Review Summary: An obscure hybrid album fans of all types would enjoy”All the ways I've attempted, was placed in the psycho ward. In a straight jacket, dying cause' I'm bored”
I wanted to lead with a quote of that nature just to securely state to you all how fun this album is. In all seriousness, it isn’t meant to be taken, well, seriously
. If you go into the listen expecting a full out assault of brutality, you might find it. If you go in looking for a technical revolution, you might just find that too. But if you go into listening to Cephalic Carnage’s Anomalies
looking to hear a stern album, you my friend, will be sadly disappointed. The fun loving and bubbly attitude that Cephalic Carnage have on this record is what makes it a great listen. Sure, it may be really good music otherwise, but that fact that it is what it is comes from that rational.
So I think it’s very safe to say that this Death/Grind/ (insert genre tag here) hybrid is sure to turn some heads in the metal world. To the many that have discovered Cephalic Carnage, they have already gotten a taste of this goofy, fresh, exciting blend of music. To those that haven’t, I strongly recommend this album as a place to start. Piecemaker
and Counting The Days
both include the avant-garde style that has become pretty much a standard with the band. Various styles ranging from Death Metal to Stoner Rock to Sludge Metal to Hardcore are present and accounted for (Stoner Rock being emphasized in the dubbed “hydrogrind” song Kill For Weed
. Metalcore is even there in the humorous Dying Will Be The Dead Of Me
, which pokes fun at the latest Metalcore and Emo scenes. This mesh up of so many different styles makes for each song to be individually different and fresh from the last, one thing that seems to be plaguing albums nowadays.
When you flip on a Cephalic record, one thing you will never be short of is technical ability, something I touched on earlier. Clearly, these guys have all respectively spent thousands of hours on each of their instruments, as each show off their abilities frequently, but this doesn’t stop them from being able to write a totally coherent song that’s maybe even, dare I say, downright catchy at some points. Piecemaker
’s chorus and the sludgy entirety of Sleeprace
. The ability to write good songs
as well as utilizing technical ideas and riffs in balance is something that sadly escapes most of the “technical” bands of this age, as most mainly doodle along in random time signatures and scales without any meaning or purpose, other than to impress the listener on their technical prowess.
Let me again stress to you how enjoyable this record is, not only because of its catchy songs and heavy sound, but also because of the fun loving way about it, which contributes greatly to its appeal to listeners. Had this just been a monotone, sort of grey album, I might be somewhat confused or annoyed as to all the directions it took and the “all over the place” feel to it. But because it has that certain level of airiness and humor to it, the album is fun to just relax to. You don’t have to psyche yourself up to listen to it. The downside of that is that at some points on the album, the lyrics almost make the song too stupid or too funny sounding where I felt as though they should have kept the balance running with a more serious sound or idea. While obviously lyrics aren’t everything, they make a bit of difference seeing as they are clearly heard and easy to decipher 85% of the time.
A very welcome thing on this album is the presence of a tight rhythm department including a talented drummer and a fantastic bassist. It is quite evident that the bass has a big part in the music not only from its place in the mix (which is high enough to hear clearly, but not so high that it becomes a pudgy distraction), but from its various solos around the album and in the intros of Sleeprace
. The real “core” of the band shines when guitarists are free to solo, yet still have a strong backbone to fall back on and to have carry the song along.
So Cephalic Carnage has made one fine album. It has everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything. You name it, it’s more than likely here. If it isn’t, it’s probably on one of their previous or later albums, all the more reason to collect their discography. But if you are new to Cephalic, this is a great place to start, as it is the album where they really started to expand their sound to include sounds from all around the musical kingdom.
Great fun atmosphere, not too serious for its own good
Fantastic instrumental value
Clean song writing ability carries the technicality on its shoulders
Maybe a bit too goofy and silly at times
Broad range of styles might make for a harder listen for some folk
Lyrics are somewhat stupid some of the time
Counting The Days
Dying Will Be The Death Of Me