Deathgrind • United States
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Formed in Denver, Colorado, Cephalic Carnage has set out to break down musical barriers by raising both the expectations and standards of extremity in heavy music. A unique musical hybrid, Cephalic Carnage thrives on integrating experimental aspects into their unique, forward-thinking style.

In 1998, the band released their debut album, ‘Conforming To Abnormality’ and instantly hit the road in support of the album. The band laid waste to metal fans nationwide with crushing sets at the Milwaukee Metalfest, Dallas Grindfest, March Metal Meltdown, Ohio Deathfest, and the November To Dismember, stopping at nothing to bring their futuristic sounds to the masses.

Soon following, Cephalic Carnage joined the Relapse Records family. The band's initiation consisted of joining labelmates Soilent Green, Today is the Day, Exhumed, and Nasum on the 1999 Relapse Records Contamination Tour.

In December 1999, Cephalic Carnage recorded their Relapse debut, ‘Exploiting Dysfunction’. Shortly after, their U.S. tour
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CEPHALIC CARNAGE albums / top albums

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Conforming to Abnormality album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Conforming to Abnormality
Deathgrind 1998
CEPHALIC CARNAGE Exploiting Dysfunction album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Exploiting Dysfunction
Deathgrind 2000
CEPHALIC CARNAGE Lucid Interval album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Lucid Interval
Deathgrind 2002
CEPHALIC CARNAGE Anomalies album cover 3.72 | 5 ratings
Deathgrind 2005
CEPHALIC CARNAGE Xenosapien album cover 4.14 | 3 ratings
Deathgrind 2007
CEPHALIC CARNAGE Misled by Certainty album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Misled by Certainty
Deathgrind 2010


CEPHALIC CARNAGE Halls of Amenti album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Halls of Amenti
Deathgrind 2002


CEPHALIC CARNAGE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CEPHALIC CARNAGE re-issues & compilations




CEPHALIC CARNAGE Misled by Certainty

Album · 2010 · Deathgrind
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"Misled by Certainty" is the 6th full-length studio album by US extreme metal act Cephalic Carnage. The album was released through Relapse Records in August 2010. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Xenosapien (2007)" as longtime member and guitarist Zac Joe has been replaced by Brian Hopp. Promotional videos were released for "The Incorrigible Flame" and "Ohrwurm".

Cephalic Carnage used to be known for playing a very eclectic grindcore/death metal style with elements from both deathcore, sludge, avant garde, and metalcore. Things changed slightly on "Xenosapien (2007" though. That album was a more streamlined release although all of the above styles were represented to some degree. That development continues on "Misled by Certainty" which is an even more accessible album than "Xenosapien (2007" was.

The music on the album is technical death metal with "core" leanings. The technical riffing and drumming is at times very impressive and I´m reminded of an act like Atheist on the most technical sections. The vocals are predominantly high pitched aggressive "core" type vocals, but there are deeper growling vocals and some aggressive vocal variants present in the music too. Cephalic Carnage haven´t completely forgotten their experimental grindcore past, so there are the occasional spastic grindcore part featured on the album too. Mostly the tracks are in the technical death metal style though. The band have found room for a sludge metal track on the album too in the 12:11 minutes long "Repangaea". This is something they´ve experimented with before with success and "Repangaea" proves to be a very impressive track too. Great building atmosphere, strong varied vocals, and intriguing details. It´s definitely one of the highlights on "Misled by Certainty".

The production is powerful, clean, and generally suits the music very well. "Repangaea" would probably have worked even better than it does with a more filthy production, but the rest of the tracks prosper from the sound.

Cephalic Carnage have really grown into a force to be reckoned with in the last 10 years and "Misled by Certainty" is another really strong album by the band. If you can appreciate the "core" elements in their technical death metal sound (which is often a bit of a task for old school extreme metal listeners), it´ll probably be apparent to most people that Cephalic Carnage is a unique and highly talented act with a distinct sound. "Misled by Certainty" is probably their least "experimental" release yet, but it has other qualities that makes it a very worthwhile listen. Great powerful sound production, extremely high level of musicianship, and an adventurous approach to writing music are just some of the elements that makes this album a great listen. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.


