Cerebral Rot – Excretion of Mortality Review

I love death metal that pushes its own boundaries but, ironically, it’s the old school that feeds my education. That disgusting urge to claw and crush that transcends all common decency and hearkens back to a time when “fully-functioning adults” didn’t learn to speak via fucking Reddit. Cerebral Rot know a little of what I’m talking about. Their primal death-breath is one I can stand to gasp any day of the week. Debut album Odious Descent into Decay hit my schedule in 2019 and, although well executed, there was noticeable room for improvement. Now, Excretion of Mortality looms large on the devolutionary chain and one thing is clear, this Seattle four-piece are out for blood.

For the uninitiated, Cerebral Rot spew inhospitable environs of miasmic instrumentation before claiming their prey with a blunt-force trauma sure to divorce skull from spine. There’s no technical tenacity or progressive profundity to be found here. Just sinister death metal that revels in rot and ruin. Think Autopsy but fully armed with an array of Bolts Zeus himself would be proud to ThrowExcretion of Mortality follows exactly the same template as its predecessor but the songs are now better crafted and therefore more potent. It’s not pretty and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

One of my biggest complaints with the debut was its repetitious nature coupled with some slightly excessive song lengths. Excretion of Mortality doesn’t alter this at all but instead hones its riff-craft and doubles down. Now, the huge palm-muted sections are much more engaging and the message appears to be more succinct despite the fact that the album is actually longer. The title-track couples an eerie impending lead with some of that “World Eater” rhythmic flavor. It does what all great openers should and outlines exactly what the album has to offer. “Spewing Purulence” and “Bowels of Decrepitude” do their bit to maintain the locomotion with dense grooves but, occasionally, Cerebral Rot dial back the immediacy for some more lurking fare. Thematically, much of the material illustrates the deathly deed itself, but tracks like “Vile Yolk of Contagion” prefer to contemplate the concept of the kill for a more atmospheric result. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and closer “Crowning the Disgustulent (Breed of Repugnance)” buckles under its own eleven-minute bloat.

Cerebral Rot tote an effective back of tricks but it is limited by nature. Ian Schwab and Clyle Lindstrom build the record on thick riffs and viscous textures. As much as I love the style, upon repeat listens the approach does begin to wear a little thin as the album progresses. Excretion of Mortality‘s final throes just don’t feel quite as vital but, more accurately, it’s actually a result of fatigue. Schwab’s low-register monotone growls compliment the sound, but they’re not exactly dynamic and the constant reverb is a tad tiresome. The same can’t be said of Zach Nehl’s bass, which sits high in the mix and galvanizes the guitar tone to inhuman levels. The occasional respite in riffing isolates his work even more and the guttural chords never fail to find their mark. With production this organic, it’s satisfying to find a capable mix bent on accentuating the album’s intent.

If you go down to the woods today, you won’t survive the night. Cerebral Rot are lurking there and although their riff-pattern may remain the same, this gusset-rending annihilation from beyond hunts with caustic inevitability. If big riffs and filthy textures are for you, then Excretion of Mortality certainly scratches that questionable itch. Death metal like this will never be out of style. Cerebral Rot know this and make sure to put their best foot forward. I can’t see this haunting too many end-of-year lists, but for those impurists out there… you just can’t stop the rot.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Websites: 20buckspin.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/cerebralrotdm
Releases Worldwide: June 25th, 2021

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