To say that the expectation surrounding this new record from grind-core insurgents Cephalic Carnage is high would be something of a wild understatement. Ever since their last release back in 2002 (Lucid Interval) these Colorado residents have been preaching a challenging modern-day gospel on the whole chaotic-grind approach, and thanks to extensive touring with Mastodon, Hatebreed and Exhumed, have been converting extreme music's largely disaffected parishioners to their compelling, jazz-fuelled slant through some ferocious, near-legendary live shows. And, having seamlessly introduced all kinds of bizarre inflections from doom-rock to a flamenco ballad, right through to some digitally-enhanced acid-jazz on 'Exploiting Dysfunction', eyes are quite understandably on CC right now to show us the way of extreme grind for the next 3 years.
It's my pleasure, then, to inform you that Anomalies well and truly comes up trumps. And then some.
In fact, it's an utter monster of a record; pulverising in its heaviness, violent in its technicality and depraved in its subversion of the norm. Slicing apart extreme genres with surgical precision and stitching together their bloody finds with forward-thinking ingenuity Anomalies is like an aural Frankenstein, frogstomping through walls of grind, doom, sludge and extreme-jazz with glowing red eyes and a deathly march.
Mind-melting counter-rhythms layer themselves upon schizophrenic death metal and feral blast-beats in 'Inside is Out', the sound of *The Dillinger Escape Plan *resurrecting their dark and distant past with *Between The Buried & Me *as their medium. Left-wing jazz stylings are twisted beyond recognition in 'Wraith', while their exhausting stop-start mood-swings demonstrate their virtuosic musicianship in a manner which is second to none.
As a welcome respite to such ADD-influenced chaos, 'Piece maker' kicks the bass levels into life with a dark, stoner-blues pound more akin to Alabama Thunderpussy than the blood-rushing assault usually associated with them.
And it's this that sets CC apart from ninety-nine percent of their peers. Where it's become the norm for certain bands to just throw bits of different styles and genres into a blender and see what comes out, it's the artistic accuracy with which Anomalies' conflicting ideas are executed that really gets your tongue a-wagging, commanding respect from even the most casual heavy music listener.
Make no mistake, Anomalies is something very special indeed. Now the rest of the scene had better sit up and take note.
9Mat Hocking's Score