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Review: Cryptopsy - Once Was Not
Once Was Not

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 49:40
Tracks: 11
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 6, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Once Was Not

Rated 2.94/5 (58.82%) (17 Votes)

Here we have the long awaited album from one of Canada's premier technical death metal acts. "Once Was Not" features the return of Lord Worm behind the microphone which is good news for the fans, but it also marks the departure of the band's main songwriter and key guitarist Jon Levasseur. So this album is definitely a mixed blessing.

It is important to note right up front that Lord Worm's vocals have gotten more… accessible (for lack of a better word). The performance is good, but it is quite distinguishable from what one would find on "None So Vile" or "Blasphemy Made Flesh". So for those that were not too fond of Worm's vocals in the past (or vice versa), "Once Was Not" might change a few things. That being said, it was surprising to notice that the music on the other hand definitely gives big nods to the Cryptopsy of yesteryears. Post "None So Vile" Cryptopsy just started venturing off into simply mindless technicality and not much else; which was perhaps the reason why interest in this band started to decline, but "Once Was Not" appears to be a few steps back so to speak. This album finds a good blend of later, more technical Cryptopsy with the brutality of the Lord Worm years.

The opening track, which is an instrumental is supposed to be the last performance from Levasseur with Cryptopsy and it is truly a musical marvel… just brilliant music, but unfortunately it is too short. From there on we dive right into the meat of the album. With the exception of two or three songs, overall I found this record to be very enjoyable, in terms of the riffs as well as in the drumming department. The drum sound is actually quite high in the mix so maybe that is what makes it stand out so much, but either way, it is definitely a treat to listen to. For those that had given up on these Canadians, "Once Was Not" may rekindle the interest as it is more than obvious that the band has made an effort to return to their mid-nineties sound; at least musically.

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Review: None So Live (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Review: None So Vile (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: None So Vile (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Once Was Not (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
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