Cephalic Carnage - _Misled by Certainty_
(Relapse Records, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7.5 out of 10)
How many times do you have to listen to an album for it to grow on you? And when does it feel like you're wasting your time with an album that you don't like but you're still trying to be as fair as possible with it? I think the longer you have to listen to an album for it to grow on you, the more affected you will be when it actually happens, but there are of course limits. Cephalic Carnage's latest aural carnage _Misled by Certainty_ didn't leave an initial pleasant reaction on me, but seeing that I have a signed poster from Lenzig Leal in my bedroom saying "to Aly, kill for weed", I didn't let that initial reaction stand alone.

After the maximum power backhand grind-slap that was _Xenosapien_ (if such description were ever viable), I was expecting another Rocky Mountain-tinged grindfest from 2010's _Misled by Certainty_. I guess now I see the point of misleading the listener by the certainty that Cephalic Carnage will hit in the same manner, which gives us a perfect name for album number six. _Misled by Certainty_ indeed isn't _Xenosapien_, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have an ugly, eclectic and disorienting charm of its own. Another highlight worth mentioning is that this is the first album to feature Brian Hopp, who replaces Zac Joe in the guitarist position.

Cephalic Carnage has always been a band that would quite easily have you mixed up trying to count the correct time signature for their riffs, take the opener "The Incorrigible Flame" for example. The band's continuously increasing level of musicianship is quite deftly highlighted on tracks like "When I Arrive", with its relentless pace and rather catchy vocal arrangements, and "Abraxas of Filth", with its brisk shifts from crazy fast tempos with bass licks to crushing slow tempos with machine-gun double bass drumming and a brilliant guitar solo. "Cordyceps Humanis" lies on the slower side of the tempo meter and has the voice of Sir David Attenborough in the background talking about the type of fungi which fit perfectly with the slow arrangements accompanying it.

Of course no Cephalic Carnage album would be complete without a couple of typical grind tracks with up-tempo standard grinding chords, epileptic drum blasting and utterly incomprehensible vocals; "Pure Horses" and "P.G.A.D" come to mind. "Ohrwurm" and the outstanding twelve minute long "Repangaea" introduce Mr. Bruce Lamont's saxophone to this grinding affair, and his work complements them quite masterfully. The saxophone parts sound splendid among the thick guitars and they are used in the most fitting sections in both tracks.

While _Xenosapien_ and _Anomalies_ were instant frag grenades that blew up in the listener's face as soon as they started, _Misled by Certainty_ is more like a ticking bomb with a gradual release of experimental grinding awesomeness. It is yet another successful chapter in the Cephalic Carnage grind experiment that proved to be an enticing listen after a few spins.

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

(article published 7/12/2010)


ALBUMS
7/27/2007 J Ulrey 9 Cephalic Carnage - Xenosapien
4/7/2005 J Smit 9 Cephalic Carnage - Anomalies
10/30/2003 X Hoose 9 Cephalic Carnage - Lucid Interval
4/5/2003 X Hoose 7.5 Cephalic Carnage - Halls of Amenti
5/25/2000 A Bromley 8 Cephalic Carnage - Exploiting Dysfunction
GIGS
10/13/2003 A McKay Hatebreed / Madball / Hate Eternal / Terror / Cephalic Carnage Hemp Heaven? No, It's Iowa!
4/21/2003 A Magers Shadows Fall / Shai Hulud / Unearth / Cephalic Carnage Shadows Fall Over Columbus, Ohio
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