"Spectral Extravagance"

(Lacerated Enemy)

01. Fragments of Illusion
02. Scatter-Brain
03. Pattern of Fear
04. Intolerable Ado
05. Epiphysis Thrive
06. Edge of Parallel Circles
07. Beyond Imagination
08. Thorns of Weakness
09. Salvia Divinorum
10. The Prologue of Completion (instrumental)
11. Shreds of Remains

RATING: 6/10

Just as it seems like there has been a resurgence of acts playing an old school Swedish death metal style, so does there seem to be a renewed worldwide interest among labels in releasing albums from the technical/progressive end of the genre. Another case in point is Athens' CEREBRUM who has released a competent, if marginally indistinctive, album in "Spectral Extravagance" on the Czech Republic's Lacerated Enemy Records.

All the name-drops are here: CYNIC, ATHEIST, GORGUTS, DEATH, you name it. More specifically what you will hear frequently is a cross between (early) CYNIC and DECAPITATED, a general categorization, but a fairly accurate one nonetheless. Featuring drumming from Greek God of the Skins George Kollias (NILE) and impressive bass crisscrosses from guitarist Mike Papadopoulos, CERERBRUM brings the kind of angular wizardry that is a must for the style. The overtly free jazz parts are kept to a minimum (e.g. "Edge of Parallel Circles"), even though the undercurrent of such is usually present. The emphasis is on up-tempo stutter-chunk and though sometimes frantic, the music is not overly chaotic. In other words, the urgency is overflowing, just not at the expense of thick, riff-based pummel (just listen to sections of "Shreds of Remains" and "Beyond Imagination", the latter also sporting some nice melodic leads).

In a general sense then, "Spectral Extravagance" is a likeable disc and probably a tech-death devotee pleaser. Though it wouldn't work as a soporific, it does however become a little redundant, especially when it comes to the vocal patterns of Apollon Zygomalas. It is that measure of musical distinction that is missing and what makes albums by the likes of OBSCURA and ANATA so memorable. One can hear the beginnings of structured melodiousness from time to time, just not enough to make a big impact. In the final analysis, "Spectral Extravagance" has quite a bit to offer the discerning tech-death fan; just not enough to make it a wholly memorable experience.


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