Cerebral Extinction - Escape From Illusion

Italy’s Cerebral Extinction is back with their third full length album “Escape From Illusion.” Still apocalyptic, still chaotic, and all brutal death metal, these guys are a great mix of a more technical version of Immolation meets Deicide that just steamrolls track after track with some surprises in between. The opening introduction sets the atmosphere with the thick pounding drums and echoing invocations that almost make the album come off as a black metal preview, but when ‘Asymmetrical Trap Body’ hits one can definitely hear the Deicide influences in the vocals with a bit more melody and technical guitar lines. While not the most brutal start, the music is sure to hold interest as it rips along. ‘Hemorrhage Of A God’ is a better example of Cerebral Extinction’s more brutal moments, especially with the drumming that picks up a lot more speed and trades thundering percussion for the more machine gun click that seems almost inhuman. Between them and the vocals these seem to highlight the track, pushing the riffs a bit to the back and making them not as prominent like they were on the second track. Solid death metal but nothing that hasn’t really been heard before.

‘The Intruder Part I’ is where the band starts to take a turn. Trading brutality for atmosphere, the haunting piano lines mixed with the guitars are something new and welcome even if it betrays the usual expectation from Cerebral Extinction. The track is not without its brutal moments, but the shift of sheer stomping riffs to sudden just piano and spoken word passages and then back to the guitars again, especially when layered upon one another, give Cerebral Extinction almost a more melo death route which might make fans think they’ve gone soft but this is not the case. ‘Part II’ clarifies that as the band goes back to just more of the face melting riffs that so many are used to. ‘Xinaian’ is a brief instrumental that pretty much could have just been an outro to continue the last track as it features more of the piano from ‘Part I’ merged with the chaotic drumming of ‘Part II,’ but it still is a nice reminder that the band isn’t really going to shed this element any time soon.

Unfortunately this is pretty much all we get out of the more melodic side of the band as the last three tracks of the album are pretty much the standard brutal death metal that has been heard earlier. ‘Ruins…’ features throaty ugly vocals and more stop and go riffs with non stop machine gun drumming that hits hard with no remorse, but ‘The 4 Eye Of Chaos’ does almost exactly the same thing, making it hard to distinguish the 2 tracks between each other. Very Immmolation influenced with the speed and just crushing relentless riffs, but that is about it. The closing title track does feature a bit more atmosphere picking up where the introduction left off with the eerie keyboard, layered vocals, and keeps the slow percussive thunder, but evolves more into the raging death metal. There is a bit more groove here compared to some of the other tracks and the guitar work is a bit more jazzy, but it closes the album on an OK note. Overall, the album is solid death metal, with Cerebral Extinction injecting a few new elements to vary things up, but this is pretty much the same stuff heard before. New bassist Wally Garay adds some new life to the band, but like a lot of brutal death metal, a lot of his talent is buried with the riffs. Hopefully more melodic and technical surprises will appear on the next album to really showcase Cerebral Extinction’s talent.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. The Evocation Of The Black Servant
2. Asymmetrical Trap Body
3. Transmutation
4. Hemorrhage Of A God
5. The Intruder Part I
6. The Intruder Part II
7. Xinaian
8. The Ruins Of R’lyeh
9. The 4 Eyes Of Chaos
10. Escape From Illusion