Review: “Self Titled” by Cell Press

A convergence of like minded and well travelled musicians in Sean Arsenian (guitars and vocals), Joey Cormier (bass), Mark McGee (drums), PQ (vocals) who have performed in a myriad of bands including The Great Sabatini, Biipiigwan, I Hate Sally, The Chariot, Swarm Of Spheres, Angles, Animal Ethics and Architect, Montreal Canada based quartet Cell Press are no strangers to making sweet, sweet music with conviction, brutal honesty and absolutely no compromise. Mixing early Metalcore, Sludge metal, Noise Rock, and Grindcore, they took their name from the 2001 Russian prison documentary “The Mark Of Cain” and recorded pre-quarantine in Hamilton at Boxcar Sound Recording before the record was mixed in Oakland, California at Anti-sleep studios by Scott Evans.

The brutal humanity of the aforementioned documentary is mirrored by the sounds that Cell Press create, it’s raw and punishing on the surface but with nuances and complexities that ripple like a stone landing in a millpond or shatter like glass when you put a brick through your front window. Don’t try that at home folks. Warm fuzzy guitar tones bring a touch of the Sabbath to “Piss Police” with broken chords and momentary pauses giving the kind of sound that Raging Speedhorn look for to accompany the rampant venting screams of the vocals that unapologetically roar along during the montage. A more tribal drum sound provides “Desert Breath” a more intricate introduction before the blood letting begins from a similar vein to the opening cut, with a raw loose feel that sounds like the band are playing live with the recording captured in a sweaty rehearsal space warts and all. Lyrically, the song is about loneliness, the absence of a place of relationship that one feels comfortable with or in, but you might be hard pushed to find that from anywhere other than the lyric sheet, such are the abrasive vocal tones and primitive microphones. “Blacked Out In Verdun” offers a similarly warm guitar sound and percussive complexities with the impression that the band could happily break out into some jazz infused Black Metal at any point, should they so desire. They don’t and what we’re left with sounds like Converge met Poison Idea for a drunken brawl. The sense of fun is replaced by a sense of tension during “Dead At OACI” which builds nicely, burning each bridge as it crosses it with an arsonists grin before “My Son Will No The Truth” takes a leaf out of a book of the more eclectic with what we’re going to loosely call an acid Jazz instrumental of avante garde noise metal against a backdrop of varying soundscapes. It’s a total contrast to what you will find elsewhere here and gives a insight into the minds of the truly unhinged with a white noise nature broken up by nuanced moments [7/10]

Track listing

1. Piss Police
2. Desert Breath
3. Blacked Out In Verdun
4. Dead At OACI
5. My Son Will No The Truth

Self Titled” by Cell Press is out 27th November and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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