Cephalic Carnage

Xenosapien
Relapse

Believe it or don't, a decade has passed since Fortuitous Oddity, Cephalic Carnage's self-released debut, first assaulted eardrums in these parts. Since then, the fearsome five have established themselves internationally as extreme-metal madmen par excellence, and Xenosapien will only enhance that reputation. The eleven songs here constitute a jolt of aural anarchy, served straight up.

Lenzig Leal's vocals haven't softened over time; they still vacillate between guttural roars and crazed shrieks. Yet the band as a whole has broadened its style without diluting the intensity. "Divination & Volition" features thrillingly virtuosic guitar jousts between Zac Joe and Steve Goldberg, while "The Omega Point" twins visceral riffs with what sounds like a Stephen Hawking sample. Other cuts pit assorted elements against each other cage-match style, including a relentless combination of hardcore, art rock and assorted stonerisms dubbed "Touched by an Angel" — although "Pummeled by an Angel" would be a more appropriate title.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

 
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