Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

CEPHALIC CARNAGE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cephalic Carnage picture
Cephalic Carnage biography
CEPHALIC CARNAGE is an extreme prog metal band formed in the year 1992 in Denver, Colorado. The founding members were Lenzig Leal (vocals) and Zac Joe (guitar). By the release of their first album there was John Merryman (drums), Doug Williams (bass), and Steve Goldberg (guitar). From 1998-2006 Jawsh Mullen was on bass, and from 2006 onward Nick Schendzielos has taken bass and backing vocal duties.

It can be argued that CEPHALIC CARNAGE is just a very technically advanced grindcore band, but that is assuming that being technically advanced doesn't necessarily mean they are a technical death metal band. These guys are more than just a technical metal band; with some experimental sounds, brutal technicality, and soft/heavy contrasts, and with influences ranging from jazz to death metal, they can pass as a technical/progressive death metal band.

The early years of the band saw some of their more progressive releases, and sound different than the later years. They are currently more geared towards experimental and complex songs. Their modern sound is generally more excepted, because they keep the sound from their early days, but make it absolutely perfect.

Their debut album, "Conforming to Abnormality" was released in 1998, 6 years after their formation in 1992. It originally consisted of 8 songs, but in a reissue had 20 bonus tracks. The album received moderate to bad reviews, and doesn?t have the greatness they would soon achieve. It does have some excellent moments, and the 9-minute closer will appeal to more prog metal fans.

Their second album, 2000?s "Exploiting Dysfunction" was considered far better than their debut, and has a more variety of styles. You can hear jazz influences along with death metal sounds, often in the same song. This was where they began to find their sound. CEPHALIC CARNAGE saw their third full length album in 2002, titled "Lucid Interval". This received higher praise from critics, and started a new era for CEPHALIC CARNAGE. The 21-minute closing track (followed only by a hidden song), shows that these guys aren?t a typical deathcore band.

Their two following albums, "Anomalies" and "Xenosapien" was where they began to gain popularity, and are their two best albums as of today. It shows an even more diverse sound, and will appeal to anyone interested in the more extreme side of prog metal.

While it can be argued if some of their earlier albums are really "progressive death metal", the l...
read more

CEPHALIC CARNAGE forum topics / tours, shows & news


CEPHALIC CARNAGE forum topics Create a topic now
CEPHALIC CARNAGE tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "cephalic carnage"
Post an entries now

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to CEPHALIC CARNAGE

Buy CEPHALIC CARNAGE Music



More places to buy CEPHALIC CARNAGE music online

CEPHALIC CARNAGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CEPHALIC CARNAGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 3 ratings
Conforming to Abnormalty
1998
3.15 | 6 ratings
Exploiting Dysfunction
2000
4.62 | 10 ratings
Lucid Interval
2002
3.21 | 15 ratings
Anomalies
2005
3.93 | 8 ratings
Xenosapien
2007
3.61 | 9 ratings
Misled By Certainty
2010

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Halls of Amenti
2002

CEPHALIC CARNAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Halls of Amenti by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2002
2.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Halls of Amenti
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

— First review of this album —
2 stars Halls of Amenti sparked my interest, being a 19:00 minutes lenght song, it sounds prog, but there's nothing new there. It starts sludge/doom, slowly and dark, different than Cephalic Carnage main genre. And the song keeps the same style until the end. Brutal vocals though. It have some strange breaks and beats. But the song takes too long to change (circa 6 minutes) and the next part start to get boring until 11 minutes. The music follow with some non-so- boring passages, but nothing very special. After 14 minutes the song begins to annoy again around the 16 minutes, weird noises. Well, that's all.
 Misled By Certainty by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.61 | 9 ratings

BUY
Misled By Certainty
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "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. Thereīs 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 Iīm 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 havenīt 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 theyīve experimented with before with success and "Repangaea" proves to be a very impressive track too. Great building atmosphere, strong varied vocals, and intriguing details. Itīs 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), itīll 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.

