Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cerebrum - Cerebrum

The year is 1994. Death metal has been and will be forever a lasting legacy of brutality. Just as there are heroes of war and peace, there are heroes of death metal. Cerebrum are not one of that bunch. Cerebrum are the soldiers that were given orders, slept too late in their foxholes and marched into the rest of their unit dead and dying. Plainly stated, this is simply a demo far too late and far too banal to warrant much attention. It's not like these guys are Savage Death or some other pro-death metal band from the mid 80's way ahead of their time. It's 1994 damnit! Hell the only reason I'm presenting it to you is so that I can take the tape and file it away forever without having to worry about if I forgot something in my desire to review my whole collection of music. Perhaps the only interesting point is that Cerebrum were born out of the most unlikely of death metal pits. The United Kingdom is not really known as a womb of death metal excellence. It's acts like this that provide the evidence to back up the poor quality of material from the individualistic island nation.

We're greeted by a weird tuxedo - or mask maybe - and two pairs of eyes (that's four eyes). It looks like Shredder's helmet got caught in a copy machine. No lyrics are provided which doesn't really bother me because I doubt tracks such as "Diced Entrails" or "Gore Feast" would reveal any particularly interesting phrasings. "Rotting Corpses" and "Obscene Autopsy" could provide maybe slightly better lyrics  but once again, I doubt it. The band most likely had very little ability in being creative. This was their only release, belated in terms of relevance, and with not so much attention paid to details like there being no lyrics, no labeling on the tape and no thank you list - a must have with all demos of this era to prove you knew people and that you had legitimate connections to get shows and exchange tapes. Maybe no one wanted this tape? Somehow I ended up with it.

There is little to discuss about the release musically. The songs are mostly mid tempo to fast but not exceedingly fast tracks with the riffs being built around tremolo picked series of notes with little attention paid to variety. Cerebrum would have been helped significantly with time spent to make the progressions of notes more interesting and less predictably. In almost all the songs, the riffs change and move on the quarter note beats. There is little rhyme or reason to transitions such as in last track Rotting Corpses where the track switches between several riffs in the introduction without any sense that those riffs were important or necessary to the rest of the song. The band aren't bad musicians but I don't get the feeling they really know how to make a competent track. After another two or three attempts, the band may have been able to create something at least worth a listen or worth a purchase from a dumpy second hand bin.

If I had to pick a favorite track I guess I would pick either the opening track, "Violence In Our Time" or fourth cut "Diced Entrails." "Violence In Our Time," which - aside from a more interesting title / possible lyrical theme - may only be good because I hadn't heard the rest of the tracks. It doesn't differ from the rest of the demo's music. "Diced Entrails" has several redeeming qualities. The lead at about the halfway mark is short and twisted - perhaps not on purpose - and is followed by a few other lead parts. The vocals on these tracks, as on the others, are nothing to rant or rave about. They are low and hoarse. The songs lose interest after the second or third track. It took me four listens to get the last track after a waning attention.

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