Concert Review: Cryptopsy (Valentine’s, Albany, New York, February 27, 1999)

(Fragment from a lost gospel):

In the beginning, there was Venom, who did in England regularly invoke the Evil One during the dark days when Black Sabbath had been forsaken for Adam Ant. Then Venom begat Denmark’s Mercyful Fate, who did don the corpse-paint and play the orchestral, virtuoso metal. And Mercyful Fate begat Sweden’s Bathory, who worshipped Odin and in turn inspired Varg Vikernes and all of the other evil Norwegian black metal masters, who did burn churches and commit murder and, yea verily, did suffer for their deeds.

Still, Venom’s lessons spread like hellfire. And it came to pass that Slayer and Celtic Frost heard Venom’s calling and did emerge from the hair band wilderness — Celtic Frost in Viking suits, Slayer in blue jeans — and they both did thrash, and the people fell down before them and cried for mercy, which was withheld. Soon, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Obituary and others did themselves slow the tempo of the thrash and did also add the pathological lyrics, and they looked at what they had wrought and they said “This shall we call Death Metal.”

And Death Metal spread to all corners of the world, even to Montreal, where Cryptopsy heard the word, thrashed the thrash, orchestrated the virtuoso metal and oozed the pathological lyrics, doing all these deeds with zeal. And Cryptopsy went throughout the land, spreading their words of death, until at last they arrived at the Upper Room in Valentine’s and were greeted by a great throng, filled with fervor at news of their coming.

Amongst that throng were Strychnine, who did prepare the way for Dissent, who did make the people shout and jump and scream. And when Dissent were gone, Dehumanized were there, and the Upper Room was filled with rage, which made the people rejoice. Shadows Fall were there as well, and they did squeeze the very death from their metal, so tightly did they wind it. And Skinless also, the most pathological of them all, they were there, filling the people with demons, then ripping them back out again, screaming.

And the people were made weary by all that had befallen them, but as evening became morning, Cryptopsy appeared, lifting the people up, restoring them and feeding them all with but one guitar, one bass, one drum and one voice. And it was very, very good indeed. And when it was done, the people left the Upper Room, filled with death’s spirit, and the guidance counselors and parents did quail before the people, who did smile knowingly as they passed.

World with end, amen?

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