A Change In Direction... But a Very Good One
From Lucid Interval onward, Cephalic Carnage is slowly straying away from the brutal, crazy grindcore that made them famous, replacing that with a more polished technical death metal approach. Anomalies and Xenosapien showed fewer grind elements in Cephalic Carnage's music, but 2010's Misled by Certainty has the Colorado-based quintet with a completely redefined sound. Although I enjoy both eras of the band, I have to say that I am very pleased with the new and fresh sound Cephalic Carnage is pursuing. There are still quite a few crazy 30-second grindcore outbursts on Misled by Certainty, but in-between these sections we are greeted by a more melodic Cephalic Carnage. What is the result of such a change in direction? Possibly Cephalic Carnage's best album yet. It's still as brutal as anything, but the intricacy and attention to detail that was somewhat lacking on their earlier releases is finally here.
The music on Misled by Certainty is similar to that of the last two Cephalic Carnage albums, albeit a bit more melodic. What that means is that this is brutal technical death metal with some weird and crazy twists. Throughout this album you'll hear saxophone solos, a few beautiful sections, heavy riffing, atmospheric synths, and crazy grindcore spas-attacks. Needless to say, that's not what you can expect from your everyday extreme metal release - and that's why Cephalic Carnage is so worthy of praise. Of course, the dedicated grindcore fans who enjoyed albums like Conforming to Abnormality and Exploiting Dysfunction may feel a bit disappointed, but for death metal fans who are looking for a unique spin on the genre are definitely in luck with this release.
Misled by Certainty is a 14-track, 53:36 album. Although there are a few cuts that I don't really enjoy, there is some of Cephalic Carnage's best material to be found here as well. The opening number, "The Incorrigible Flame" is probably my favorite song here. The technical madness of "Abraxas of Filth", the melodic "Dimensional Modulation Transmography", and the epic "Repangaea" are also notable. This is an extremely varied album, though, and just because you like a few tracks does not mean you will like all of them. You need to have a very open mind when approaching this release.
The musicianship is some of the best in extreme metal. Cephalic Carnage is an extremely tight-playing group, and they always play in perfect (dis)harmony. Although all of the musicians are terrific, I must say that John Merryman's drumming has always been the highlight in Cephalic Carnage's music for me. He is just a complete technical monster - certainly a force to be reckoned with in extreme metal!
The production is great. It's crystal clear, heavy enough to fit the music like a glove, and powerful enough to convey all of the feeling in the compositions. If you're looking for an extremely professional sound in extreme metal, look no further than Misled by Certainty!
Misled by Certainty is a terrific 6th album by Cephalic Carnage. This is the perfect balance between satisfying the faithful and expanding the fanbase. I don't hesitate in calling this the best Cephalic Carnage album so far, and I really hope the band further explores this genre in the future! As for know, this is a big 4 (almost 4.5) star rating. If you like your metal to be crazy and extremely heavy, but still enjoy a sense of direction, this is an essential 2010 album!
1. The Incorrigible Flame
2. Warbots A.M.
3. Abraxis of Filth
4. Pure Horses
5. Cordyceps Humanis
6. Raped by an Orb
8. Dimensional Modulation Transmogra
10. When I Arrive
11. Power and Force
12. A King and a Thief