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CD Review: CEPHALIC CARNAGE – Xenosapien

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Every once in a while, an album comes along that gives you goose bumps. 'Ashes of the Wake,' 'Spiritual Black Dimensions,"Annihilation of the Wicked'- I'm sure you all have your own favorites. CEPHALIC CARNAGE's newest release, 'Xenosapien' has become one of those mesmerising spine-tinglers for me.

The first thing that struck me about this album was the superb production quality and over all fullness the group's sound. When I popped this CD into my car's P.O.S. sound system, I was instantly pummelled with "clear as a bell," masterfully mixed metal. The guitars, drums, vocals and ambient sounds are conmbined in an almost fluid fashion. The balance is so perfect that no matter your sound system, you can leave the bass and treble levels unadjusted and the quality and ferocity of the music will still over power you.

Besides the technical quality of Xenosapien, the album also demonstrates CEPHALIC CARNAGE's ever changing and evolving style. Instead of playing it safe and producing an album that would cater to more mainstream musical tastes, as so many other bands do these days, they went even further out on a limb, and took even greater chances. The songs contain not only traditional elements of grindcore, death metal and thrash metal, but also throws jazz and progressive rock elements into the mix. The tempo changes and complex rythms and riffs are reminiscient of early Dave Brubeck or Miles Davis. For instance, in the track "G. lobal O. verhaul D. evice," guttural, growling vocals are followed by soft and hauntingly mellow sax and acoustic guitar driven melodies.

'Xenosapien' is a culmination of all the things that CEPHALIC CARNAGE has worked so hard at the past 4 albums: ingenuity, ferocity and perfection. This album is a must have for any metal fan. Die hard CEPHALIC CARNAGE fans will love it, extreme metal fans will love it, even guitar geeks and jazz afficcionados will love it. And even if you hate metal, 'Xenosapien' is worth picking up just for the album artwork. To say that this album blew me away is a complete understatement. If you want the next "album of the year," go check out 'Xenosapien.'

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