Cryptopsy Credit: Eric Sanchez

Aging is wild. You wake up one day and realize that Matt McGachy, who joined Cryptopsy in 2007, has had the longest tenure of any of the four vocalists who’ve fronted the beloved Canadian technical death metal band, and also that your knees don’t work very well anymore. I vividly remember metal-forum wars over which was was better: the guttural incoherence of original singer Lord Worm or the hardcore theatrics of his replacement, Mike DiSalvo. Bitter battle lines were drawn, and many a poseur fell in the message-board trenches. Of course, that was 20 years ago, and today’s Cryptopsy is a much different beast than the one that recorded the 1996 classic None So Vile—drummer Flo Mounier is the only member from those days who’s still with the band. In the years since, they’ve expanded their musical palette from the crushing but monochromatic bludgeon they became known for in the 90s. On 2008’s The Unspoken King, McGachy shows he can switch between banshee shrieks and rasping pig grunts, and even clean vocals (albeit briefly) on a dime. The band’s incorporation of new elements on the album, such as keyboards and deathcore-style breakdowns, made it much maligned by fans. But not all of the criticism was warranted—they pull off these twists with varying degrees of success. On their past couple of releases, they strip back to their roots to craft a multifaceted, captivating approach to blastbeat-centric death metal. Their recent EPs, The Book of Suffering: Tomes I + II, Cryptopsy prove Cryptopsy equally adept at pummeling death metal and room-clearing breakdowns. They’re a band (dare I say) at the top of their game.   v