 Xenosapien by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.93 | 8 ratings

BUY
Xenosapien
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "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. Thereīs 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 youīll 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, youīll hear dissonant fretboard runs played at breakneck speed and other challenging technical tricks. However weird and technical it gets, thereīs 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 doesnīt 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 donīt hear that often. At least not excecuted in such a convincing, professional, and adventurous fashion. A 4 star (80%) rating is warranted.

 Anomalies by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.21 | 15 ratings

BUY
Anomalies
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "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 itīs 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 thatīs 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 youīll 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 youīll 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 itīs taken me a couple of years to fully digest and appreciate the album. The first time I gave the album a listen, I simply didnīt get it. I felt the music was all over the place and it simply didnīt 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 thatīs unmistakably their own. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Exploiting Dysfunction by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.15 | 6 ratings

BUY
Exploiting Dysfunction
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "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. Itīs 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 itīs 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 Carnageīs music and their adventurous approach to songwriting. Thatīs 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 itīs 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 isnīt all wrong.

 Misled By Certainty by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.61 | 9 ratings

BUY
Misled By Certainty
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Misled By Certainty' - Cephalic Carnage (6/10)

Achieving a degree of recognition for their first two albums, Colorado based metal act Cephalic Carnage became a name in the grindcore scene pretty quickly. For those who don't know, this now-technical metal band's earliest stuff was very chaotic, burstfire, and piecemeal, keeping much in line with the fringe grindcore sound. From their album 'Lucid Interval' onwards however, Cephalic Carnage has shown an increasingly more technical, complex and inventive approach to their music. The band's latest offering only serves to develop Cephalic's existing new style, and assert their new stance as a technical death metal band over anything else. However, despite 'Misled By Certainty' being one of the band's most complex arrangements to date, the album suffers from very poor flow and an inconsistent song quality that mars what otherwise would have had the makings of an excellent album.

If anything can be said about Cephalic Carnage, it is that they are an immensely ambitious band, especially considering their origins. Leading the album with my favourite track 'The Incorrigible Flame,' they take no time to throw things into full motion, pairing highly intricate riffs with the less meticulous (and oftentimes inconsistent) vocal work of Lenzig Leal. While the album is almost entirely centered around metal and chaotic heaviness, there are a few exceptions to this rule, which end up making up some of the most interesting moments of the album. 'Ohrwurm' for example, invests it's first minute into a hypnotic bass riff, with some dissonant guitar work slowly building on top. The album's biggest surprise might come in the shape of the de facto closing track, 'Repangaea,' which goes as far as to have a saxophone solo to open the twelve minute piece. Also included are some grungy riffs that resound of sludge metal. Besides these scarce exceptions though, anyone listening to 'Misled By Certainty' can expect some viciously technical, well-played but at times slightly undercooked metal.

While the complex, melodic and technical work of the band is highly impressive, 'Misled By Certainty' finds it's biggest flaws in the sporadic grindcore interludes that appear to have been thoughtlessly thrown in between every few more involved tracks. Rarely clocking over thirty seconds, the grindcore forays are difficult to consider anything more than random noise, and while they may be extremely brief in nature, they serve to ruin the flow of the album completely.

While there's no doubt that Cephalic Carnage are immensely promising and talented with their material, 'Misled By Certainty' does get brought down by it's many flaws. It is gifted with a handful of very strong tracks however, and despite not feeling completely convincing, the segments that shine here, shine brightly indeed.

 Misled By Certainty by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.61 | 9 ratings

BUY
Misled By Certainty
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 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!

Conclusion:

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!

 Anomalies by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.21 | 15 ratings

BUY
Anomalies
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Cephalic Carnage took the foot of the accelerator here and did a quite melodic album. Well, melodic in their terms. Which mean quite standard death metal. There is less experimentation and grindcore here and more melody like in death metal. There is also a some slabs of hardcore here too. Not to mention some power metal like melody lines at the end of this album. Cephalic Carnage has gone commercial and acceptable.

