Cephalic Carnage


Written by: PP on 20/08/2007 18:34:50

Our writer Marina has been missing in action for the last couple of weeks. The good news is, we found out that she's alright, not kidnapped or forced to be a sex slave in her native country Ukraine or something. The bad news is that her computer is broken. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that no computer = no reviews and no reviews = someone else has to fill in and cover her part. Far too often, that someone is me, which results into me reviewing albums that I don't really like, and more importantly, don't really understand, as is the case with extreme metallers Cephalic Carnage and their new album "Xenosapien".

You see, I just cannot grasp the purpose of the cookie-monster vocal style. You know, the so deeply growled, guttural sounds that can only be described as bestial. A lot of extreme metal acts utilize them, and in my opinion, they remove so much from music that has so much potential. For instance, Cephalic Carnage's complex full throttle instruments are impressive to listen to, as they race through scales so fast that they occasionally exhibit sounds that wouldn't sound unfamiliar to an 80s Amiga nerd. So why destroy it with monotonous, indecipherable growling? Why not add some screams (though there are minuscule parts where this happens), or some melodic clean vocals like on a few seconds of "G.obal O.verhaul D.evice" (which, incidentally, is the best song on the album)? Right now, it seems that everything is kept brutal and chaotic just for the sake of it, with no grand plan on the background. My brief 10 minute background check shows that the band has been around since 1992, and their old age might be the explanation. You see, back then, Cephalic Carnage was the most brutal shit you could get your hands on, and because the style was largely unexplored back then, people loved it to pieces. To draw a parallel, the same thing happened to Limp Bizkit with the whole nu-metal movement, and look at it now. It's simply not enough in 2007 to merely sound brutal for the sake of being brutal, because the shock value has lost its effect drastically over the years.

It could be that I just don't get it, and that I'm unable to see the bigger picture, because "Xenosapien" has received wide critical acclaim across the internet. Especially its versatility has been praised left and right. I don't know if I am listening to a different album than they are, but aside from "G.obal O.verhaul D.evice" and "Touched By An Angel", all songs sound the same. The speed is riotous, structure almost non-existent (or at the very least ultra unconventional), and the vocalist growls for his life above the instrumentals. Bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Between The Buried And Me know how to take extreme metal and morph it into a sound that's both brutal and melodic at the same time. That's also why they are playing massive venues and Cephalic Carnage is merely an underground 'cult' act. In any case, I don't see how Cephalic Carnage distinguishes from bands like Cattle Decapitation or Dying Fetus, and as such I'm unable to rate it higher than merely average. And yeah, I wrote a better review than this last night, but I lost it due to my incomprehension of backing up my work when I'm half way through.


Download: G.obal O.verhaul D.evice, Touched By An Angel
For the fans of: Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, Psyopus
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.05.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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