Review Summary: ...just writhe along
At the top of the year I set myself a goal to exclusively review a plethora of black metal albums. Little did I know that was not what the universe had planned for me. Hell, if the world of good intentions was personified as a sadist, those intentions in 2021 had other ideas. Let me explain: as we creep closer to the year’s halfway mark—(seriously, where did the last 6 months go?)—I’ve reviewed (give or take) twenty-eight pieces of music this year. Of those thirty-ish albums, only seven of them are considerably black in their metal niche. My point? Good music doesn’t give a fuc
k for my reviewing preferences.
Neither does Cerebral Rot.
I mean why should they? It’s not like this Washington based death metal tour de force
released their sophomore, Excretion Of Mortality
with the press in mind. Nor should any act be sitting, pen in hand, thinking about how some faceless figure behind a screen will take
their latest effort...or that a particular reviewer stupidly decided (and wrongly too might I add) to review an all too specific genre of music. That aside I do find myself, once again, reaching into the depths of death metal, my member gladly covered in gore when it resurfaces. For Excretion Of Mortality
picks up roughly where the debut left off, as if Odious Descent Into Decay
was some sort of morbidly laced death/doom warm up. Let that sink in for a second. The gore driven, Odious Descent Into Decay
was leading into this, a given for a debut, a tease on the minds for those who can’t help but love this stench driven, old-school infused slab of death metal. A teaser on the tips of those already stimulated enough to cream their pies without running up an excessive data bill. Yet, Cerebral Rot’s debut was only a gateway into the absolute filth the band would have to offer moving forward and in looking back at the band’s debut makes this year’s, Excretion Of Mortality
High praise for some seriously cavernous death metal—but let me dive a little deeper into Excretion Of Mortality
’s larger than depth makeup before we get totally lost in superfluous hyperbole. It could be said that in starting Cerebral Rot’s latest jaunt with the title track could be taken as a statement of sorts, but the sophomore's success doesn’t see a need in beating around the bush. The wiry, descending riffs that introduce the belch and bombast of Cerebral Rot’s gore-driven initiations. “Excretion Of Mortality” is a frenzied take on an old-school death metal aesthetic and doom-drenched riffs. Those riffs (courtesy of guitarists Clyle Lindstrom and Ian Schwab) provide gut-wrenching churn, even as they crawl through the distortion as if covered by molasses. By the time the thick patter of double bass and anvil snare strikes shoot through the groove, the band’s unmistakable romp sets the tone for what is to come. “Vile Yolk of Contagion” continues the march deeper into the chasm, spewing violence and bile down a bridge of demonic and ghastly growls. Where Odious...
’s makeup was one of “pacing done right”, the band’s follow-up is noticeably tighter, reinforcing the intensity, while maintaining the dirge-like death march in its mid tempo form. In many ways, “Vile Yolk of Contagion” stabs at the compositional board, Carcass-like riffs dance and cut around the track’s frame, surgical
precision on a rotting cadaver.
Even as Excretion Of Mortality
reaches its latter half, Cerebral Rot keeps a foot pressed firmly into the pedal. “Drowned in Malodor” and “Retching Innards” are a sauntering one-two punch that keeps the mirth and mirk of Cerebral Rot’s slab lurching forwards. The chime of the ride cymbal rings happily, a contrast to the filth and devastation so eagerly on show. The real highlight of Excretion Of Mortality
however, comes in the form of “Crowning the Disgustulent (Breed of Repugnance)”. At eleven minutes, the closer isn’t at all the bash n’ slash take at old school death the rest of the record [easily] caters to. Instead, this breed of repugnance
is a fully-fledged compositional masterstroke given ample room to breathe in the decay, exhaling virulent shifts across metal’s wider niches. Samples of sludge, post and doom metal all interplay with Schwab’s danker gutturals while offering an absolute masterclass on Cerebral Rot’s core auditory grossness.
Even with all this in mind, Excretion Of Mortality
’s ghastly design is far from a chore to listen to. Sure, some areas of Cerebral Rot’s sound runs too familiar in the world of deathened old school, but for what it’s worth, the genre itself continues to raise a finger at the masses who predetermine they “liked something else on principle”. Personally, I may have thought 2021 would be the year of high profile black metal releases, while Cerebral Rot (among others) have already proved me wrong. Either way, a brief forty-eight minute run time flies by and some of the dankest, cavern-bred death metal has been released just in time for all these faceless journalists to announce their mid-year reports. Yeah, Excretion Of Mortality
has probably earned a spot.