Relapse Records
Release date: March 15, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Pause. Listening to Cephalic Carnage will give you pause. After realizing that shaking your head, however furiously, is not going to make Cephalic Carnage’s vision any more clear, you probably will move onto scratching your head, which most likely also will not be much help.

Just what on earth is this? For once a band has managed to come up with an album title that really says it all. This really is something else indeed. It’s not easy to come up with a description of what these guys sound like, since even after repeated listens it’s still difficult to come to grips and digest all that is on offer here. Extreme versatility is something that Cephalic Carnage aims for in their sound, and their purpose is to challenge the listener … and, for once, those aren’t just empty words because that is exactly what one gets when listening to Anomalies, the fourth release from these extreme metallers from the U.S.A.

The only constant seems to be the Death Metal theme, but the songs have so many twists and styles mixed into them that there probably isn’t a term invented that can nail what Cephalic Carnage sounds like. They always do seem to return to that death growl and those furious and ultra-fast guitars and machine-gun drums.

There aren’t too many straightforward songs offered here. “Enviovore” is probably the most straightforward as any of these 12 tracks of extreme spurs of messed up sounds. Most of the songs on Anomalies consist of numerous quirky changes of pace and different vocal styles, which are mixed in with the ever-present growling. “Dying Will Be the Last of Me” even has some melodic singing in it. “The Will or the Way” has some Punk mixed in the vocals. “Piecemaker” has the makings of a cool desert rock song if it wasn’t for the death-like growling mixed in it.

Cephalic Carnage is trying to break down some pretty heavy walls of taste here. Whether they succeed or not depends heavily on how broad your taste is, and how much you are willing and able to digest. The most impressive song, the album’s closer, “Ontogony of Behaviour,” goes from an acoustic start to “space out rock,” back to the growling, and suddenly you’re listening to what sounds like Doom Metal. The best part of the song is at the start with the whispering narrative over the acoustic sounds, while the volume slowly increases and you end up listening to what sounds like many different whispers inside your head. This must be what “hearing voices” feels like … so the band does have many cool ideas, but swallowing them all as whole without gagging is asking a lot out of the listener.

Cephalic Carnage sure sounds like they are trying to overcome some serious torment, by granting you the access to every ounce of their twisted nightmares, and not leaving out the calming brief moments of deep sleep before starting up again with the fierce rapid eye moments and the unsettled tossing and turning.

If you want to find out how extreme your music tastes really are, then check out this peculiar combination of Death, Doom, Grindcore and Desert Rock to see just how far you can be pushed. This is custom made for/by the remote control generation who have made channel hopping a conventional pastime.


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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