Review Summary: Few bands have created brutal death metal with staying power, but Pyaemia attempts it and succeeds with their only full length.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
It's pretty difficult not to notice that brutal death metal, at least in it's most common form, is an increasingly stagnant beast. Recent releases such as those by Abominable Putridity
demonstrate significant instrumental prowess but utterly uninteresting song writing without the dynamics and capacity for subtle melody displayed on early releases by Suffocation
or Deeds Of Flesh
; either that or they simply echo their influences but less effectively. However, around the early 2000s, brutal death metal had a series of strong releases, with Disavowed
's Perceptive Deception
's Consume The Forsaken
, and, perhaps most notably, Pyaemia's Cerebral Cereal
, which provides strong songwriting, riffs and instrumentation into one simultaneously blistering and crushing package.
Pretty much every aspect of the instrumentation is tight and technical. The guitars don't break into lead, but a powerful mix of fast tremolo picking, crushing chords and technical riffs helps to keep it among the best elements of the album. The bass is also a strong force, performing the same riffs extremely tightly and with added fills on occasion, while the drumming is extremely tight, performing reasonably fast blast beats with extreme precision throughout several songs with some excellent fills thrown in. The vocals also have a forceful edge to them, packing a punch with a mix of low growls and added upper range screams and roars to accentuate certain moments, which works effectively and keeps the vocals from being monotonous. The production is also quite good, every instrument being audible and clear.
The album opens with the blistering Gorging on Mucus and Bile
which features several catchy riffs and a consistent tightness that keeps it impressive, while there is enough variation to make it extremely enjoyable to the end where it slams to a halt. The title track also features some of the excellent features of the opener, but with a set of even better riffs and a good variation in tempo that keeps it fresh while also offering some of the best drumwork of the album. Sugar Spiced Anus
is nearly as volatile, with fast, harmonized tremolo picked figures often prominent alongside fast muted power chord riffs; however, the transition between the verse and chorus is slightly jarring and could be improved. Impaled On Stakes
is one of the slower tracks present, but does feature among the best riffs on the album, with a mix of hammer-ons as well as some more melodic (and dissonant) sections that keep it interesting, while the crushing chords are just as present. Carried in Proboscis
manages to provide more of what made Impaled On Stakes so good, with a good variety of riffs executed at a slightly faster tempo, while Blood Spewed On My Face
features some more ctachy riffs and a strong set of dynamic shifts that avoid being jarring. Cranial Blowout
is probably the fastest track present, with some more great riffs that occasionally implement melody in an effective way. Closer Everlasting Torture
explodes into action with even more brilliant riffs, truly ending the album in a way that was just as good, if not better, than how it started.
As one might expect, however, there is a lot of similar material on this album. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the material here is very strong and actually pretty memorable, unlike a lot of brutal death metal. However, this may put people off listening to the whole album in one sitting as it can make the album somewhat repetitive towards the end, which is a shame because the album has extremely good material throughout that makes it superior to many of the efforts from the band's contemporaries. Overall, any fan of brutal death metal can enjoy this record, but unlike many others, it's also good for a general death metal listener due to its stronger songwriting and excellent riffs.
Impaled By Stakes
Gorging On Mucus And Bile
Blood Spewed On My Face
...Although every track here is enjoyable and an excellent introduction to the album.