The ‘Fix is fucked. Long live the ‘Fix!
Cerebral Fix never fitted neatly into a single, definable genre of metal. Mixing crossover thrash, death metal and doom, Cerebral Fix would have been equally at home sharing a stage with Bolt Thrower, Cathedral or The Exploited. The closest reference point for ‘Disaster of Reality’ is the band’s first album, ‘Life Sucks... And Then You Die!’ an immature but promising slab of heavyweight crossover thrash, part Cryptic Slaughter, part Celtic Frost. ‘Disaster of Reality’ is a throwback to that previous age, with a casual, under-produced feel to it, with a bit of fuzz and static round the edges, but the band itself is tight as fuck. It has a 1980s crossover thrash feel, mixed with a 90s doom/death attitude, and a fuck-it-all attitude.
First track “Justify” is a solid, heavy hitting opener, a doom/death monster of epic proportions. “Mosh Injury” is Lawnmower Deth-esque silliness, but then without skipping a beat, blasts into the deadly serious “Crucified World”. The song hits one of those slow paced Godzilla grinds which made ‘Tower of Spite’ such a compelling album. And then the band rockets into “Realities of War”, one of the most convincing Discharge covers you will hear. It is followed by “Skate Fear”, which might seem a bit trivial after a serious song, but this cuts right to the core of what crossover thrash used to be- equal parts societal observation and childish fun. And that really is the essence of this band. Fuck only knows what’s coming next, but it’s going to be good.
“Reality Pill” and “Dear Mother Earth” strike a more serious tone again, and are followed by a cover of The Exploited’s “Dead Cities”.
And then when you think you have a handle on things, out comes “Felted Cross”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on Cathedral’s ‘The Ethereal Mirror’, an ode to all the bands of yore which influenced Cerebral Fix’s music.
“Inside My Guts” is a full on hardcore roar of a song, like Agnostic Front with a gutsache. The last track is untitled, a bastard remix of guitar and movie samples, electronica, a throbbing bass line and reggae style vocal shout-outs, with a trip-hop style rhythm. It’s a fucking mess, but it makes sense when you hear it.
The absence of Simon Forrest’s distinctive death/thrash rasped vocals might put some listeners off. Fortunately, Neil Hadden is a strong vocalist, and does not fall into the trap of trying to imitate his predecessor, using more growl than rasp. It still fits in with the band’s bleak, sand-blasted sound, just in a different way.
The word “swansong” often gets used to describe a band’s farewell release, the original definition coming from the belief that a swan gains the ability to produce a beautiful song as it dies. It is bullshit. It would also be bullshit to call “Disaster of Reality” a swansong. Yes, it is Cerebral Fix’s final album, but the music is still as ugly as it always was, and as it should always be.
R.I.P. Cerebral Fix 1986-2017