"The Book of Suffering (Tome 1)" is an EP release by Canadian death metal act Cryptopsy. The EP was independently released in October 2015. Cryptopsy divided their fanbase with the release of "The Unspoken King (2008)", which many fans felt was too much in deathcore territory, but returned to a more familiar technical death metal sound on "Cryptopsy" from 2012 (although that album too features some non traditional parts like the odd jazzy sections, which was a new element at the time). "The Book of Suffering (Tome 1)" is the first new original material since the self-titled release...
...and this is probably the release the old fans of Cryptopsy have been waiting for, because the band have taken a step back to their roots on the 4 track, 16:51 minutes long EP. Matt McGachy is still a more "core" tinged death metal vocalist than what some old school death metal fans might be able to accept (yeah there is the odd piggy squeal and screaming hardcore vocal section here and there), but his performance here is the closests he has yet come to sounding "old school" growling. The vocals are generally both raw, powerful, and commanding. To my ears it´s a solid performance by McGachy. It´s the instrumental part of the music that takes the prize though. It may initially sound chaotic and confusing, but listen a bit more closely and you´ll be rewarded with some incredible technical playing and interesting song structures. In other words it´s structured chaos played by very skilled musicians. The music is predominanty delivered in a frenetic fast-paced fashion, but there are heavier groove laden sections featured on the EP too.
Drummer Flo Mounier as always deserves a speciel mention for his inventive and crazy fast technical drumming. He truly is one of the most prolific and adventurous extreme metal drummers out there and proves it once again on "The Book of Suffering (Tome 1)". The guitars and bass also play riffs and notes that are technically of another world, and it´s almost impossible not to be blown away by the intensity and virtuosic skill of the performances.
"The Book of Suffering (Tome 1)" features a powerful, raw, and well sounding production too, and upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Cryptopsy. It´ll be interesting to see if this is the first step to reconquering the throne or if it´s just a temporary meassure to nurse the old fans before they completely abandon ship. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.