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Musical Ramblings: Two metal discs that you can rock out to

Peter W | Interrobang | Lifestyles | October 1st, 2007



This week's edition is one of my good ol' fashioned double takes. Sometimes when you're writing about death metal or extreme metal, it's hard to put it into words. I would like to start and end every review with the words, “it's awesome, so just listen to it.” Unfortunately, the writer's world doesn't work this way, so I'll try and put into words the almost uncanny music that you'll hear if you pop in these discs.

Cephalic Carnage
Xenosapian
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, this is Cephalic Carnage's fifth album and they are now being marketed as metal's extreme champions. I have to say that's a fitting title because although I play music, I have no idea how a bunch of guys can sit around and come up with this time and key changing onslaught of brutality.

Blast beats, growling vocals and technical/progressive riffing are featured throughout the disc. Yes, there are times where the band brings forth some classic thrashing techniques, but for the most part, it's unrelenting brutality. Albums like this, where you have so much to listen to, need solid production and thank goodness Relapse gave these guys the budget to produce a slick record.

What I like about this release is that the songwriting structures are way more memorable than their first two discs (Anomalies, their third disc, is very similar to this release). I think that if you've never heard this band, this disc will probably be their most accessible to you — then hit the back catalogue. Opener “Endless Cycle of Violence” and “Vaporized” are two tracks that you can sample to get a feel of the band and the album. Another solid release by these guys — and awesome bass playing, to boot! If you like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Dahlia Murder and Mastodon mixed with some Death Metal, check it out.

Despised Icon
The Ills of Modern Man
Montreal's Despised Icon off of the heels of a fairly successful tour plugging The Healing Process CD. Having never heard anything from this band until reading about them and seeing the sweet $14 price tag at CD Plus, I thought I'd check them out.

After the first spin, I thought that these guys take the best parts of Cephalic Carnage, Aborted, Cryptopsy, Unearth and Death and blend them into one really cool CD. The band's influence from Dying Fetus is very apparent with the low end rumble growlings from one of the band's two vocalists (I'm sorry, I don't know which one does which).

The songs are pretty catchy, or should I say memorable for death metal. The time changes from some of the other extreme bands aren't featured as much on this disc, which gives it a different feel from most of the other extreme death acts out there.

Combine some pretty kick-ass tunes, excellent musicianship and enough hooks in each song (not to mention, once again, those crazy low end growls) make this another solid metal release for the year. I give this one a four out of 10, too…and these guys are just starting to get the hype. I can't wait for the next one.

*For you metal listeners and people like this type of music, I'll be doing two more double shot features in the next coming weeks featuring the new releases from Behemoth, Nile, Aborted and Dying Fetus.
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