Music News

Cephalic Carnage

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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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts