Cephalic Carnage – Xenosapien (2007)
©Relapse Records


  1. Endless Cycle of Violence (4:17)   
  2. Divination and Violation (4:22)   
  3. Molting (2:53)   
  4. Touched By An Angel (2:57)   
  5. Vaporized (1:47)   
  6. Heptarchy (3:24)   
  7. G.lobal O.verhaul D.evice (5:52)   
  8. Let Them Hate So Long as They Fear (1:12)   
  9. The Omega Point (2:24)   
  10. Megacosm Of The Aquaphobics (4:05)  
  11. Ov Vicissitude (4:14)   
  12. [Untitled Track] (6:45)

Formed in Colorado (based in Jersey), Cephalic Carnage needs no introduction into the extreme metal scene. For the past 17 years the band has carved…no grinded their way into the spotlight.  Their style is all over the place and in their latest release Xenosapien, the listener will be exposed to a multitude on intense Brutal Death, Sludge, Doom, Grindcore, Progressive Death, Technical Metal and even Jazz. For those of you who are ready to skip this review on account of one of the genres defined, hear me out.  Xenosapien is an album all fans of metal should check out. It is very definitive and heavily experimental. It has a taste of what you like, even if you are not a fan of one of the genres previously listed.

Several vocals styles are featured on this album such as Death, Grindcore, clean and even Black Metal.  They are scattered throughout either sporadically taking turns or oddly harmonizing. Accompanied by the intense brutal technicality, the combination could not be described as anything but chaotic.  ‘Organized chaos’ would perhaps be a more appropriated term. From my exposure, most Grindcore bands sound like mush. Cephalic Carnage is able to produce such a technical sound in every track that it will leave the listener in awe.  Fans of their previous work will either love or hate the direction this band has taken.  It is not so much ‘grind’ as their albums past but is still a wild ride.

The production is spectacular.  Each instrument is dominant and prominent. The bass and drumming is absolutely foundational. The sheer brilliance of the instrumental skill can be acknowledged throughout.  An example of this is the sixth track Heptarchy. We are introduced to a spectacular showcase of rigidity, precision and synchronization as the drums, lead guitars and bass at certain points match each other note for note.  As dominant as the technical side of the album is, experimentation and variety also play an important role. The band fuses additional styles such as jazz (feat. saxophone) into some of the later tracks.  It is a very nice touch providing a bit of class and refuge amongst the battery. 

Metal fans should check this album out. It is a prime example of how experimenting with a multitude of musical/vocal styles, along with talent, guts and impressive showmanship can definitely pay off. It may also allow one to be introduced to and even enjoy a previously unfavored metal style.


On the Tuff Scale, Xenosapien gets 5 F’s ----- TUFFFFF! 

*The ‘Tuff Scale’ is not a rating. It is used as a simple grade of aggression presented by the music reviewed.




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