Published Aug 22, 2010There are more points on long-running tech grinders Cephalic Carnage's excellent sixth album, Misled by Certainty, where the band sound like they've been praying to Morbid Angel's altars of madness than there are on any of their previous albums. In fact, songs like opener "The Incorrigible Flame" and third track "Abraxas of Filth" could have been written by any number of Floridian death metal bands. But it's a set-up ― for most of the album, the band tweak grindcore and death metal the way they always have, with the technical precision and head-scratching songwriting techniques they're known for. And there's diversity, as always: "Cordyceps Humanis" brings the doom; "Ohrwurm" and "Repangaea" flirt with jazz; and "When I Arrive" sounds like the local drunken Pantera cover band, until the blast beats kick in. And tracks like "Pure Horses" (0:38), "P.G.A.D." (0:34) and closer "Aeyeucgh!" (0:32) grind hard and fast. But those quick grinders are getting less interesting (they probably took as long to write as they do to play), while Cephalic's death is getting more refined. It's just the latest strange development for this strangest of grind bands. By conforming to death metal's abnormalities, Cephalic have, in their own strange way, gotten even stranger. And even better.
The album starts off conservatively and then picks up the insanity. Was this intentional?
Bassist Nick Schendzielos: For the first time, we decided to make it a really interesting ride by throwing some melody and repetition at you first, and then making it get crazier and crazier.
Your past couple albums have been growers ― not immediately grabbing, but after a few listens, really impressing.
We spent a lot of time combing through every transition, every riff, every drum part, all the vocals, everything. So you end up with a really clean and pure product ― uncut, but very refined and boisterous. We really like to try to make records you want to listen to many times, and part of the way to do that is to have subtle intricacies and details that take a lot of careful listening to discern.
The short grindcore songs seem more tossed-off this time, while you're developing your more serious death metal songwriting skills.
We're not serious people, except for when we're going through borders, so it's important to reflect our humorous stage antics and general demeanours on our albums. But we're also serious musicians, so we have to represent our playing abilities and songwriting abilities as well. (Relapse)