Released: 2007, Willowtip
Reviewer: J. Campbell
Oh, man, where to begin…
Technical death metal, when executed correctly, can provide an exhilarating rush unrivaled by any genre. Bands like Quo Vadis and Anata can mold limb-crippling guitar noodling and whirlwind kit abuse into high art, and there’s a reason why those bands stand head and shoulders above pretenders like Odious Mortem: They write SONGS for ALBUMS, and they do it with class.
The problem with CRYPTIC IMPLOSION doesn’t lie in lack of ability; this much should be obvious. These guys flail their instruments with Ferrari precision, creating an impenetrable wall of scree-squeek-chug death metal. And these leads…damn. When the guitarists get down to business and drop the hammer, there’s a wellspring of glorious shred to be had. But when those killer solos rise to the top, the faults of their songwriting become even more obvious. It’s kinda like waiting the gore in shitty horror movies- sure, those moments are cool, but is it really worth the time? Because instead of building structure around solid riffs, Odious Mortem thinks their ticket to brutal death nirvana can be bought by dispensing them as often as possible. Their nugget-sized, harmonic-laden crunchers pop up and dart in faster than you can think. Defleshed and Soilent Green have been guilty of the too-soon-switcheroo in the past, but at least you could freaking headbang to their riffs. I don’t know what the hell I would do at an Odious Mortem show. Vibrate?
Grab a beer, maybe?
The entire idea behind technical DM is to push the genre over another hump of extremity. But at what cost? The reason why the classics are "the classics" is because of identity and intangibles, and this band flexes neither. CRYPTIC IMPLOSION is poisoned with the same disease of facelessness that permeated the latest outings of Spawn of Possession and Psycroptic, in that it sounds fantastic at 120 decibels, but when it’s all said and done, nothing leaves a lasting impression. In lieu of carving memories, the band is too worried about jacking off their guitars while some monotonous new-schooler barfs into a microphone about “lying in a pool of shit”. It’s brutal as fuck, technical as hell, crushing in all aspects…and really, really boring after the initial thrill fades.
The record label that blew my head off with TRILATERAL PROGRESSION, A CELEBRATION OF GUILT, EVENTUALITY, and NEUROTRIPSICKS is firing blanks here. They’ve given Odious Mortem a platform to show the metal world that they can play their instruments in furious and brutal fashion, but the lack of substance they display is almost an insult to the collective intelligence. I've come to expect spine-tingling excellence from Willowtip, not ear-raping egregiousness.
I’m sure all the tech-heads out there will devour this thing like an éclair filled with cocaine, but there’s a lingering feeling that this band is missing the point entirely.