For the last week we’ve gone off the NCS rails, focusing on long songs with either no singing at all or nothing but clean singing, plus offerings of “bedroom djent” and post-rock/post-metal (whatever the hell that means). And we’re not through. We have at least one more band that’s out-of-the-NCS box to write about before we disappear on that non-blogging vacation we wrote about earlier this week.
(Speaking of which, don’t forget our open invitation to send us your own blog posts so we won’t have to let NCS go dark during the hiatus. We’ve received three so far, plus promises that more will be coming — but don’t wait too much longer if you want to do this. Details are here.)
But, as much fun as we’ve had exploring metal that’s not our usual fare, we do miss the kind of metallic extremity that shoves egg-beaters through the skullbone and proceeds to whip the gray matter into a fluffy merengue. So, we decided to take a little break from our adventures outside of NCS land and come back home for a helping of mind-fuckery.
The devilish cooks we found are a band from Glasgow, Scotland called Cerebral Bore (apparently named after a weapon in a video game) and their recently released debut album, Maniacal Miscreation. Oh yes, this is just the kind of cerebral drill-job we were looking for. Our brains are now satisfying disassembled and chopped up into the consistency of dog food. Awesome. (more after the jump, including a song and a video . . .)
Apparently, Cerebral Bore have been creating music since 2004, with a couple of demos to show for their efforts, and multiple line-up changes, before the October release of Maniacal Miscreation. As far as we’re concerned, they’ve now hit their stride.
The music is on the brutal side of death metal. It’s almost unrelentingly fast — which suits us just fine. The guitar riffing is adrenaline-charged, finger-fast, and reliably hammer-stroked with big slams. We particularly liked the start-stop attack of the drums and the quite audible bass rhythms that unerringly root down deep into the part of the brain that acts without thinking and sends irresistible electrical impulses into the buried pleasure centers.
Barreling along in an unconstrained rampage is plenty of fun for the listener, but the icing on the cake are the passages in the songs when Cerebral Bore skid into a completely irresistible beat. This is the kind of attention to groove that, in our Pavlovian world, separates the good brutal-death bands from the ones that just want to run like the bulls at Pamplona, with plenty of mayhem but not much direction.
There’s one more thing to mention about Cerebral Bore, apart from their Glaswegian heritage, their knack for songwriting, and their technical adeptness: They have a female singer.
You wouldn’t know it to hear the music. Seriously.
Perhaps one day the world of metal will reach a stage of evolution when the gender of the singer doesn’t provoke attention, but we’re not even close to that world yet. Today, most female vocalists draw attention because they’re so rare. Most of them seem to be stapled into the pages of the band because of their sexuality — metal being a predominantly male spectator sport.
Of course, going back to the advent of Elvis, and even before, plenty of male vocalists have drawn attention by selling their sexuality, too, though lots of male frontmen in the world of extreme metal have no beefcake to sell. So, we’re not suggesting that female vocalists are alone in trying to get a leg up based on their sexuality. The men would do it, too, if they could.
But Cerebral Bore is a different kind of animal. Simone “Som” Pluijmers dresses like a dude. She wears a ballcap pulled down low over her pretty face. On the strength of one video, our perception is that her stage posturing is also like a dude’s. And her singing — well, she growls, and grunts, and pig-squeals like her vocal chords have been marinated in the juices of Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse.
It’s a freak-of-nature kind of thing, because we haven’t heard another female vocalist that can do what she does. You may ask, why should that matter? If we want vocals like this, why should we pay attention to this band just because they’re voiced (amazingly) by a woman? Should that set Cerebral Bore apart from bands that provide vocals very similar to these through the use of a vocalist with testicles?
Well, you can rationalize that question all you want, but our answer is this: Fuck yes, it matters! Are you fucking retarded? Of course it matters!
There is a limit to how excited we will get over a female vocalist that can pull off what Som Pluijmers accomplishes. We really wouldn’t be writing about Maniacal Miscreation unless the rest of the music was hot shit — but it is. The debut album from Cerebral Bore is one giant, concussive Glasgow kiss — and if you don’t know what that is, check here. Also, check out this song:
And now, we have this video from Cerebral Bore, to boot. And we also have to thank our somewhat demented reader Phro, transplanted from the good ole’ U.S. of A. to some inbred backwater in Japan, for tipping us to Cerebral Bore.
We’ve looked for a way to get a legit copy of Maniacal Micreation, but haven’t succeeded. But you can listen to some additional cerebral borings at the band’s MySpace page. We also found some song lyrics, but they’re so fucking disturbed that we’re not going to reprint them here. But we will give you this link (check the August 30 entry) and this one, which provides the lyrics for the song in that video. No wonder Phro likes this band.
UPDATE: Following up on a discussion in the comments below — which raised some questions about whether Som Pluijmers is really the vocalist on the album — we’re adding this video that we just found by a Dutch metalhead named Ed Veter. I think it resolves the doubts pretty effectively. Among other things, it includes shots of the booklet inside the CD which includes Som’s photo and her thanks.