Cerebrum - _Spectral Extravagance_
(Lacerated Enemy Records, 2009)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7 out of 10)
Where would metal be without drums? I say nonexistent. Metal drumming, in the eyes and ears of many, is what gives that favorite genre of ours its massive sound. If you're a humble drummer like myself and repute intense drumming as not just an unprecedented and unique form of art but also a challenging sport, then you probably have a lot of respect for the Greek god of drumming George Kollias. Though not an official band member, Kollias lent his drumming prowess to his fellow Greeks Cerebrum for the recording of their debut album _Spectral Extravagance_, and his name is written all over it.

Cerebrum is a technical death metal band and that's a craft that requires a certain extent of skill to master and the fact that there are more tech-death bands releasing albums every year doesn't make it any easier. One can't deny the skill on _Spectral Extravagance_, especially on tracks like the dynamically varied "Intolerable Ado" and the relentless closer "Shreds of Remains". "Beyond Imagination" presents a delicate balance between its clean section and its homage to the Cannibal Corpse School of riffing. The band's muscular hold on time signatures is most audaciously noticeable on the blistering opener "Fragments of Illusion" and "Pattern of Fear". "Scatter-Brain" and "Epiphysis Thrive" are two tracks with which clean vocals were experimented, yet they worked better with the latter than the former. Inasmuch as I know about tech-death, clean vocals are a crucial element in terms of composition; they could be that one ingredient that throws the whole produce off or it could be the garnish on a juicy steak.

Kollias' wide assortment of drum fills all around, and especially on "Edge of Parallel Circles" gives this record a stronger punch and an extra aura of supersonic dynamics. If the hats were obliged to go off for only one track, it would be for the destructive "Salvia Divinorum". In parting words, _Spectral Extravagance_ is an Athenian avalanche of blast beats racing downhill against intricate guitar riffs and brutal vocals that are fused together in a forty two minute tech-death fury, and Cerebrum will be a force to reckon with on the European scene in years to come if they can find a permanent drummer capable of such high caliber fare.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/cerebrum

(article published 27/1/2010)

4/18/2010 A El Naby Cerebrum: Stimulating the Cerebral Cortex
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