Album review: Cephalic Carnage – Misled By Certainty

It’s always incredibly fun to come across a band that just defies all expectations and logic. Cannibal Corpse should not be a great band because their basic formula has never changed, but they still are. And Cephalic Carnage should not be a great band because they incorporate too many styles to be coherent, but they just are!

After all, how many bands can take technical grind, death, jazz, doom, harsh vocals, clean vocals, virtuoso bass and drums and off-beat song structures, and come up with something that isn’t chaotic nonsense? That’s why Cephalic Carnage albums are usually a treat, and after the turbo-charged 1000BPM whirlwind that was ‘Xenosapien’, most fans might have been hoping for/expecting the same. So it’s exactly what they don’t get.

Cephalic Carnage ArtworkIt’s not that this is a uniformly mid- to slow-paced album in the way that, say, Chimaira’s ‘The Infection’ was. Rather, Cephalic Carnage have just dialled down the crazy and added some texture to the songs by giving them room to breathe. In parts, ‘Misled By Certainty’ is actually quite like ‘Conforming To Abnormality’ in the way that it is a bruiser of an album without ever feeling like it is being held down by its own weight.

The technical fireworks kick off right away, with ‘The Incorrigible Flame’ providing some six-string sorcery and multiple time signature changes. Even more impressive is the grind-minded ‘Warbots A.M.’ that quickly settles into a groove Cannibal Corpse would be proud of, while ‘Abraxas Of Filth’ is pure eargasm by bass.

Elsewhere, ‘Dimensional Modulation Transmography’ incorporates a clean guitar and spoken word section before exploding into a blitzkrieg of pure grind. Vocalist Lenzig Leal is impressive throughout, showcasing an impressive range and outdoes all comers on the final track and 12 minute behemoth ‘Repangaea’ – a swirling, descending leviathan of a song that includes everything from clean vocals and saxophones to grind and death. There’s even a moment spared for a chuckle as the 38-second ‘Pure Horses’ ends with a rather silly neigh.

It’s hard not to be excited by an album like this which is such a strong outing for one of the more interesting bands in the world of extreme. Cephalic Carnage have genuinely outdone themselves on ‘Misled By Certainty’ by incorporating technical brilliance into good songs rather than trying to write a few riffs around a load of fretboard frippery. Make sure you check this one out.

Rating – 8


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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