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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Misled by Normality, Fuck Normality (Cephalic Carnage, Misled by Certainty 2010)

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Denver Colorado's own self assigned: Hydrogrinders Cephalic Carnage, give some proof to the pudding that weed can result in some really creative visonairy works of art, however on the flip side of the table they beseige the listener with an absurd lyrical content featuring conspiracy theories and UFO's, exhibiting classical signs of delusion and paranoia. Although the subject of narcotic consumption and musical ingenuity is quite the classic debating point, my priority is to infact review the album, which in a round about way may reflect on the debate, so onward we go! (feel free to debate it in the comments section)

 Cephalic Carnage manage to shatter any preconceived abstraction you could ever envisage on the technical side of music, they literally present to the listener with a colourful 54 minute segment of writhing sophisticated grind, that continues to shine vibrancy coupled with originality, all the whilst keeping the listener captivated and overwhelmed by the sheer awe that it sprays upon the gracious audience.
 Cephalic Carnages  modus operandi has a general inattention for time signatures and abstruse moments are found by the dozen, but all this adds to the appeal of their dexterous speedy riffing with the accompaniment of a grooving bass line and tight , integrated drumming. As per usual Cephalic Carnage like not to be underpinned by genres and release a vast fury of genres across their 14 tracks of boundary slashing mastery, expect a range from the doom, sludge to the loud to the more mellowed out, all the while being underpinned by an ever approaching grinding blitzkrieg. 
The Incorrigable Flame, is the first track and the only bad track on the album, perhaps for a musician it is desirable as it seems to be a fantastic showcase of their musical ability, however not that of a song for your standard listener, due to a lack of hooks,instrumental  integration and engaging moments which give me a feel that it is a weak as a song, and perhaps best left unheard to preserve the sanctity of the rest of the album. Luckily track 2 Warbots AM, brings back the users attention with blast beats and screaming intro followed by a parade of catchy riffs to reach and holds its zenith just over a minute in, with a slow paced grinding onslaught, and then to revert to back to a period of guitarmania, before once again breaking into the a full frontal Grindcore assault.  
Plentiful are moments of zen like slow paced drawn out harmonies, only to have them smoothly juxtaposed by moments of vehemence, all the while the temperance of the nimble guitar lead innovation remains intact, creating a staple flow that holds the polar elements together, namely the marvelous shifts of the speed and heaviness.
Vocals are well assimilated into the tracks, and reflect the constant mood swings of the album, giving another stratum to the sheer alluring nature of the album. One cannot take the application of the genre; namely Grindcore lightly,  albeit their previous releases, this is nothing like any other grind band, and it may be hard to associate with Grindcore's notorius extremity and cold blooded nature. However if you dwell deep into the music, and deep within all the non-grindcore elements you will be acquainted with some of Grindcore's hallmarks in loose application. Even if you struggle to these underpinnings, you will clearly notice in song structure of a return in force back to a staple of Grindcore, which emphasis the fluidity of the music.
Although similar in annals to their previous strongholds of Xenosapien and Anomalies, this album is unique in its own right, and in my opinion trumps the priors, in all fields be it originality, musical professionalism and overall appeal and re-playability. They have refined their game, cutting out elements which were feeble or misplaced, and those that were strong have been reinforced and reforged to give it a contemporary semblance, all the while never loosing sight of the original aim of original grind.
Musical praise aside, the artwork itself is worthy of distinction and perhaps best metaphorically represents the music; with a primeval skull constructed by various avant-garde entities, and in the distance a eye catching space craft, yes I am a sucker for art work
To conclude whoever said originality is dead, clearly never heard  Misled by Certainty, and whoever also said that originality and quality don't go side by side is also a liar. Misled by Certainty is a fantastic album, with every crevice teeming with originality, technicality and equally as good professionalism, this is certainly my favourite release of the year so far, and I tip my hat to them for blessing me with such an exhilarating roller coaster ride of audio ecstasy.

Post Script: Check out this interview with them, interesting read. (here)