Sound — 10
Cephalic Carnage has come up with a very unique sound on Xenosapien. Although they use regular death metal things like heavy double bass and shredding on the album, Xenosapien has proven itself to be a gem in the death metal genre. One very notable part of their sound on this album is that they use half-step intervals, sounding eviler than ever, more so than Slayer's infamous 4th harmonies found in Raining Blood. Another strange but very well done part of the album is the bass breakdown with the computer voice in the background on The Omega Point. The album is filled with many time signature and tempo changes, random pauses, and strange song sections. Although these are starting to be common in death metal (along with sheer technicality), CC utilizes these in their very strange and pot-influenced sound. They are able to have catchy riffs on top of having a very technical death metal sound. The precision of the guitar/bass/drum work is just incredible and shows true musicianship.
Lyrics — 9
Truthfully, the lyrics the least important aspect of a death metal album. Nonetheless, Cephalic Carnage stays "metally" poetic with song titles such as Endless Cycle of Violence, Let Them Hate So Long As They Fear, Divination & Violation, etc. Their pot smoking has shown influence to creating songs like Vaporized (obviously themed after it) and Megacosm of the Aquaphobics (a very strange and obscure title). Lenzig's vocals on the album are pretty good. He has a nice vocal range from screeching growls to deep grunts. On the song Global Overhaul Device, he shows his ability to do clean/thrash vocals, not just death metal. Nicely done, too. However, the deep grunting is used too much on the album sometimes.
Overall Impression — 10
Xenosapien is probably the best death metal album of this year. Cephalic Carnage have proven their brutality, but more importantly, their unique sound and great song-writing ability. Their musicianship really shines on this tech-death album. The best parts of the album are the eccentricities, such as random changes in the song that don't make any sense but work still. This album deserves a wider audience than CC has right now. Any death metal fan should go out and buy this CD now, especially if you are a fan of Necrophagist or any other tech-death band.