Cerebric Turmoil – Neural Net Meltdown (Amputated Vein Records)

Tuesday, 29th December 2015
Rating: 8/10

Some like their death metal straight-forward and by the books. If you happen to fall into that camp (which is perfectly fine, by the way), Cerebric Turmoil is not going to be your cup of tea. Lots of crazy time changes and spastic maneuvers zip across Neural Net Meltdown – a startlingly accurate title for those who take the time to let this one sink into your cranium.

Death, grind, slam, and jazz combine at maximum velocity throughout Neural Net Meltdown. With influences from bands like Cephalic Carnage, Wormed, and Psyopus, you can begin to understand the madness that drives this record forward. Anything goes as the band jumps from hyperblasting to bouncy jazz bits to downright brutal slams, and it can be a bit jarring at the start. Falling well into the “listen to it ten times before judging” category, this one needs time to cook. There’s decidedly technical guitar wizardry (check out “Tangled in Trial and Error Scenarios”) that has no problem stopping on a dime to hit greener pastures. Somehow it all manages to come together in exhilarating form. From the space-y jazz of “Soul Famine” to high-speed, otherworldly guitar wizardry (“Secluded Out of Touch By Avoiding Mankind”) to gurgled, slam-influenced brutality (“Bitstorm”), it’s worth the investment to hear this one out. Equally impressive are the vocals, which echo the diversity and crazed nature of the music. Shouts, screams, rasps, super-low gutturals, and just about everything in-between awaits you at every turn.

Frenetic, trippy, and utterly mindmelting, Cerebric Turmoil is not for the faint of heart. But if you are looking for a rewarding challenge, Neural Net Meltdown will test your endurance for spastic death/grind. An album that does grow by leaps and bounds with each additional listen.

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