Album of the Day: Cerebral Rot, “Odious Descent Into Decay”

The Seattle band Cerebral Rot—featuring members of Warpvomit, Caustic Wound, Chronic Tomb, Acid Feast, and Fetid—sound just like their resumé would suggest. Their debut LP Odious Descent seems optimized for one thing, and one thing alone: making music that’s as foul and disgusting as possible. Cerebral Rot cherry-pick the nastiest bits of doom, sludge, black metal, crust, d-beat, and, first and foremost, old-school death metal. It might be pure, unadorned aestheticism, but you can’t deny their eye for the uniquely revolting.

Cerebral Rot’s strength lies not in virtuosic composition or performance, but in unification of approach and hyper-attention to tone. While writing Odious Descent, they clearly passed on any riff that didn’t sound like it had been fermented in a septic tank. The vocals sound like indigestion. The drums sound soggy, like an attempt at the Blue Man Group’s wet-paint-on-the-drum-heads thing, except with mud. The guitar solos sound like a host of different things, all of them ugly: they’re chipped drill bits wreaking havoc on human flesh (title track); they’re wire hangers fishing around inside the skull (“Cerebral Rot”); they’re toxic webs shooting out of a radioactive spider (“Primordial Soup Of Radioactive Sewage”). Sometimes, as on the extended “Sardonic Repentance” intro, Cerebral Rot veer into spacey, psychedelic territory, but in this version of space, you can still hear them scream—or, more accurately, squelch.

-Patrick Lyons

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