Cephalic Carnage are known for their highly original take on grindcore, death metal, jazz and a host of other influences. Anomalies is their fourth full length album and it’s a slight change of pace compared to its high octane predecessors. Let’s take a closer look.
Anomalies starts in true grinding fashion with Scientific Remote Viewing and Wraith, two fast paced songs full of blastbeats, odd time signatures and other traditional Cephalic Carnage elements. Counting The Days and The Will And The Way revolve around a couple of heavy chugging guitar riffs, alternated by the occasional blastbeat. Barney Greenway (Napalm Death) does some guest vocals on the latter song. Welcome to the house of fun I’d say.
Piecemaker is the first really different track on Anomalies. It’s a grinding mid paced song keeping the middle ground between hardcore and doom metal. Enviovore is somewhat more in line with the aforementioned Counting The Days and The Will And The Way. Dying Will Be The Dead Of Me and Kill For Weed are the two goofballs of the album. They add a lot of diversity and a drop dead humorous edge to Anomalies. It’s the presence of these kind of songs which makes Cephalic Carnage to the incredibly versatile band they are.
The band’s jazz influences are prevalent on the creepy Inside Is Out. Sleeprace is another heavy mid paced song which has a nifty sludge groove. Litany Of Failure follows the same pattern. Ontogeny Of Behavior is the album’s grand finale. It features all the elements of which Anomalies is built from, namely creepy jazz inspired parts, doom metal, hardcore and occasional bursts of grindcore inspired frenzy. Just the perfect composition to celebrate the rich diversity and craftsmanship of this record.
Sound wise Anomalies has a rather dry but clear production, courtesy of Dave Otero. What I really like about it is the fact that all the individual instruments are clearly audible, instead of being buried under layers upon layers of distortion. It adds a lot of atmosphere to the album as well.
Diversity is key on Anomalies. It’s somewhat more mid tempo and groove orientated then Exploiting Dysfunction and Lucid Interval, but it still contains enough grindcore frenzy to keep the old fans happy. Anomalies is a landmark record within extreme metal. Pure and simple.
Written by Raymond Westland