Friday, October 29, 2010

Cephalic Impurity - Unique Brute Revival (Soulflesh Collector Records; 2010)

Before I start the review I want to complain a little about the lack of variety of names in slam. Does every band name have to  start with either Human, Cephalic or Cerebral? You might say to me: "Nick, this is the only band in your library that starts with Cephalic!" and you would be right. I think I'm just cranky because this band used to be called Infected Guts which I think is a much cooler.

Who are Cephalic Impurity then? They are from the Russian city of Izhevsk which is a couple hundred miles east of Moscow, the home of the famous Russian bands Abominable Putridity and Katalepsy. This is their second full length under this name, although I haven't listened to them since their Infected Guts days. 

During those days they sounded raw, simple, and dirty. I expected that they would coalesce into playing the primitive grooves and achingly deep slams that the Moscow slam scene seemed to produce. But because of geography, member changes, or just a will to be different, Cephalic Impurity have produced something pretty unique and interesting. The band name may be as generic as they come but the album title is accurate. This album is unique and does manage to build the aura of brutality that is so necessary to make this kind of music feel right. It doesn't feel violent or psychotic, it feels like entering a mean, cruel, and harsh world. I also really dig the cover art.

Cephalic Impurity achieve this by juxtaposing intricate (but not tech-death) riffing with grooving slam. You can tell from the grooves that they are Russian and they certainly please the lowbrow slam guy within me. I think it's the riffing though that works the best on this album. It's interesting while avoiding mind-numbing technicality. If you tend to go for good non-slam riffing in brutal death (think Septycal Gorge, Inveracity, or Hour of Penance), then I could see you really liking this.

I have to point out though that the production is awful. It is not awful in the harsh unlistenable/awesome way that Colombian slam production is awful. It just has zero bass. I did an experiment where I played Cephalic Impurity and then I played Abominable Putridity and the difference was obvious. There was even a bass drop (that "WUMP" thing) on this album and it didn't really sound like anything. I may be exaggerating here but that's because I'm disappointed that a good album was turned into an okay album because of the production.

Despite my reservations, I'll recommend this one, if only because a band with such a generic name produced such an interesting and unique work.


anthony said...

Good review. Just got this a few days ago and am really really enjoying it. The guitar parts are interesting and clever and the vocalist is very talented.

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