They do that rather well, don’t you think?
I often ponder the appeal of extreme music, be it death metal, avant-garde jazz or modern classical, and I always end up with the same conclusion, no matter how hard I try to come up with something fancy. Extreme music is kind of like bungee jumping. It’s an exercise in going beyond what's safe, what's considered correct. Besides being an artistic experience, it's also about reaching beyond the comfort zone, challenging your limits and having fun in the process. I believe this is exactly why it all boils down to grit; no matter how technically proficient you are, how good a songwriter you are, it’s all for naught if you have no spirit, no balls. And fuck me if these Canadian bastards are not amongst the craziest on the planet.
By today’s standards, None So Vile may not seem as brutal as some of the records spawned every ten seconds by the modern extreme metal scene. Sound production has obviously evolved considerably since the 90s and that’s why many classic death metal albums have lost their edge. Not this one, though, or at least not in a way that would make it unappealing to the contemporary audience. I was talking about balls before. They’re made of metal, remember? Dusty and somewhat rusty but timeless, still rocking. The point is that None So Vile is not only brutal on the outside, it’s actually boiling with aggressive, fearless creativity at its very core. The album, and to some extent its predecessor, is a seamless, unprecedented blend of technical death metal, grindcore and classical music. While not overtly experimental, the beast got some bon-vivant swagger without having its claws trimmed down. The resulting record is both deadly and playful - It’s toying with you before ripping your head off.
I might have been too young to remember this, but back in 1996 this album rocked the underground boat big time. It was filthy, provocative and uncompromising but at the same time cleverly arranged and well written. Even if I dig Cryptopsy’s experimental and jazzy Once Was Not a bit more, this album is a death metal classic and it aged incredibly well.