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Review: Cerebric Turmoil – Neutral Net Meltdown

CerebricTurmoil

Extreme German technical death metal group Cerebic Turmoil released a monster album in November of 2015. With guest appearances from Obscura, Defeated Sanity, and Requital, you know Neutral Net Meltdown has something great in store. Pick up Neutral Net Meltdown from their Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes! Stop on by their Facebook to drop a like too!

There are a lot of things about Neutral Net Meltdown that make it such a sick and big release. Between the ever-changing vocals, sporadic yet tight riffs, twisting bass work, and equally as manic drumming, this album offers a lot to the listener. I really have to take a minute to admire the bass because it is relentless and the fact anybody can hear that is wonderful. The tone is a little grungy (not the genre and not in a bad way), but not too dirty. The bass tone adds more depth to the guitars, especially when they play really contorted riffs, like in “Discordian Equilibrium.” That song has multiple parts of manic fret work. Those parts really project a really unstable state of mind; I guess that’s why they’re called Cerebric Turmoil. All of the really high pitched fret work contrasts, almost entirely, to the last 40 seconds of the song. In those 40 seconds, the vocals stick to a lower registry for the most part and a palm muted riff plays. It’s all pretty heavy so I think you’ll enjoy. Before going much further, I’ll say that Cerebric Turmoil’s style is highly reminiscent of Cattle Decapitation. Cattle Decapitation is recognized and loved for sporadic riff and vocal changes; well you’ll find all of that here too.

Really deep gutturals aren’t ever dominant, but they do come up at the best times, like when a heavy riff comes in. The constant riff changes and sneaky high notes keep you on your toes the whole time. One of the more sporadic songs, for guitar and drums, would be the opener, “Twitching Eye Staccato.” While the bass shines on each song, I find it to be exceptionally decorative on “Secluded Out of Touch by Avoiding Mankind.” That’s probably because there is less chaos from the guitars so you can focus on the bass a bit more.

“Soul Famine” stands out a bit from the rest because it takes it easy, yet remains equally as intense and chaotic as the other songs. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a soft/light song at all. There’s something about the song progression, brief moments of silence (and I mean brief), and the vocals that just seem much different than the rest.

There are also points in Neutral Net Meltdown where the song gets kind of jazzy for a few seconds. It’s quite odd, but I think it’s pretty cool. Again: it keeps you on your toes. “Bitstorm” is one of the couple songs that includes a jazz break, but “Bitstorm” has a bit of slam to it and is also one of the heaviest songs on Neutral Net Meltdown. The drumming is very involved and just sounds really fun to listen to because of how much is going on and oddly timed hits and all of that technical mojo. I really dig the dissonance on the bass too; it further adds to that psycho vibe. “Grotesque Dreaming” has more of the jazz breaks through out and more gutturals than “Bitstorm.”

If you ever played Guitar Hero 2 or actually know/like Buckethead, then you should know how Buckethead uses a killswitch to cut sound out for a moment while playing something. A lot of that is used on “Tangled in Trial and Error Scenarios.” The lead on “Vile Effect Momentum” takes advantage of the killswitch too in the beginning. It’s actually pretty slick how they stuck that in as a lead. It isn’t used for the whole song, that wouldn’t be like Cerebric Turmoil. “Vile Effect Momentum” ends with a sweeping solo while everything else kind of drops out and gets slower. It’s a good solo and ends the song and album on a different path than it started with.

Neutral Net Meltdown is heavy, extreme, and very technical in all aspects. I definitely prefer Chris Reese’s gutturals more than his highs, but the contrasting vocal tones adds to much of the organized chaos that makes up many of these songs. If you are a fan of Severe Torture, Obscura, Cattle Decapitation, or even Prostitute Disfigurement then you will definitely enjoy Cerebric Turmoil and this latest album. I love the intensity Neutral Net Meltdown holds and how it throws curve balls at you, almost literally.

Rate: 8.6/10

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