Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The Final Chapter from the Erotic Thrash Movement - 91%

bayern, September 16th, 2014

Cerebral Fix were the only thrash metal act from the British scene, along with Xentrix, who managed to reach the 4-album mark by the early-90’s. The other representatives of the genre were mostly two-album-wonders, and those who broke that rule and went beyond it for one more temptation (Onslaught, Sabbat, Re-Animator) messed it up. Besides, the Cerebrals were also the only band who managed to end their career in a high note, unlike Xentrix whose swansong “Scourge” (1996) was not very exciting, in-vogue groovy post-thrash. Another interesting fact is that they were also the only outfit from the thrash metal crowd who reached the official release stage with a non-thrash related effort: their debut was largely a hardcore/proto-grindcore outrage the guys obviously looking for their individual “face” at this early phase. One was never sure which direction they were going to swing towards having in mind the up-and-coming death metal wave at the time, and the participation of future members of Benediction into the band’s foundation.

The surprise may have been quite big when two years later the guys struck with “Tower of Spite” which was full-blooded thrash all the way, and quite interesting at that: the band had epitomized a heavy, steam-rolling sound which at times could pass for doom, and perhaps even proto-death its militaristic battle-like aesthetics later heard on the works of Bolt Thrower and again Benediction. The unholy hysterical shouts of the vocalist Simon Forrest were the only reminder of the band’s beginnings which were further alienated with “Bastards”, another characteristic display of their squashing delivery featuring several more dynamic up-tempo sections thus increasing the band’s appeal making them a sure tour partner pick for thrash, death and doom metal acts alike as evident from the outfits they shared a stage with (Obituary, Napalm Death, Paradise Lost, Hellbastard, etc.) through the years.

And here we come to the final chapter from the Erotic Thrash Movement, aptly titled “Death Erotica”. It was a foreboding title announcing the death of the classic stage of thrash metal and a beginning of a new era in which the band had no any interest whatsoever being a part of . Coincidentally or not, the album has a sad melancholic “aura” very similar to the one of Xentrix’s “Kin” released the same year, but while the Xentrix effort has lost most of its ties to thrash, this release here is a steam-rolling “beast” all the same. The short self-titled intro promises exactly that: squashing retro thrash to the “erotic death", and “World Machine” accepts the invitation for this seismic “dance” by pounding the listener into oblivion remorselessly. The notable change at this stage is Forrest’s attempts at actual singing which are simply charming since the man also tries to preserve to an extent his angry cynical shouts resulting in a slightly strained, but compelling blend.

Enters “Haunted Eyes” and the approach acquires nice melodic qualities also reflected in the song’s more laid-back, semi-balladic nature. This is a new “fix” for the fans although its morose doomy character has already been encountered on the other albums’ slower material. Heads will bang on “Mind Within Mine” which is the fastest cut here again emitting more melody than similar numbers in the past. Time for the finest moments on the album: the lyrical beauty “Creator of Outcasts” mixing enchanting lead-driven balladisms with impetuous stomping passages; gorgeous. And “Angel’s Kiss”, the band’s finest achievement, a doomy crusher second to none with memorable lines spat by Forrest with the utmost aggressive passion. The listener has to hurry if he/she wants to find a place on “The Raft of Medusa”, the closer, which sails away with nice calm mid-paced riffs, nothing steam-rolling or pounding this time, just a fine settled display of matured musicians who kind of foresee that this may be their last opus…

However, those who miss to board the Medusa touch… sorry, raft, and have to stay with this recording, will be in for a dismay (well, it depends on the taste): a quattro of tracks which seriously pull the album down; I know quite a few fans around the world who plainly stop the CD after the “Medusa”. The quattro is led by a cover of Discharge’s “Never Again”, a hysterical punky bash, almost unaltered. It’s followed by “Too Drunk to Funk”, an ambient oddity which has nothing to do with Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk to Fuck”. Then we have the 1-min hardcore exploder “Burning”, a sure leftover from the guys’ previous exploits; and the biggest surprise as a finishing touch: Judas Priest’s “Living after Midnight” done in a frolic crossover-ish manner, a kind of a joke piece. Not a very “erotic” epitaph for sure…

Anyway, one shouldn’t be overcritical having in mind that this was the last pull from the band and they apparently wanted to pack as much material as possible, more or less “erotically”-decorated. Besides, the British thrash metal scene never produced a more impressive “product” during the 90’s if but for one album, Detritus’ “If but for One” (1993). So this was the end of the good old thrash as we know it; this was the end of the whole erotic thrash movement as well if only the latter was merely reflected in this solitary effort. The band members went steadfastly quiet after the split with only the guitarist Gregg Fellows seen in the very short-lived death metal project Colostomy in league with "fellows" from Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, and Benediction again. It’s the year 2006 and the guys are back together the first sign of their reappearance being a reissue of their back catalogue under the name “Product of Disgust” a year later. The next step: I’m not quite sure, but by all means brace yourselves for a new chapter from our favourite “erotic” thrash…