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Sunday, July 23, 2006
BB King's Bar and Grill
New York City, NY USA
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* Review and photos by Shaq
Right from the start, let me preface this review by stating that I am in no way, shape or form a death metal fan. I have distaste for a large part of the genre, finding almost nothing redeemable about a majority of the bands I hear in it. However, this isn’t meant as a rant about my stance on the scene. That being said, this would be my second time seeing the infamous Cryptopsy, which says something about the band, given my usual standpoint given before. At the same time, I also won’t pretend like I am a die hard fan. I have the utmost respect for every musician there because each one is extremely talented, but in spite of that, as happens with most death metal to me, songs begin to blend together in a sound where each is almost indistinguishable from the next. This is only furthered by having vocals that are entirely unintelligible, coming off as no more than successive grunts. With that behind us, I’ll continue with my review of the show.
The crowd at the show was considerably different than when I saw them in the same venue a year ago. Foremost, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was back then; the venue couldn’t have been at much more than half capacity. Those in attendance were quite different from what I expected as well. Perhaps it’s due to having a video on MTV, but there were definitely members of the MTV/hardcore crowd in vast quantities at this show. This can be expected these days from the usual crossover bands, but to see them at a Cryptopsy show had me stunned. On top of that, as should be expected from this kind of crowd, there was plenty of spin kicking and pit ninjas seen in the pit the entire night. It was a sad, sad sight. The pits themselves were also pretty tame as far as pits go, and didn’t hold a candle to what I saw at last year’s show.
Cryptopsy took the stage to a good response from the crowd, and immediately fired into their unique brand of crushing extreme death metal. I’ll say up front that I can’t give an exact setlist of the show, due to the fact that I can’t distinguish their songs well enough to say which were which in many cases. That being said, I can say they covered music from their entire catalog, including the albums when Lord Worm was not in the band. In between songs, Lord Worm was actually rather talkative, offering up his dry sense of humor to the < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />
A band like Cryptopsy doesn’t need any help sounding like noise, so it is obvious that a show like theirs would require spot on sound production. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for the first half of their set. At some points, it was hard to even hear the monstrous Flo behind the kit, which is hard to even fathom. I don’t fault the band on the horrid mix during this half of their set, but for somebody like me, it essentially renders their show worthless without the proper sound. However, the technician did eventually get things under control and the second half was far more enjoyable.
In typical death metal fashion, they played a pretty abbreviated set, lasting little more than an hour. It should also be noted that this time around, Flo seems to have ditched the giant rack he usually tours with in favor of a smaller kit (note: smaller and not small). He also did not indulge us with an extended drum solo, which was a big letdown for me and anyone else wishing to see him let it loose back there. As I said earlier they covered tunes from their entire catalog. I can say for certain that they played “Abigor,” “Defenestration,” “Cold Hate, Warm Blood,” “We Bleed,” “Carrionshine,” “The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness”, and one or two off of the famous NONE SO VILE album.
Overall, it was a pretty decent show. The entire band put forth an energetic and enjoyable performance that could be likened to a battering ram from start to finish. Once the sound issues were sorted out it became obvious once again that when it comes to technical death metal, Cryptopsy is the leader of the game. Every member up there is a master of what they do, and loves doing it. Despite it not being my genre of choice, I can easily recommend anyone to check them out at least once.
I would like to thank Heather Smith from Century Media for the press pass.