ALBUM REVIEW: Cerebrum – Iridium

Here I review another release from Transcending Obscurity Records, this time the new full length album from Technical Death Metallers Cerebrum! Set for release in December 2018.

  1. Time Reversal fires in with warm guitars, hectic drums and a really wide range of tones that is equally melodic as it is extreme. The venomously harsh vocals punch through the technically proficient instrumentals that utilise some interesting time changes to create a monstrously convulsive soundscape. The riffs are incredibly catchy and the thrashy pace of the song makes for an exciting listen and brilliant first impression with a beautifully melodic guitar solo to top things off! Great start!
  2. A Face Unknown follows up with more estranged rhythms, groovy guitars and pounding drums. The bass tone so far has been very strong, breaking throughly the mix beautifully for a whole-hearted warmth. The built up instrumentals with spoken words the turn to growls has a really haunting effect, while the vocal styles remind me of one of my favourite bands, Bolt Thrower. This second song is far more traditionally Death Metal than the first but still includes plenty of skilled musicianship and unique timings once more. The acoustic guitar solo had a really gorgeous flamenco vibe to it that I loved and thought was a really inventive addition to the song. Fantastic!
  3. Memory Hoax comes in with some phenomenal drums, blistering riffs and a really tastefully groovy pattern to the music. The obliterating vocals overlay the skilfully orchestrated instrumentals to create a titanic force, one to be reckoned with as it decimates you with surging assaults of maddening intensity and tones worth being absorbed in. This piece had a more dismally morbid atmospheric value to it which was totally killer. With breakneck riffs to spare and monstrous drums to punctuate them this is a damn good piece of Metal with a really original sound to it. Awesome work!
  4. Euphoric Control grinds out menacing riffs and certainly feels like it is building to something from its very onset. The vitriolic vocal attacks over crawling, doomy riffs and blasting drums just sounds fantastic. This is some truly grotesque old school Death Metal worship that out of nowhere just drops into these insane progressions and catchy riffs out of nowhere. The band clearly have an amazing ability to stay fresh, not just between tracks but during the individual songs themselves, this one is a great example of that. The guitar solo was beautifully played too. Wonderful!
  5. Gods In Trance blasts us with insanely fast drums, grisly riffs and a huge sense of aggression with the whole instrumental section culminating in a much more primal attack this time. The vocals, once more, are layered carefully within the song to create a balanced and well mixed slab of Death Metal noise that completely works together without anything sticking out haphazardly or being buried in the mix. This track storms out ferocity with no holds barred, not that I am surprised at this point, although the sheerly impressive ability to stay unique and unpredictable is totally wicked. Additionally I really liked the guitar leads at the end, they were really interesting.
  6. Cognitive Dissonance utilises clean guitars, far more simplistic drums and creates a far more sombre mood with a dark yet rich piece that is soared upon by pristine and glorious lead guitars that also add to the chilling nature of the song that is like a bleak waltz of foreboding. A cool interlude!
  7. Astral Oblivion returns us to the more familiar Death Metal barrages filled with technicality, precision and angry drive that is just crushingly intense and catatonically brutal. The groovy riffs in this piece are incredibly catchy and will have everyone headbanging along to them for sure while the drummer is just going absolutely crazy behind the kit. These guys are clearly very well seasoned musicians who evidently work extremely well together. This song had some awesomely harsh vocals on it too. The Chuck Schuldiner styled guitar solo before the more laid back licks kick in was a wonderful touch. Absolutely great!
  8. Absorbed In Greed starts off with melodic muted guitars and funky bass lines that set a more light-hearted mood to the song with some awesome chugs following up, underlined by some epic drums. The mesmerising and huge sounding piece that follows is far more progressive in nature than I was expecting but is done in a fantastic manner that shows the bands diverse skill sets amazingly. I think this track was another fine example of how many new and exciting ways Death Metal can be pushed into new territories, which is incredibly important to keeping a genre alive.
  9. Escape To Bliss is the finale to this esoteric journey into extremity and technicality, and I have no idea how they will execute this. Which is, in itself, is intriguing. Beginning with blistering scale runes and warm bass the sounds totally sick together before driving through with thrashy riffs, ferocious drums and gruesome vocals. This last piece is immediately recognisable as the heaviest of the album and the band certainly saved one of the best songs until last. This whole track was an exhilarating final piece with some mosh pit worthy Death Metal being hurled at you. An appropriately excellent ending to the album.

This was a really interesting listen that combined old school Death Metal brutality with modern technical capabilities to create a unique experience for fans of any era in the genre. Wonderfully played, written and produced! -8/10

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