Released: 2009, Lacerated Enemy Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Cerebrum, this 3-piece death patrol, hails from Athens, Greece – and the band´s debut full-length album, SPECTRAL EXTRAVAGANCE, has finally been released, keeping in mind that the band recorded the album at DB Recording Studios in May 2007 already.
Musically Cerebrum could be tagged under ´technical and progressive death metal´; there´s something old and something new in their sound as everyone of us can surely recognize from the band´s sound. Some similarities to bands like Death, Pestilence, Cynic, Gorguts, etc., can surely be traced down, but gladly this Greek death metal bunch Cerebrum does not want to be like a straight copycat act from any of those aforementioned names. What I really like about Cerebrum´s stuff, it´s on a constant move, and basically giving neither your ears nor brains any space to rest. However, sometimes it sounds like they have attempted to be too tricky for their own good, kind of letting their technical trickery overtake the songs at the cost of catchiness of their song structures, which unfortunately does not serve listeners´ interest in the best possible way, I´m afraid. What also tends to appeal to me on this record, are Apollon´s vocal parts. They are the kind of vocals I want to hear in a death metal band: grunty and deep death growls that don´t sound like one could be vomiting due to a severe hangover, or whatever. His occasional clean vocal parts are pretty good as well, even if this album would have been better without them. Also both Jim and Mike on guitars, seem to be doing a decent job with their 6-string axes; nothing that spectacular but still sharing some of their best guitar shredding with the listeners.
Drum god George Kollias from the Egyptian corpse grinders Nile, was hired to do drum parts for this record, and gladly he has concentrated more on some other technical drumming techniques on this record rather than focusing mainly on doing his blast-beat mayhem in the same way he does it in his main orchestra of death, Nile. He has clearly switched himself more into this progressive drumming mood, doing all the necessary things that he has to do to fully support Cerebrum´s views as that technical and progressive death metal act.
SPECTRAL EXTRAVAGANCE is a good opening from the Greek technical deathsters Cerebrum, still leaving something more to be hoped for regarding the band´s next album. Not a bad debut album from them by any means – not at all, but perhaps simplifying and straightening things from here and there a little bit, would not harm them either.