Review Summary: Play me something hot and spicy!.......Spicier!!!! SPIIICIERRR!!!!
Let’s not mince words; this is another solid release from the hydro grinders of Denver, CO. Everything is done exceptionally well and delivers a hefty dose of head-banging guitar work and guttural vocal attacks. Unfortunately for Cephalic Carnage
this is a bit of an understatement with regard to their already impressive catalog; especially in comparison to earlier outings Xenosapien and the all powerful Anomalies. Perhaps extra time is required with this release, whereas all new offerings require patience to be truly appreciated. Unfortunately, at this juncture, much of Misled By Certainty’s material tends to stray toward a more mainstreamed approach easily accessible to those initially turned off by this band’s hectic and spiraling time signatures and melodies. Take this as both a negative and positive whereas this release still delivers the goods tenfold while maintaining a fairly consistent pace from start to finish.
Opening tracks ‘The Incorrigible Flame’ and ‘Warbots A.M.’ rip through the gates, dishing up some appetizing riffage that holds true to their famed characteristics. The real problem with much of this material which later becomes apparent at the mid-marker is it fails to truly stand on its own and hold differentiation from its peers. One can’t help but feel an uncanny resemblance to The Faceless
on several of these musical compositions. Rest assured ‘Abraxis of Filth’ is another true, return to form, carrying both the zany characteristics that Cephalic Carnage
fans have grown to love. The vocal work, although a little less dynamic from past albums, still reign’s supreme over much of the genre’s excess and fits well with the crunchy riffage. This correctly leads into thirty second, grind scorcher ‘Pure Horses’, another fitting slab of punishing technicality.
‘Cordyceps Humanis,’ although slightly cut and paste, has a nice punch. Sherwood Webber (ex Skinless
, and former vocalist for Enemy Reign
) provides back-up vocal work. The doomy ambiance of this track adds a different approach to the material. Guitars plod slowly from one blast beat to the next with lyrical bursts accentuating a deranged and off setting picture of fungal spores entering human hosts through the respiratory system, eating flesh, manipulating thought process and causing self-induced cannibalism. Quite the mind trip…. Tackling this type of subject matter is nothing new for Cephalic Carnage
and the spiraling, frenzied songwriting further augments these lyrics.
While catchy and pummeling, it’s apparent that Cephalic Carnage
continue to step further from their experimental acid-jazz-grind days that they are both loved and hated for. Listeners are offered a more, clear cut death grind approach with a few minor tidbits hinting to the band’s former self. This deviation from form can be seen since their progression from 2005’s Anomalies. Each track from this release offers something for every listener and while not easily accessible on first listen, Anomalies takes the prize for being one of Cephalic’s best works to date. While its follow-up, Xenosapian, took a small step away from this frantic experimentation, fans will see an even bigger step in this direction with Misled by Certainty. Fans of old will be slightly turned off by this new material but will make believers out of the former naysayers.
‘Raped By An Orb’ and ‘P.G.A.D.’ are other noteworthy tracks that fans of old will come to expect. As mentioned above, listeners will be slightly torn on this one. Those who have been along for the ride will find more enjoyment with the first half of the album. ‘Dimensional Modulation Transmography’ is the first tell-tale sign as to where things begin to run together if only slightly. While the material isn’t by any means bad, most of these tracks, with the exception of album ender ‘Aeyeucgh!,’ offer very few distinguishing attributes. Regardless, it’s unjust to overly dismiss this album whereas there is still a lot going on for metal and grind fans. Still, there is a lingering fear in the back of my mind as to what these guys will offer next and if they will continue to stray further from what Cephalic Carnage
do best. Only time will tell…