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Anomalies is a special mix of brutality, creativity, insanity and marijuana. The strong influence weed has on Cephalic Carnage must be the reason why they are able to write such amazing music because this has to be one of the greatest death-grind albums ever. The members from Atheist smoked weed to “open their arrangements and lead them to their style,” and Kelly Shaefer is a firm believer that some of the best music Atheist ever wrote, was done under the influence of substances, be it alcohol, weed or something else. I guess Colorado’s craziest cotton mouths must be firm believers in this practice as well because this album certainly does kick ass.
Lighting up with a furious combination of blasts beats and a labyrinth of chaotic riffing, “Scientific Remote Viewing” is one of the faster, more frantic tracks featuring various tempo changes and that schizophrenic, stop/start feel. The following couple of tracks follow suit (although “Counting the Days” and “The Will or the Way” flow much smoother) and then they decided to mix it up completely with “Piecemaker;” a sludgy, psychedelic beast of a song. This is one of the stand outs for me despite its relative simplicity as it is just so god damn groovy. The hardcore influence is evident in the vocals throughout the song as he adopts more of a shouting technique compared to the growling and screaming utilized on the majority of the other tracks and overall, are much more discernable not to mention catchy as hell.
Metalcore-parody, “Dying Will Be the Death of Me,” is yet another memorable track retaining both ball-crushing heaviness and killer groove through nicely executed melodeath inspired riffing as well as an extremely catchy chorus. The combination of powerful cleans layered together with grueling lows is very effective and the subtle little “Come on!” he belts out right in the middle of the chorus is fucking epic. This is followed by an equally epic melodeath inspired solo where the guitarists display their incredible ability through melodic tremolo picking sections and sweeps. The solo in “Sleeprace” also showcases their sheer talent although this time they take a more jazz/bluesy approach.
Another thing I love about Anomalies is how all the songs link exceptionally well together particularly during the latter half of the album. Whether it be the stop/start transition between “Sleeprace” and “Kill for Weed” or the smooth flow of “Litany of Failure” into “Ontogeny of Behavior,” everything falls into place perfectly. “Kill for Weed” also displays excellent dynamic contrast as well as an amazing combination of awesome guttural lows, piercing high-pitched screams and dry, raspy growls. This is one of the best vocal performances on the album and also one of the most brutal tracks. However, they have truly saved the best for last. At almost 10 minutes in length, the final track “Ontogeny of Behavior,” merges many of their influences together into the one climatic trip as well as various post-rock/metal elements. This epic masterpiece is easily my favourite Cephalic Carnage track and crowns an absolutely extraordinary album which I recommended to every single extreme metal fan out there.