Sometimes when record labels use the “for fans of” format to recommend new records, they drop names of other, usually better-known, groups in ways that seem mystifying when you listen to the music. Such references may prove alluring, but they become disappointing or, even worse, deceptive, when you discover that what’s being promoted doesn’t measure up, or doesn’t even live in the same neighborhood as the reference points. But in the case of Cerebrum, the references by the Transcending Obscurity label seem spot-on.
In highlighting the music on this Greek band’s new album, Iridium, Transcending Obscurity recommends it to fans of mid-period Death, Cynic, Atheist, and Necrophagist. It is a form of technical death metal, but not the kind of “tech-death” that has become a kind of nuclear arms race in the modern scene, in which speed, agility, and ever-more-extravagant efforts to pack in notes and beats per second can lead to a mechanistic soullessness. Cerebrum also haven’t forgotten that what they’re creating is DEATH METAL, even if they mount their ferocious assaults with impressive intricacy and technical skill.