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Review

Cerebral Rot – Excretion of Mortality Review

Band: Cerebral Rot
Album: Excretion of Mortality
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Genre: Death Metal
Country: United States
Release Date: June 25, 2021
For Fans Of: Autopsy, Incantation, Undergang

Oh, the ever dreaded second album. There are few things in my lifelong consumption of music that have given me more anxiety than falling in love with a band based on a debut album and then listening to their follow up album for the first time. While the concern for a sophomore slump is rare in the metal genre it is not completely unheard of, see Exodus, Dark Angel, Pungent Stench, and a myriad of other bands. Thankfully, especially on a label as consistent as 20 Buck Spin, my incessant fear related to these second albums is almost always unjust, and oftentimes the second album is even better. That being said, back in 2019 Cerebral Rot released Odious Descent Into Decay, one of the most exciting death metal debuts in recent memory. Now, two years and a global fucking pandemic later, the bend will release its follow up, Excretion of Mortality, as one of the most highly anticipated records in the death metal underground. So the question is, will it stand up to the high water mark the band set for themselves the first time around?

From the first riff of the first track it becomes immediately apparent that Cerebral Rot have returned leaner, meaner and just as filthy as ever. Any fear that I had about this album not living up to the first album were completely gone by the close of the titular album opener. With each subsequent track after the first, I found myself pulled deeper and deeper into the filth that Cerebral Rot’s music encapsulates and I realized on first listen that Excretion of Mortality is even better than the debut. This album takes the ripping and claustrophobic songwriting of the bands previous efforts and opens things up with the incorporation of doom elements that give songs a dynamism that the band was missing in the past. 

While the band is not wholly original in this sound, in fact it seems that all the death metal bands are doing this now, they are at the top of the game and are doing it better than their contemporaries. Each song, on its own, is a perfect showcase of what modern Death Metal should be, this is admiration of the past while not sounding like a rehash of everything that came before it. 

My issue, and really my only issue but its a review so I have to point this out, is that the songs are all great on their own but as a whole the album feels a bit one note. Songs all follow a very similar fast, slow, fast structure and are sort of predictable. Even the album closer, which could have really been something different at 11 minutes in length, but the song just feels like an extended version of the songs before it, albeit a very good one. This being said, song structure is but one component of an album and not even the most important one in my opinion. The riffing during the fast parts of the album is absolutely incredible and probably the biggest improvement from the debut. On the other hand, the slower, dommier parts of songs are performed masterfully and can stand right alongside the greats of the death/doom subgenre.

Nitpicks aside, this is a great second record from a great band. Excretion of Mortality is a glorious slog through the muck that I couldn’t be happier to embark on. Cerebral Rot may not be breaking any new ground here but they have crafted something that is engaging and sucks you in. Additionally the album seems to continue to get better and better for me with subsequent listens. This is an album sure to be in my rotation for years to come.

Rating: 8 / 10

  1. Excretion of Mortality
  2. Vile Yolk of Contagion
  3. Spewing Purulence
  4. Bowels of Decrepitude
  5. Drowned in Malodor
  6. Retching Innards
  7. Crowning the Disgustulent (Breed of Repugnance)

Total Playing Time: 47:26

Click here to visit Cerebral Rot’s bandcamp

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