This development takes away the experimentation of this band. Which in my view is the wrong direction for this band. Cephalic Carnage is one pioneering band which should really concentrate on being innovative. That's their strength. This album is not innovative. It is rather a pretty standard death metal and that is not worthy of Cephalic Carnage's standing in the scene. I do not like this album at all. It think the music here is pretty dull death metal. That's all I can say about this album.

2 stars

 Conforming to Abnormalty by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Conforming to Abnormalty
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Cephalic Carnage pretty much hit the ground running with their debut album.

Forty-four minutes divided on twenty-eight tracks means pretty short songs. This was the old style of doing grindcore. The godfathers of grindcore; Napalm Death, had two seconds long songs. Cephalic Carnage is thankfully not that extreme. Instead, they concentrate on the contents. Which in their case means ultra-brutal grindcore with some elements of jazz inbetween. All this is spiced up with some techno and soundbytes from various movies. The grindcore here is also bordering to technical death metal. The music is ultra heavy and very extreme. It is not for everyone.

Being their debut album, the music is not that bad. There are some good ideas littered around here. But this album is not as good as their newer albums. It is a good attempt, but just that. Cephalic Carnage has arrived. Beware.

2 stars

 Anomalies by CEPHALIC CARNAGE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.21 | 15 ratings

BUY
Anomalies
Cephalic Carnage Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cephalic Carnage are a band that are difficult to digest for a number of reasons. For avant- garde and experimental music fans, it's probably the heaviness. For the metal fans, it's the crazy atonal sections and bombast of the songs. For syphonic prog fans it's all of the above, and for the mainstream public it's pretty much everything aout this band. They are very heavy, very technical and very... weird. But please, don't let those facts put you off. If you are up for the challenge succeed in the challenge and emerge out the other end and start apreciating the music for it's little subtleties, then you will find Cephalic Carnage one of the most rewarding bands on the scene.

Anomalies for me is a great album, with flaws and more importantly with absolutely fantastic moments. This takes a more aggressive, choppier and overall more disciplined approach than the previous masterpiece Lucid Interval, and actually vears more into the death metal territory as well. That's the thing: there isn't that much grind here, so don't dive in expecting any. It's just really brutal, heavy, mindbogglingly complex death metal to me. A perfect example would be the song Counting The Days (pobably my favourite off the album actually). The song doesn't give in and pummles the listener into submission with violent technicality. It flits between passages before anyone can take a breath, with only the small accappella guitar sections to root it into the ground.

Now if you are into that kind of stuff (like me), then you will get endless enjoyment. If you are not... then try it anyway. This may turn into a new thing for you, but I am not promising you will enjoy it.

As far as actual songwriting goes, it's very accomplished. They've had three albums of experience under their belt at this point, and it seems that they have taken all the trippy, pretentious ideas used on Exploiting and Lucid Interval and sculpted them, watered them down and brought them all together to make a fast paced, crisp album tht actually is their most accessible work to date. That is in fact the only beef I have with this album (there are no more spacey jazz sections and atonal musical masturbation sessions anymore), but I will not let it deteriarate from the rating.

Musicianship is top notch without a doubt. These guys are possibly the tightest you can find on the market (especially the rhythm section), and Lenzig Leal is especially experimental with his vocals. You get screams, death growls, low pig squeels and the half growl, half singing style found in Gojira's songs in the package, and sometimes all in one song (check out Ontogeny of Behaviour). Definitely worth looking out for. The guitar lines are ever virtuose and there is no fault in them at all. 10/10 for the playing.

I think overall this is a very good progressive metal album. A bit too commerciallised for my liking (I much prefer the older, avant-garde atonal influenced days of Cephalic Carnage), but there is without a doubt something here for metal fans. NOT a masterpiece (the last song is a masterpiece on its own however), but a great album nonetheless. 4/5 from me.

Thanks to J-Man for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.