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Cephalic Carnage


The Rocky Mountain hydrogrind sound can permeate - even the tightest finger-in-ear plug.
  • The Rocky Mountain hydrogrind sound can permeate even the tightest finger-in-ear plug.

If you ever board a plane in Australia completely drunk and spill a beer on a woman in first-class, don't spend the flight writing an apology to the woman.

Take it from Zac Joe, guitarist for Cephalic Carnage. He knows firsthand.

His bandmate, bassist Nick Schendzielos, tells the story over the phone from a tour stop in Indiana: "The woman wanted her money back for the flight, or she wanted Zac to pay for her ticket. The airline wasn't really going to do anything about it and she was really pissed, so Zac wrote her an apology letter during the flight and gave it to her before we left. Now she's using it as an admission of guilt and filing a civil suit against him."

Maybe it's time the Denver-based "Rocky Mountain hydrogrind" band chartered its own plane. After all, the group which also features Lenzig Leal (vocals), John Merryman (drums) and Steve Goldberg (guitar) has played all over the U.S. and Europe, including Germany and Amsterdam. Enough, at least, to have noticed some differences in the fans.

"In America, the fans are just happy you came and rocked," he says. "In Denver, it's even more so, because all our fan base is there. We could just hit on a snare drum and people would still be there supporting us.

"In Europe, the fans are more blunt. Like, they'll tell us if a show isn't as good as the last one they saw.

"But it's good because then when you get a compliment from them, you know it's more heart-felt, like they really meant what they said."

For now, after touring to promote its recent album Xenosapien, Cephalic Carnage, which has been playing music as an entity for 15 years, is pleased to be back in Colorado. Not that there will be any time to relax.

"We bought our own recording studio and we have five or six bands coming in to record," Schendzielos says. "As soon as we get them recorded, we're working on the second part of our doom record."

He's referring to the band's Halls of Amenti, which was released in 2002 as the first part of a three-disc set. Essentially an hour-long track broken up into three acts, the project showcases Cephalic Carnage's slower guitar riffs and technical talent, according to Schendzielos.

"We want to mix it up and get really unorthodox," he explains. "We want to have fun, and hopefully, people will enjoy it."

That's just one of the ways Cephalic Carnage tries to buck the stereotypical metal image.

"People assume that because you're metal, your songs are about blood and guts and that you're angry," he says.

Avoiding that, Schendzielos says, is as easy as opening your mind and your ears.

"We listen to this AM radio show called Coast to Coast," he says. "They talk about paranormal stuff, like UFOs and extraterrestrials things that don't get talked about on regular radio. There's always something fascinating, and that leaks into our lyrics."

Cephalic Carnage with Dying Fetus, Skeletonwitch and Year of Desolation

The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.

Friday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 day-of-show, all ages; visit or 866/468-7621.

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