To assess Cerebral Rot's latest offering, two Village-dwellers took up the pen, making for a (somewhat) rare double review 'round these parts. Enjoy! - Ed.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
After occupying many rotations on my turntable with their debut album, Cerebral Rot have come back with another vile and fucking putrid cut of rotted metal meat. Their brand of doom/death has always had an extreme focus on all things body fluid, gore, decay, and stench. Adding tighter hooks and spreading it across a sizable platter made it stand out a little bit. Excretion Of Mortality has come by for a second serving of just that, pairing very well with the banger of a debut.
Working off of something that I loved so much, that usually guarantees that it will be solid at minimum. I was a bit worried it’d be a carbon copy of Odious Descent Into Decay, and while it’s pretty similar, there is enough here to sift from the sewage. For starters, I think they align a little more with the cavernous bands of this style than before (but not entirely stepping into it). Picking up some booming bass rumbles that the likes of Spectral Voice or Carcinoid crank out was easy enough. Some of the song construction adds that little taste of “the space between the notes” as well, if you will. “Spewing Purulence” serves that with a side of pinch harmonics to let it stand out more. Its tremolo-ridden bridge back into the main riff is a nice touch too.
There’s a great blend of these approaches with stagnant bridges, nailed down tightly in “Vile Yoke Of Contagion.” You gotta love when something so one-sided works so effectively. “Retching Innards” does this as well with chugging rhythms following a (mildly overdone) pinch-harmonic attack. The drumming is extra impressive in areas where it almost feels like the riffs take a backseat due to being crushed so deep into the dirt. “Drowned In Malodor'' has some of the best fills this band has ever kicked out. Those start/stop transitions? Top-notch!
Ultimately it’s gonna be really hard for Cerebral Rot to top their debut. Excretion Of Mortality is a little more advanced in overall construction but loses a little charm that the debut had with relying on the basic, filthy riff-heavy backbone. It’s also a bit tough to really make a sudden change in this formula without shifting the overall makeup. Great release as a whole though; maybe dial back the pinch harmonics a tad, but as far actual playing, there’s progression.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Something vile has ascended from the earth. Something pungent, foul, and evil. An evil beyond human comprehension. This vile being is known as "Excretion of Mortality" by Seattle death metal gods Cerebral Rot. So it goes without saying, but Cerebral Rot are one of my favorite new bands around. They literally blend everything great about death metal in my opinion. Their debut album Odious Descent into Decay was one of my favorite albums in the past five years, and one of my favorite death metal albums of all time. It was rawer than hell, it was grimy as hell, and it was catchy as hell. So here we are two years later with their second album "Excretion of Mortality"...and there are some changes.
The first thing that you notice with this album is the band's performance. While not technical, the band seems more confident to take some bigger risks with the songwriting. I find that this album is a lot more unhinged and barbaric compared to the debut, which was a lot more sludgy. Don't get me wrong, this is still very much Cerebral Rot and there are plenty of doomed out moments on the album, but the heightened use blast beats on the album really sets it apart. Major props needs to be given to Drew O'Bryant, he's really the shining star on this album. His drum performance on this album is so fucking good. He has a really unique way of doing fills, and his sense of groove is stellar.
"Excretion of Mortality" starts the album off on a really twisted note. The opening lead is fucking frightening, it has such a morbidly frantic dissonance to it, but then as soon as you add in the drums groove overtop of it it just makes it even more disgusting. That said, "Vile Yolk of Contagion" is the highlight of the album. I can confirm that the best riff on the whole album is at the 4 minute and 15 second mark--that's a riff that stomps all other riffs into the ground. The barbarity continues on songs like "Bowels of Decrepitude" and "Retching Innards," the former of which is a bloodthirsty and unhinged display of grizzly savagery, while the latter is a brain smashing ode to all things grotesque and vile.
One of the biggest things you're going to notice on the album is the production itself. While the debut album was more raw, this still isn't a cleanly produced album. The vocals are far more audible, the guitars are even beefier, the bass is more prominent as well, and the drums slap particularly hard. Major praise needs to be given to producer/engineer/mixer Detto, The man really knows Cerebral Rot's sound and continues to help hone in their audial brutality. So much glorious reverb and a mix that's sure to punch you right in the fucking face.
Cerebral Rot are the kings of modern old-school death metal. They literally play this style perfectly to a tee and have a really noticeable passion for the ways of creating filthy death metal. So: was this album worth it in the end? Yes it was. The band are playing more confidently than ever before. Excretion of Mortality is a far more evil, vile, barbaric, and unhinged display of wretchedness. If you were a fan of their debut, you surely won't be disappointed. If you are a death metal fan, you need to check out this fucking album! This is already a strong contender for album of the year.
Cerebral Rot - Excretion of Mortality was released June 25th, 2021 via 20 Buck Spin
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!