Album · 2007 · Deathgrind
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"Xenosapien" is the 5th full-length studio album by US extreme metal act Cephalic Carnage. The album was released through Relapse Records in May 2007. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Anomalies (2005)" as bassist Jawsh Mullen left Cephalic Carnage in January 2006 to concentrate on his education and other musical adventures. He is replaced here by Nick Schendzielos, who in addition to playing bass is also credited with delivering clean vocals. Something which was handled by session/guest musicians on earlier recordings.

The music on the album is experimental and technical death metal featuring deathcore/metalcore and grindcore elements. Compared to the music style on the last album "Anomalies (2005)", the sound on "Xenosapien" is a little less eclectic or more focused if you will. The guys in Cephalic Carnage are still one crazy bunch though, and you´ll be exposed to more than one weird experimental part and style change on the album. The vocals are mostly delivered in various extreme metal vocal styles but there are clean vocals on the album too. Most notably in "G.lobal O.verhaul D.evice". The musicianship is very strong and in addition to some very technical drumming, you´ll hear dissonant fretboard runs played at breakneck speed and other challenging technical tricks. However weird and technical it gets, there´s always focus on memorability and a surprisingly melodic hook mentality on display too. Compared to the earlier releases by the band, "Xenosapien" is probably the most accessible album yet released by Cephalic Carnage. That doesn´t mean "Xenosapien" is an easy listen by any means though, so you still need a mindset tuned into being challenged.

The sound production is powerful and metallic sounding. A perfect sound for the music and overall the album is a high quality product. "Xenosapien" definitely marks the beginning of a new era for Cephalic Carnage with more focus on melody, memorability, and accessibility. They may have lost just a slight bit of their original crazy sound in the process, but Cephalic Carnage still sounds unmistakably like Cephalic Carnage. They have a unique and adventurous approach to writing music that you just don´t hear that often. At least not excecuted in such a convincing, professional, and adventurous fashion. A 4 star (80%) rating is warranted.


Album · 2005 · Deathgrind
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"Anomalies" is the 4th full-length studio album by US extreme metal act Cephalic Carnage. The album was released through Relapse Records in March 2005. A promotional video was shot for the metalcore parody track "Dying Will Be the Death of Me". "Anomalies" features the same lineup who recorded "Lucid Interval (2002)", but it´s the last album to feature bassist Jawsh Mullen, who left Cephalic Carnage in January 2006 to concentrate on his education and other musical adventures.

The band are known for their eclectic and experimental extreme metal style that´s somewhat rooted in grindcore but expands beyond the boundaries of that style. On "Anomalies" the band incorporate elements from grindcore, death metal, deathcore, metalcore, sludge, and avant garde. And most of the time you´ll have elements from several of those genres within one track. The vocals on the album are mostly very extreme, ranging from death grunts, to higher pitched screaming vocals, and everything in between. But in addition to the more extreme vocals on the album you´ll also be exposed to raw sludgy type vocals and even some clean metalcore styled vocals in the track "Dying Will Be the Death of Me". So there are a plethora of vocal styles on the album. It can be both a strength and a weakness depending on your point of view and open mindedness towards those various vocal styles. Whichever style of music the band chose to play and incorporate into their songs they pull it off with ease and conviction though, be it deathcore breakdowns, sludgy parts, fast blasting grindcore sections, groove based death metal, or avant garde sounding dissonant fretboard runs and other oddball ideas (including the rather unconventional lyrics).

The sound production is professional, powerful, and suits the music perfectly.

Cephalic Carnage is the kind of act that defies valid catagorization. Fortunately they are fully capable of succesfully mixing the various stylistic elements that they chose to use in a seamless fashion. They are not only extremely skilled musicians, but also rather accomplished composers. Of course an album like "Anomalies" require an open mind and I have to admit that it´s taken me a couple of years to fully digest and appreciate the album. The first time I gave the album a listen, I simply didn´t get it. I felt the music was all over the place and it simply didn´t appeal to me. I knew from the first listen that there was something about the album though. After a couple of years and multible spins the album has opened to me and the tracks have become memorable and distinguisable from each other. The combination of different extreme metal styles is quite ingenious and deserves praise. This could have resulted in utter failure and unlistenable music, but Cephalic Carnage skillfully combine all musical styles into an adventurous sound that´s unmistakably their own. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Exploiting Dysfunction

Album · 2000 · Deathgrind
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"Exploiting Dysfunction" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US experimental grindcore/ death metal act Cephalic Carnage. The album was released through Relapse Records in April 2000. The display will tell you that the album contains 66 tracks but most are silent second long tracks and there are in reality "only" 15 tracks on the 57:55 minutes long album.

