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Best album of 2013? I say yes! - 97%

bryankerndrummer, July 11th, 2013

(Edit 7/30/2014: I've re-written the entire review. My first version of this review contained hollow details and laughable comparisons and metaphors. Let's try this again.)

Out of the depths of Taiwan and California storms two-man brutal death metal machine Coprocephalic, crafting their own unique forge out of a far over-saturated genre. Not only is their music relentlessly heavy and pummeling, but it also tends to be atmospheric and even dares to linger through a bit of deathcore and tech-death territory. Track after track, Coprocephalic stomps their mighty, unforgiving craft through the listener's ears in an adrenaline-soaked death metal onslaught that never slows its gears.

The first thing that struck me on first listen was the immense heaviness of the mix, because holy shit, it's fucking heavy. The guitars in particular have an enormous tone that manages to sound insanely destructive and distortion-laden without sacrificing any of its musicality. And surprisingly, there's no bassist for this album; not that such is a problem, because the guitars themselves sound bass-heavy and thicker than brick walls, simultaneously collapsing and expanding onto itself with every riff. The riffs themselves exchange between more atmospheric, technical passages (akin to the likes of Wormed and later Abominable Putridity) and groovy low-end slams that often intertwine with elements of deathcore breakdowns, similar to Malodorous or Disfiguring the Goddess with more of a legitimate brutal death metal influence. And it's quite surprising as to how far these guys get with that, because the formula never gets tiring. Each song is distinguishable from the others and contains its own recognizably catchy melodies, slams, and technical noodling.

Oh, and did I mention the guitar solos? Sweet baby Jesus, there are guitar solos. They're not too complex or amazing, but they are rather melodic and add some flavor to the (already exuberantly flavorful) mix.

Another distinct element of this album is the vocals. Larry Wang, notably of Gorepot and Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, makes an appearance on this album in better condition than he's ever been in. Larry utilizes an innumerable plethora of diverse styles that sometimes becomes difficult to believe are all coming from the same person. The vocal range presented here is quite astonishing, speedily interchanging from gurgling low grunts to squealing croaks to angry, gurgling guttural growls that bring to mind the thought of a dirty gutter attempting to speak.

Might I also mention the lyrics? They're rather poetic for brutal death metal, and take something of a semi-philosophical approach to the way they tend to describe things (refer to "Pavement of a Thousand Torsos" and "Embryonal Coagulated Genesis" for the best examples of this).

The production here is also a definite up-factor. Every part of every song is crystal clear, minus the guitar solos - which could have been at a slightly higher volume. As I mentioned, the guitar tone is huge and makes up for the lack of bass. The drums are programmed, but sound relatively real up until the Wormed cover, where the spastic tempo and melody changes call for programming that's a bit out-of-reach with what can be accomplished. However, nothing drowns out any other elements of the mix and the sound is angled at a delicate balance that allows all of this album's greatest factors to shine like they should.

Overall, this is definitely something that death metal fans should check out, as it seems the underground are already bowing before Coprocephalic's outstanding originality. Favorite tracks: Gluttonous Chunks, Scourging the Obese, and Embryonal Coagulated Genesis.