When it was first revealed back in December that Cryptopsy — the underground technical death-metal outfit from Montreal — would be shifting styles and taking their sound in a more deathcore direction, incorporating more melodic elements as well as clean vocals into their tunes, the online backlash from longtime fans was nothing short of brutal.
Fans took to the forums of various metal Web sites to tear Cryptopsy a new one without even hearing the songs that comprise the band's latest LP, The Unspoken King, which is in stores now. They launched an anonymous wave of condemnation that suggested the band had sold out by booting founding vocalist Lord Worm from the fold and bringing in fresh faces like frontman Matt McGachy, which, they all surmised, would mark the end of the influential act. One fan even went so far as to dub Cryptopsy's move toward clean vocals "the 9/11 of metal."
Drummer Flo Mounier, Cryptopsy's sole remaining founding member, read the harsh words and criticisms fans had for his band, and some of it did get to him.
"I remember reading sh-- like, 'I hate you — f--- off,' and, 'I hope you die in a tour bus accident,' " Mounier said during a break from this year's Summer Slaughter tour, which runs through July 28 in Chicago and also features the Black Dahlia Murder, Kataklysm, Vader and more.
"My reaction was, first of all, get a f---ing life. Second of all, we're doing metal music. We don't have a formula we have to follow for every album. We're not making enough money to follow a formula. If you don't like it, don't listen to it. This record's still Cryptopsy, just now, there's clean vocals in some parts ... maybe 10 percent of the album. Big f---ing deal!
"The Internet gives everybody a voice," he continued. "There's a lot of peer pressure out there, and if some guy calls something [lame], some other guy might like it, but won't want to admit it. You see a lot of that online."
Mounier, who said the band will return to the States in October for a headlining run, makes no apologies for taking the band's sound in a different direction, because it was the direction, he claims, Cryptopsy had always wanted to go in.
"For a very long time, we've wanted to experiment with different vocal ranges, and it just happened that we never had the vocalist who could pull it off," he said. "So when we parted ways with Lord Worm, that's what we set out to do on this record. We wanted to have that possibility if it was needed in the songs. It was a cautious move, but we just wanted to experiment and attempt one extreme from another, and pull it off smoothly, because it hadn't really been done before — music that's 300 BPMs and then comes down to something incredibly catchy."
Not surprisingly, several fans have changed their tunes since actually hearing some of the new material. The drummer said he's been approached by contrite fans at several Summer Slaughter stops who feel bad for jumping to conclusions.
"We have fans coming up to us apologizing for writing sh-- on the Internet," he said. "There's been a lot of sh---talking going on, and yesterday, in fact, about five fans came up to us and said, 'Man, I sh---talked you online, but when I saw you guys, you crushed, man.' And a lot of people are turning around on the Internet. There's a lot more positive comments than there were a few months ago, because the album's growing on people. People are always scared of change initially, but if they get into the vibe of the record, they'll enjoy it for sure."
To Mounier's mind, The Unspoken King captures Cryptopsy at its most mature, but it's also an album of extremes. "Some parts we've never played that fast before, and on this one, some parts are completely catchy and melodic," he said. "I think fans will be surprised that, from song to song, it takes you on a different trip, and each song is different. They create different feelings and emotions in people, and the album flows so smoothly between the brutal and melodic parts."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha has teamed up with former
Mars Volta kitman Jon Theodore to form One Day as a Lion; they'll release their eponymous debut EP on July 22. Guess that throws a wrench into those RATM reunion rumors?
Looks like long-defunct Long Island hardcore heroes Vision of Disorder have caught the reunion bug. The band's planning on getting back together this summer for a handful of shows. The first has been scheduled for August 16 at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, New York. Additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sepultura have wrapped the recording of their next full-length. According to bassist Paulo Pinto, the band is "very happy with the results." The as-yet-untitled effort will be mixed July 12, and should be ready for release later this year.
Erstwhile Syracuse, New York, act Godbelow will reportedly reunite for this month's Les Fest, a tribute to Les Daniels, who recently passed. The show will also feature Ledyard, Heatseeker, Born Again Rebels, Sinpush, the Infidels, When Everything Fails, Schmied and the Sleep. That gig's set for July 12 at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse.
Philadelphia thrashers Rumpelstiltskin Grinder are in the studio, tracking their next effort for Relapse Records. Look for the still-untitled LP to land in stores this fall.
A September 16 release has been set for Intimacy, the new album from Light Yourself On Fire. The effort will contain six songs, including "New Baby Girl," "Five Blows" and "Montag."