The music on the album is rooted in grindcore but there are also a large portion of death metal/deathcore elements on the album. It´s all delivered with twisted riffs, odd experimental ideas, and loaded with a schizophrenic arsenal of different extreme metal vocal styles. There are both juicy deep growls, higher pitched aggressive type vocals and just about everything in between. The band are very skilled and succeed in making all their crazy ideas work pretty well. The sound production could have been slightly better, but it´s still of a pretty good quality. "Exploiting Dysfunction" features both shorter bursts of grindcore and longer more experimental tracks. The longest and most experimental/progressive track on the album is the closing 15:25 minute long title track. While the track ends with about 7 minutes of feedback and noisy experimentation, the first 7 to 8 minutes of the track really display the diversity of Cephalic Carnage´s music and their adventurous approach to songwriting. That´s also apparent in the shorter tracks though.

"Exploiting Dysfunction" is probably not the kind of album that pleases more traditional grindcore fans or death metal fans for that matter, but if you enjoy weird experiements, crazy technical playing, and a generally adventurous approach to writing extreme metal, "Exploiting Dysfunction" might turn out to be your poison. Personally my patience is tested more than once during the playing time, yet it´s impossible for me not to acknowledge the intense passion of the delivery, and the adventurous approach to songwriting and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Misled by Certainty

Album · 2010 · Deathgrind
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A Change In Direction... But a Very Good One

From Lucid Interval onward, Cephalic Carnage is slowly straying away from the brutal, crazy grindcore that made them famous, replacing that with a more polished technical death metal approach. Anomalies and Xenosapien showed fewer grind elements in Cephalic Carnage's music, but 2010's Misled by Certainty has the Colorado-based quintet with a completely redefined sound. Although I enjoy both eras of the band, I have to say that I am very pleased with the new and fresh sound Cephalic Carnage is pursuing. There are still quite a few crazy 30-second grindcore outbursts on Misled by Certainty, but in-between these sections we are greeted by a more melodic Cephalic Carnage. What is the result of such a change in direction? Possibly Cephalic Carnage's best album yet. It's still as brutal as anything, but the intricacy and attention to detail that was somewhat lacking on their earlier releases is finally here.

The music on Misled by Certainty is similar to that of the last two Cephalic Carnage albums, albeit a bit more melodic. What that means is that this is brutal technical death metal with some weird and crazy twists. Throughout this album you'll hear saxophone solos, a few beautiful sections, heavy riffing, atmospheric synths, and crazy grindcore spas-attacks. Needless to say, that's not what you can expect from your everyday extreme metal release - and that's why Cephalic Carnage is so worthy of praise. Of course, the dedicated grindcore fans who enjoyed albums like Conforming to Abnormality and Exploiting Dysfunction may feel a bit disappointed, but for death metal fans who are looking for a unique spin on the genre are definitely in luck with this release.

Misled by Certainty is a 14-track, 53:36 album. Although there are a few cuts that I don't really enjoy, there is some of Cephalic Carnage's best material to be found here as well. The opening number, The Incorrigible Flame is probably my favorite song here. The technical madness of Abraxas of Filth, the melodic Dimensional Modulation Transmography, and the epic Repangaea are also notable. This is an extremely varied album, though, and just because you like a few tracks does not mean you will like all of them. You need to have a very open mind when approaching this release.

The musicianship is some of the best in extreme metal. Cephalic Carnage is an extremely tight-playing group, and they always play in perfect (dis)harmony. Although all of the musicians are terrific, I must say that John Merryman's drumming has always been the highlight in Cephalic Carnage's music for me. He is just a complete technical monster - certainly a force to be reckoned with in extreme metal!

The production is great. It's crystal clear, heavy enough to fit the music like a glove, and powerful enough to convey all of the feeling in the compositions. If you're looking for an extremely professional sound in extreme metal, look no further than Misled by Certainty!


Misled by Certainty is a terrific 6th album by Cephalic Carnage. This is the perfect balance between satisfying the faithful and expanding the fanbase. I don't hesitate in calling this the best Cephalic Carnage album so far, and I really hope the band further explores this genre in the future! As for know, this is a big 4 (almost 4.5) star rating. If you like your metal to be crazy and extremely heavy, but still enjoy a sense of direction, this is an essential 2010 album!


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