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Revulsed “Cerebral Contamination” album review by Curtis J. Dupree

Revulsed band members

It’s been 8 years since Revulsed unleashed their debut on the metal scene. And now they’re back and they’re here to punish! Cerebral Contamination is a pure 36 minutes of brutal, technical death metal that rarely lets up, but nevertheless remains engaging throughout. 

Sheldon D’Costa is responsible for the guitar and bass work, with guitar solos contributed by Adam Wilkie. D’Costa has now departed the band but we can be glad that he laid down so many smoking guitar riffs before he left! The drums are performed Jayson Sherlock, no stranger to the extreme metal scene. I’ve long been a fan of his work, whether in Mortification, Horde, Paramaecium, etc. He’s always been a compelling drummer and that standard continues on Cerebral Contamination. Damien Graves provides vocals, which range from brutal to more brutal. 

The intro to the album is titled “Dawn of Inhuman Savagery.” It’s not particularly noteworthy, but it’s a suitable introduction that doesn’t overstay its welcome. 

Equitable Sufferance” begins with a bang. Great riffs abound here, along with Sherlock’s remarkable drumming. The band incorporates compelling rhythmic shifts during the song and there is a great solo present. The vocals are extremely deep. Vocal hooks are here but they are fairly subtle.

Riffs are the name of the game for “Asomatous Existence.” The beginning riff is killer, as is the faster riff that follows. The vocals are mostly illegible, which is one of my lone critiques of the album. I’ll return to this issue later. There’s a lead guitar break that works very well. Sherlock’s drumming is compelling. 

I really like the ascending riff that repeats throughout “Delusional Servitude.” This song also features some moments of groove that allow the listener some respite, but without sacrificing any brutality. This song is one of the best on the album. 

Beyond the Depths of the Subconscious” begins with a short, but sweet bass line. The riff that follows is well done. The best part of the song in this reviewer’s opinion comes about halfway through the song. The band launches into a section that’s almost pure thrash metal and it works very well. After this break, the song returns to a more brutal death metal sound. The thrash break in particular helps this song stand out in a good way. 

Perditional Enslavement” is particularly memorable. One of the features of this song is a compelling pinch harmonic guitar lick that repeats throughout. One of my favorite lead guitar sections on the album is towards the end of this song, as well. The structure of this song helps it to stand out as one of the stronger songs on the record. 

A slight step down from the previous songs, “Nefarious Devourment” is nevertheless a good listen. There is further skillful use of pinch harmonics and the song is solid overall. Probably the best part of the track is when it slows down towards the end and simply crushes the listener. Not a skip-button by any means, but not the most compelling on the album. 

Monotheistic Postulation” features some of the album’s best guitar work. There are also parts where the drums and guitar lock in together and it’s always compelling. The song also doesn’t overstay its welcome. This track is one of the highlights on the album. 

Another highlight follows in the form of “Inconceivable Hallucinations.” This song is immediately catchy and features exceptional bass work. There are also slight doomy touches present, which helps elevate the track. More great lead work can also be found here. 

Continuing the run of strong songs, “Deistic Repudiation” is a riff lover’s dream. The last third slows down and makes for one of the sections on the album where the vocals fit perfectly. 

The title track essentially sums up what’s great about the album in under two minutes—riffs, drums, bass, technical brutality—all can be found in this short song. 

Anyone who’s a fan of technical, brutal death metal owes it to themselves to track down Cerebral Contamination. The musicianship operates at a very high level, but the songs do not devolve into mere technical showmanship. Rather, Revulsed keeps a healthy focus on riffs. The guitar work throughout is compelling, Sherlock’s drums are as stunning as ever, and the bass work manages to stand out, as well. 

Sometimes with technical, brutal death metal it feels as if the songs themselves take a back seat to the demonstrations of musical proficiency. Such is emphatically not the case here. The songs themselves range from good to great and the musicianship manages to both impress and brutalize without detracting from the songwriting. The guitar and drum work isn’t just about fills and impressive lead runs, but rather focuses on fitting the songs.

The lone critique regards the vocals. Graves’ work here is well-performed, absolutely brutal, and typically fits the music well. However, the vocals are essentially illegible at most points. For some this issue will not be a problem. For me, I like even death metal to have semi-legible vocals. However, this critique is a minor one, because Graves does his job well. More discernible vocals would simply help to strengthen the vocal hooks that are subtly present on Cerebral Contamination

2023 has been a great year for death metal, from the early days of the year all the way through to today. Revulsed joins in this line of worthy death metal releases. Especially for those death metal fans who like their music brutal and technical, I cannot recommend Cerebral Contamination enough. 

Rating: 8.5/10

Preorder the album below:

Links:
[MAILORDER] https://bit.ly/3tBmWgy
[BANDCAMP] https://bit.ly/3S5U36w

WhatsApp Image 2023 12 11 at 10.22.13

Track list:

  1. Dawn Of Inhuman Savagery
  2. Equitable Sufferance
  3. Asomatous Existence
  4. Delusional Servitude
  5. Beyond The Depths Of The Subconscious 03:34
  6. Perditional Enslavement 04:47
  7. Nefarious Devourment 04:13
  8. Monotheistic Postulation
  9. Inconceivable Hallucinations
  10. Deistic Repudiation
  11. 11.Cerebral Contamination

Produced by Revulsed
All guitars & bass tracks performed, engineered & recorded by Sheldon D’Costa
Drums recorded at the Revulsed Cave, Melbourne assisted by Sheldon D’Costa
Vocals recorded by Damien Graves at the Revulsed Cave 2.0, Melbourne
All guitar solos by Adam Wilkie
Pre Mixing by Sheldon D’Costa at Ears To Hear Studio, Melbourne
Final Mixing & Mastering by Jason De Ron & Jayson Sherlock at Studio Vertigo, Melbourne
All music written by Jayson Sherlock & assisted by Sheldon D’Costa
Lyrics written by Jayson Sherlock except ‘Beyond the Depths of the Subconscious’ by Jamie Bartee
Cover concept & layout by Jayson Sherlock
Logo facelift by Steve Crow (Malevolent Icons)
Cover Art by Aditia Wardhana
Photography by Dallas Bland

Damien Graves – Vocals
Jayson Sherlock – Drums

Revulsed would like to thank departing bassist Mark and guitarist Sheldon for great times and memories!

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