cryptopsy, sink to such a level musically. When I finally got around to hearing it, well, I was surprised. The Unspoken King gets off to a fast and heavy start, with opener Worship Your Demons pounding down the door and hitting you like a brutal, heavy album should. Everything seems well at this point, just like after the second and third track passes. Nothing out of the ordinary, not as complex as we've learned to know them, a bit different but certainly not bad. At this point, I was wondering why the heck they brought in that sampler? I hadn't noticed any appearances made by her, so I wondered if I'd missed something. Maybe she'd been sacked? Oh well. Come Bemoan The Martyr, the album seems solid enough, but this is certainly where things go south. I do not oppose myself to sampling, nor any vocal style, as long as it's done well and done with taste. The sampling does not take centre stage much, nor does it add much to the song at hand. The atmosphere we reviewers mostly go on about when elements such as sampling are included is forgettable, at best. It doesn't bother you, but what does it add? Now, taking over the microphone after such a beast as Lord Worm is certainly not an easy task, but it's still something a vocalist can handle. Just look at Mike DiSalvo. Matt McGachy and his style of mixed growling/screaming does a decent job of fronting this extreme band, until he tries his hand at clean singing, which doesn't work out at all. The idea of including more melodic elements in a very brutal sound has been proven to work before, and there's nothing wrong with it, as long as it's executed properly. On paper, all the new elements Cryptopsy try to bring in could work very well. But what it all boils down to is failed execution. The songs simply aren't good enough and the new sections make you cringe at times. Sure, there's some nice playing performed by Mounier & Co, but Cryptopsy fail miserably at delivering a coherent and interesting album. Flo can go on all he likes about how we're not open-minded enough to experience this album, or how this album represents a lot of growth for the band -- as far as I'm concerned, this project is a miscarriage. But it did spawn a lot of funny internet humor.