01. Epileptic Strobe Entrapment
02. The Bald Cadaver
03. Open Casket Priapism
04. Entombed In Butchered Bodies
05. Mangled Post Burial
06. Flesh Reflects The Madness
07. Maniacal Miscreation
08. 24 Year Party Dungeon
To even mention the gender of Cerebral Bore vocalist Simone Pluijmers is a little redundant. From the opening moments of ‘Epileptic Strobe Entrapment‘ you’re greeted by a full and throaty death growl that you’d be familiar with if you’ve listened to any brutal death metal album ever. I’m amazed that even now in 2011, people can still be surprised by the gender/ethnicity of a vocalist because as far as I was aware, it’s not a case of they can’t but more a case of they just don’t. There aren’t many women in metal – fact – but the few that are scattered about in Arch Enemy, Gallhammer, Fuck The Facts etc. all show that the fairer sex can easily hold their own.
With that elephant in the room handled we can finally get down to discussing the music. Maniacal Miscreation is the debut album from Scottish death metallers Cerebral Bore, recently picked up and reissued by none other than Earache records. It’s nice to see that Earache still has its ear to ground about great traditional acts but it means nothing if the band can’t deliver. Thankfully Cerebral Bore have delivered one of the most promising debut extreme albums I’ve heard in quite a while.
Maniacal Miscreation holds the middle ground between standard death metal such as early Cannibal Corpse and mid-paced slams as provided by Devourment, a mix most potently used by Dying Fetus. Tracks such as “The Bald Cadaver” rip at a fairly fast pace through jagged riffs, robotic drums and even smatterings of slapped bass before succumbing to half time breakdowns and slams. I’d go so far as to say this is probably the most modern sound of death metal that still easily distinguishes itself from deathcore. The ‘breakdowns’ aren’t the rhythmic chug you’re used to; instead they take on a mid-paced beatdown feel that wouldn’t be out of place on any Suffocation album.
Each member of the band holds their own quite equally, but Allan MacDonald really shines on longer tracks like “24 Year Party Dungeon” where he shows the full extent of what can be done with modern death metal drumming; sickening blasts, note-a-minute beatdowns and adept fills. There’s nothing really technically exceptional here since the drums mirror the guitar and bass lines quite closely, but it creates the veneer of a cohesive unit rather than separate musicians trying to out-solo each other. On the other hand, if you’re new to the brutal death metal genre then you probably aren’t aware of the pitfalls that plague the genre quite freely. The tracks do blend together quite easily with only a pause for breath or a short sample about Scottish life to give you an idea of the beginning of the next track and, even more unfortunately, Pluijmers sometimes falls into the trap of using pig squeals. An acquired taste that’s just not for me. Also, go ahead and search out the lyrics for “24 Year Party Dungeon.” Go on, I’ll still be here when you get back…
Yeah, exactly. One of the most brutal breaks on the entire album is coupled alongside Pluijmers squealing “K-F-C’. Good to see that Cerebral Bore’s sense of humour extends to include fried chicken endorsements but that song is about as ridiculous as it gets. Thankfully though, it doesn’t detract from what is essentially a really promising debut, if you like death metal then keep an eye on Cerebral Bore.
Cerebral Bore’s Maniacal Miscreation gets…