Review Summary: What? No Sub-Genre?
In today’s metal scene, music is constantly judged, constantly stereotyped into sub genres and constantly written off just due to its ‘status-quo’ in the music scene. What tours a band goes on, who they play with and who they sound like determine how people generalize about them. This is just a plain simple fact, people do it all over this site and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping any time soon. There are a few bands that are still considered to be paving the way for their genre, or creating something never heard before, in other words being completely original. But there are still those that people will not like just due to if they sound identical to someone else, or some other group. I personally like to hear a band step out of their comfort zone and try something new, even if they fail at it and fall flat on their face. It just shows me that they have the balls to go out and try something completely new even if it means alienating some of their core fan base. Cause lets be honest that’s what artists want, the ability to create anything they want at any point in time without having their fans think they ‘sold-out’. In a sea of bands trying to combine mash-ups of different sounding ‘core’ genres, it’s nice to hear a band like ‘Cerberus’ bring back just straight up metal. No extended metaphors or drawn out complexities of which genre they fit into they’re just straight up, metal.
“Dispute the Truth” is their first full length and already you can tell that these guys have gotten some momentum going, guitarists that play like riff-o-matics, a drummer who definitely knows his way around the kit and a vocalist who doesn’t exactly fit the music they play but does a great job at bringing a new side to what they’re playing. Overall I think you’ll find with this record that it is one of the most refreshingly new releases in years.
Cerberus play in interesting style, like I stated above its basically just only classifiable as metal, but if you want to get technical there is a heavy thrash influence that shines through on tracks like ‘Cancer’ and ‘The Light Burned Blind’. But also carry a more ominous sound as heard in the song ‘The Filthy Few’ which carries a much more darker sound than just about any other song on the album. Honestly this album starts out strong and never lets up, with the exception of one ‘interlude’ which is actually quite long, really makes you realize that these guitar players are very talented. The thrash influences are immediately recognized when the first riffs kicks off in ‘Cancer’. The first thing you’ll notice about this band is that the singer has a very interesting scream/growl. For some reason it reminds me of how a black metal singer would sound mixed with a more contemporary screamer. It’s interesting to say the least. But for the most part his voice adds a much needed diversity to their sound which sets them apart from bands that may sound similar. The drummer also adds his little two cents in with his interesting style of playing. In today’s style of metal there is a great need to play faster and harder, but it is clearly recognizable that the effect he is going for is not one of just sheer speed and brutality, but more of subtlety and not overplaying certain parts. But the guitars are really the stars of this album, amazing tone coupled with some catchy riffs make them a nice addition to the overall effect of the album.
Something I’ve come to realize with hearing a lot of guitar recordings on some newer releases the levels are all out of whack. Some sound like they have way too much low to them, others sound like they have too much high or mid to them, either way taking myself out of the listening experience for a little bit. But I can honestly say that the guitars sound really good on this album. Now I will say that the album suffers from a little mediocrity, one can only take so many riffs in such a short amount of time before everything starts to sound a little alike. But altogether I think they do a really good job at creating some pretty memorable songs.
One more thing that the album suffers from is songwriting. The lyrics on this album are not the best I’ve heard, by a long shot. The vocals themselves sound great, adding a new dimension to what Cerberus is attempting to pull off but if you listen to the lyrics for any amount of time you can tell that this guy needs some work. I’m not one to usually knock anyone’s lyrics as long as the fit the music that they play, but these are pretty bad. The good thing is they don’t take away from what the album is, musically, trying to do, which is good. But other than that, if you sit down and read them from the booklet, you might be a little disappointed.
Other than those small discrepancies, this is a solid release; and one that I think everyone should check out. It brings back the essence of what just straight up metal sounded like, without the painstakingly long half-beat breakdowns, and filler tracks that usually bring any new release (it seems like) down. Cerberus bring back what it was like to make an album filled with catchy riffs and players that are unquestionably good at what they do. Cerberus’ “Dispute the Truth” is a testament to how metal used to sound like…metal. Not hardcore influenced metal, or vice versa, just plain and straight good old fashioned metal. I would recommend this album to just about anyone. Check it out, and bang your heads.