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Cerebral Rot - Excretion of Mortality Award winner

Cerebral Rot
Excretion of Mortality
by Chris Hawkins at 23 August 2021, 5:13 PM

Imagine finding yourself trapped in a voluminous cavern devoid of life, light, and any sense of direction.  Fumbling in the dark, you struggle to find your bearings yet not before spying the faintest flicker of flame dancing across from you.  Desperately, maddeningly making your way to the one source of hope since becoming lost in this trial you are instantly frozen in your tracks by a deafening, primordial, vile roar, one that seems to echo within the very edifice of your being, rumbling through your gut, and pounding in your chest.  Suspended in time, lost, bewildered, and anguished with this wretched curse, the bellowing bluster has imprisoned you within its delirious loop of terror.  Such is the experience of listening to “Excretion of Mortality,” the latest release from CEREBRAL ROT.

Death Metal has become over inundated with bands, many of whom seek to merely cash in on a certain prescribed formula.  Yes, this genre that was once the bastion of free expression within Heavy Metal has been polluted with myriad acts that simply fall short of providing anything compelling.  This is not the case with CEREBRAL ROT.

For those unaware, CEREBRAL ROT is an American Death Metal band from Seattle, WA that formed some five years ago.  “Excretion of Mortality” is the follow-up to their impactful debut, “Odious Descent into Decay’.  On their latest record, from the very first moments, it is clear CEREBRAL ROT have upped their game providing us with an elite, expansive, and fresh take on the genre.  Call me jaded, but it really is exciting to be excited again about a Death Metal record.

The title track, nearly seven minutes in length, leads things off and it is at the 0:55 mark where a sick, mesmerizing groove is introduced.  When the verse arrives with its galloping blast, it is a vehement assault on the senses.  What is readily apparent already is that the band have their own unique vibe, an atmosphere that is choking in intensity.  Once again, that old school vibe is reinvigorated, not in a retro sense, but in the spirit of innovation.  It all boils down to the fact that there is not another band that sounds like this:  deliberate, methodical, gradually pulling the listener deeper into a spiraling void.  The danger is so seductive!

Vile Yolk of Contagion” continues the madness.  With a classic Doom-fueled riff, the band lays down its ideas with a protracted genius, never rushing into another movement of their symphony until the idea at hand has been fully developed.  It is the listener who is predominantly rewarded by such an approach (besides the obvious self-pat on the back CEREBRAL ROT can give themselves for a job well done).  Such a thick, dangerously alluring sound captures you, binds the senses, and sends you into the chaotic world captured in the vision of CEREBRAL ROT.

The point I have really been trying to hammer home regarding the album’s sound is how affecting it is upon the listener.  The production is the secret to its success providing an over-arching hand to guide CEREBRAL ROT’s darkly musical exploration.  The results are nothing short of astonishing.  The drums are grimly violent and very live-sounding – to the point where it gives the listener a feeling of close proximity to the kit.  The thick slab of savagery created by the unison of guitars and bass is omnipresent, an unavoidable kick to the teeth.  Every palm mute is articulated to its nastiest effect sounding much like a vehement chop of a cleaver through a mound of flesh.  Coupled with a deep, guttural, dry lung vocal approach, the combined effect is a band that functions as a single unit with its strengths constantly reinforcing each other.  Ultimately, like a self-propagating virus unleashed upon the Earth, “Excretion of Mortality” has a sound to infect all who come within earshot.

This is not only brutality defined but also a sound teeming with atmosphere.  An excellent example of this is the fourth track, “Bowels of Decrepitude,” a song that thrives on a bludgeoning groove expanded upon by vexatious melodies of havoc and mayhem.  The monstrous bass line, highlighted by a tone soaked in grimy distortion, moves the song along perfectly resulting in something out of the box and unlike contemporaries, something truly indicative of the ether into which CEREBRAL ROT peer.

It is the most arduous of tasks to hide my excitement for this album.  2021 has not been the year for Death Metal thus far in my opinion, but “Excretion of Mortality” provides ample and much-needed hope for the genre.  Metal fans from across the spectrum should unite around this solid release for it is more than a mere collection of songs bur rather an experience.  Like reading a thrilling novel or viewing a gripping film, music has the power to send the listener on a voyage of discovery, an open-ended journey limited only by the breadth of the mind.  That is the mark of a monumental album as “Excretion of Mortality” can clearly be labeled as such, if not the best Death Metal offering of 2021.

Songwriting: 9
Originality:  9
Memorability:  9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Excretion of Mortality
2. Vile Yoke of Contagion
3. Spewing Purulence
4. Bowels of Decrepitude
5. Drowned in Malodor
6. Retching Innards
7. Crowning the Disgustulent (Breed of Repugnance)
Lineup:
Zach Nehl – Bass
Drew O’Bryant – Drums
Ian Schwab –Guitars, Vocals
Clyle Lindstrom – Guitars
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin
     


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