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Cephalectomy
Sign of Chaos
January 2001
Released: n/a, Discorporate Music
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

From the cold land of Nova Scotia comes Cephalectomy, described as “true northern mystigrind”. Well I have no idea what “mystigrind” is supposed to be, but Cephalectomy is relentless, brutal, psychotic grind with a mix of bizarre ideas and riffs, complex arrangements, and varied mental-asylum vocals meshed together to drive the listener plain bonkers! “Insanigrind” would be more like it! One man, Corey Andrews, is responsible for most of the work on Sign of Chaos, and he has done an impressive job of arranging everything, playing all of the instruments, and making everything work, even if things get a little sloppy at times. Grind, death metal, and black metal influences are evident, but Corey doesn’t blast his way through every song like typical grind bands. There are plenty of dynamics throughout, although more really slow material would be nice. And the first and last songs each contain a really short soft and clean segment, an element that, expanded upon, could result in even more variety and flavor. And I was taken by surprise when I realized that the songs here are of an abnormal length. Instead of the less-than-two-minute assaults most other grind bands write, Cephalectomy’s range from above three minutes to over six. To coincide with the chaotic, ever-changing music, twisted vocals are added and are what stand out the most on this album, for they are truly demented. Corey is assisted by a second vocalist, Jason Nichols. So while Corey provides the higher and mid-ranged vocals, not to mention all the other sick and crazy throat-slicing screaming insanity, Jason performs the lower grunts and subsonic belch vocals reminiscent of early Carcass and Demilich. Honestly, I could do without those superlow belching vocals, and at times some of Corey’s vocals are a little too ridiculous. Plus, cutting down on the amount of vocals would make room for instrumental passages, thereby allowing the music to be the focus for a change. But overall, the various vocal styles are an essential element to Cephalectomy’s intense mayhem. On top of this, one of the greatest things about this release is the multimedia portion, which includes a bio of the band, lyrics for Sign of Chaos (because they’re not printed in the booklet), a pretty long video of studio footage, plus lyrics and mp3’s for Cephalectomy’s demo Dark Waters Rise. So overall this is a very impressive album. Check out their web site at: http://www.cephalectomy.com
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» Sign of Chaos
by Nathan Robinson


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