Cephalic Carnage - Misled By Certainty
Relapse Records
Technical Death/Grind
14 songs (53:35)
Release year: 2010
Cephalic Carnage, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat

It’s comforting in a perverse kind of way to know that these Colorado-based weedgrinders are still around. They’re the kind of band that you’d have expected to implode years ago, but despite the departure of bassist/vocalist Jawsh, Cephalic Carnage go from strength to strength, and whilst Misled By Certainty, their sixth full length, is by no means their best album, it’s a fairly solid burst of their usual twisted skill that will please fans, if at more times than not sounding like the band in autopilot. It pretty much continues from 2007’s Xenosapien, opener The Incorrigible Flame kicking straight into Dillinger Escape Plan-ified grinding, the following Warbots AM changing it up a little with more diversified drum blasting from John Merryman. To be honest, I struggled to find much to love at all on initial listens, the songs not exactly grabbing your ears, but there are melodies hidden beneath the complex heaviness, and by the time Abraxas Of Filth’s Jazzy meanderings and guest spot from Ross Dolan roll around you should be having a good time.

I hate albums like this. It’s the sort of album that gets better the more you listen to it, although you really have to concentrate for it not to form a mass of indigestible samey-ness. The slow, Doom-tinged Cordyceps Humanis is good, but the following Raped By An Orb is rather stock, and P.G.A.D.’s shorter, literally masturbatory (read the lyrics) punkishness doesn’t raise much of a response. I think this is the first Cephalic Carnage album I’ve heard since their first two which I got bored with – Lucid Interval and others don’t seem to have filler tracks, as those albums as a whole are ripping, exciting experiences. I just can’t say that here – not all is bad, though. The saxophone in Ohrwurm was a nice surprise, and the Jazzy track as a whole is a standout in a sea of mediocrity, moving from grind to skronk in seconds and having far more interesting songwriting than elsewhere. A King And A Thief ricochets around nicely, closing eleven-minuter Repangea has a nice acoustic opening, saxophone-imbued atmospheric stoner vibe that’s something like Mastodon at their most sludgy and epic. Good stuff, but nothing you haven’t heard before.

Overall, there’s nothing actually rubbish here. Yes, a fair amount of the time the band does seem to be on autopilot, but the good songs are good enough to make up for it. Misled By Certainty will probably be on my playlist a while, for old times’ sake, but I can’t see my opinion of it improving a great deal – solid, yet somehow disappointing from a band that’s given us a great deal over the years, and from whose new album we fans deserve more than some saxophone and a bit of Mastodon-apery, however good the two of those are. Listening to Xenosapien and Anomalies after this, the differences are vast – this isn’t anywhere near as catchy or enjoyable. Don’t hesitate to buy, fellow fans, but be sure to manage expectations, and for heaven’s sake check Anomalies out first if you’re new to the band.

Killing Songs :
Abraxas Of Filth, Ohrwurm, Repangea
Goat quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Cephalic Carnage that we have reviewed:
Cephalic Carnage - Lucid Interval reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Cephalic Carnage - Xenosapien reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Cephalic Carnage - Anomalies reviewed by Aaron and quoted 94 / 100
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