PICK OF THE WEEK: Cerebral Rot’s gut-churning death metal boils on ‘Odious Descent Into Decay’

Photo by Desi Hermann

At the risk of sounding way ahead of myself, it’s almost the time of year for the most disgusting and evil forces to converge upon us again and let us revel in blood and guts. OK, so it’s still, like, two months away. But this is the pre-gaming season, for lack of a better term, and preparing for the madness ahead is the only responsible way to ensure we’re all prepared for the madness.

Seattle’s Cerebral Rot are more than willing to get you there, and their vile death metal congeals and coats the surface on their savage debut LP “Odious Descent Into Decay.” Nine tracks spread out over 45 minutes are plenty enough to make your stomach turn and to fill you with psychotic visions that no normal person possibly could convey. These are scenes that are animalistic and deranged, as their style of death almost has a stench to it, one you can’t hope to ignore over its running time. That sounds unpleasant, and perhaps to a sensitive ear it would be, but this record is actually bursting at the seams with doom-infested death metal that we don’t hear often enough these days. The minds responsible for this insanity—guitarist/vocalist Ian Schwab, guitarist Clyle Lindstrom, bassist Zach Nehl, and drummer Drew O’Bryant—really go for broke on this thing, and all the talk of disgust aside, this is a damn powerful album that will leave a gaping hole in your chest and your psyche.

“Odious Descent Into Decay” has an eerie start when acoustics wash over, and the track slowly emerges from its dirt tunnel. The track pounds away, as guttural growls chew at your guts, the pace is thrashing and slashing, and the violence smears grossness over the course of its seven-minute run. A haze of ’90s-style soloing tears into your flesh, as the track bashes out in echoes. “Swamped in Festering Excrementia” has guitars crushing right away, disgusting growls, and playing that feels monstrous and alien, as its teeth sink into you. The drums really hammer away here, while the guitars launch into the atmosphere, and things fade into synthy madness. “Reeking Septic Mass” has a cool pace before the violence bustles in, the growls choke, and the tempo stomps away. The pace goes right for the throat with the leads pushing into the killing fields, and things get swallowed by a chilling fog. “Cerebral Rot” is their title song, and it starts violently with a trucking assault and menacing growls. Guitars are unleashed and splatter as clubbing blows are dealt, soloing burns through massively, and a raucous pace restarts and comes to a blistering halt.

“Putrefaction Eternal Decay” has a crushing open that feels like the walls are caving in, and the growls feel like they’re weighing down on you. There’s a slow-driving haze that shows up later and pushes your mind, but the tempo picks up, guitars swirl, and things come to a damaging finish. “Sardonic Repentance” is the longest track, clocking in at 7:07, and it arrives in a doomy mist that hulks along in a calculated manner while the drums begin to clobber. The growls sound like they’re boiling in blood as the wave of doomy death gets heavier and thicker, and the track situates itself in a driving muck that threatens to suffocate. The track keeps getting heavier and meaner, ending in a pile of rubble. “Repulsive Infestation of Cadaver” has a mangling start with the growls bubbling and the band openly assaulting everything in front of it. Violent shrieks and a devastating assault team up and drive the track into a raging fire. “Primordial Soup of Radioactive Sewage” sounds gross as shit, and sure enough, it sounds like it’s swimming through what its title describes. Vile punishment and maddening growls unite, while the leads go off and blind with their light, and the track ends in hell. Closer “Foul Stench of Ruination” unveils its slaughter immediately before slipping into doomy waters, momentarily slurring, and then upping the ante again. Soloing scorches while the drums smash through bones, and a thrashing assault and deep growls flow into an unexpected acoustic ending that acts as a sort of bookend for how this monstrosity began.

If you’re sitting there wondering if your weakened guts can handle “Odious Descent Into Decay,” perhaps you’ve already answered your question, and the horrors will be too much. If you’re feeling up to this, Cerebral Rot might be your new go-to band anytime you want to visit abomination and depravity in ways that won’t land you in prison. This is a sickening, lurching serving of death metal that won’t taste good in the classic sense but will leave you full and strangely nauseous.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/cerebralrotdm

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/20buckspin