Cephalic Carnage's last album, 2002's Lucid Interval, should have been its masterpiece. But the group was hamstrung by its own precision; sterile and dryly processed, the recording seemed more like a slick exercise than a grueling grindcore ordeal. Anomalies, though, delivers the blood and guts Lucid lacked -- and then some. Like a sadistic surgeon, producer Dave Otero opened up the band's skin and drew out the raw musculature that's been pulsing underneath all along. The patented Cephalic sound -- a virtuosic grind/death/jazz graft every bit as dizzying as labelmate Dillinger Escape Plan -- is still intact, but all the gloss has been scraped off by a jagged edge of sheer, visceral metal. And the songs themselves? Among the best the band has ever written, its typically schizophrenic frenzy infused with stoner grooves, ambient interludes and the occasional burst of epic melody. Cephalic Carnage might have missed the mark of immortality last time around, but Anomalies nails it.
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