CEPHALIC CARNAGE — Xenosapien (review)

CEPHALIC CARNAGE — Xenosapien album cover Album · 2007 · Deathgrind Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"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.
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