Cell Press

In the form of a triumphant trio of musicians forming CELL PRESS a while back […]
June 25, 2024

In the form of a triumphant trio of musicians forming CELL PRESS a while back in 2019 and the band consist of PQ on the vocals screaming those sensational high end notes, SEAN ARSENIAN on guitars as well as backing vocals and finally is drummer MARK MCGEE smacking those skins like there is no tomorrow. The band themselves are all the way from Montreal, Quebec, so it is even cooler to get another North American band particularly from Canada. A year after getting together the band were pretty quick off the mark as they came to releasing what was their self-titled EP which came in 2020 as the band could be best described as a progressive sludge metal ensemble, the EP release puts them out there, as well as crafting their very own sound.

 After their EP has been released, they received some very high appraisal and compliments from critics, including one which wrote about the EP, saying that this was “a perfect showcase of their unique sound and style and leaves you wanting to hear more from the band” and this does goes on to say that “their total disregard for the limitations and genres and boundaries results in the EP blending noise, grindcore, sludge, punk, groove and dark ambient amongst other influences”. So this certainly shows the band want to become as inclusive as they can with mixing various genres together in their music and this is portrayed very well in the EP as well as the split LP they had with bands like ANTHESIS, BOTFLY, GREBER and CLOUDS BECOME QUEENS released in 2021.

 After their release in 2021, the band began songwriting again throughout 2021-2022 and eventually they came to releasing an EP in March 2024 titled CAGES as time moved on pretty quickly, so what’s new in this EP you ask? Well there are nine, yes nine tracks altogether ready for your listening ears as I am sure they will be burning from the sheer shredding guitars, pulverising drums, screamer vocals and thumping bass notes. Right from the start, the intro track “Adult Baptisms” kicks the front door in after a few French words are spoken, guitars and drums take the lead to begin with. Vocals do follow on after this and simply astonish me for certain, powerful and flawless vocal range, even the inclusion of instrumental instigators as the drums lead the pack into raging revelations of pure sludge metal.

 Even the guitar by itself later on is pretty good to hear, nevertheless, moving onto track two which is “Kissed By A Morose On Mount Royal” with some boomy bass notes and those sensational lead guitar notes as before, drums really just pushes the boat out here all the way to the other end of this river of metal mania. There is basically a concept or idea behind each track, this one in particular was written and based around mood, depression and perspective of when a person is in such a state of either mood swings or depression. Perhaps the bass guitar represents this idea more distinctly, a short enough track, as we head straight into the next one which is “Original Uranium Baby”.

 This third track has more of a hardcore punk intro, but this is shoved aside for the real noise of the progressive and charismatic guitar riffs, not as loud as before so this is certainly different, whereas the vocals haven't really changed. Drums even get more of the spotlight this time around and very much show what they were made of, as this track seems to tell the tale of a dystopian town in the state of Ontario, Canada but in the distant future, supposedly the year 2088. Hard to imagine where we will be in that year and what the world will be like but it's still another hard hitting track so onwards we go now into the next track, which is “Dark Side Of The North”. A slice of drums rises from the inner sanctum of this track, as we hear the vocals which are demonic as before.

 The bass guitar and drums do well to mark certain notes the vocals belt out, so overall the tone of the track is well delivered and arranged. The timing is a little different than before, but nonetheless, the band is right on the money with the sheer volume and execution of guitars and drums. The noise continues on and never really calms down, this is the way forward for these Canadian hard rockers, so onwards into the next track, which is “JOI To The World”. Amplifier feedback is first before the drums sets a new time structure for guitars and vocals to follow along, hard hitting are the drums to start with, as guitars and vocals settle in nicely feeling comfortable.

 The vocals at one stage do take a short interval for a minute or less maybe, so a good time to focus in on the instrumental parts of guitars, bass and drums. The low end of drums and bass, does stand out so much, as they provide the warmth and sizzling sensation the listener will feel also from hearing this track, so moving onto the next track which is “Disco Naps On The Devils Bedpost”. Bass guitar and vocals are so clear here with drums adding that extra flavour of spiciness, as the timing bonus between accented notes on guitars and bass guitar pumping out low end thumps with drums supporting bass guitar so well. Reaching the halfway point, as there are some high standard guitar riffs, as well as drum patterns that will bring you further into the abyss of the track.

 Vocals seem disgusted as before, giving all the time there is for drums, guitars and bass to make themselves well known. The track slows down to a pause and then in comes the next track which is “Blue Royale”, as we hear guitar shrieking to higher pitches and drums going absolutely crazy as hell as there is a very boomy tone to this intro. A very different sort of tone as there is chaos and perhaps the opportunity for drums and guitar to show their level of musicianship, it is such a mix of bashing around, ending with a radio voice, as we now head into the next track which is “Recoil(A Collective Behaviour Of Violence)”. As the drums ramp up the volume and prepare the guitars and vocals for what is to come, there is some variation as to timing and tempo in this track, it is a very free minded rhythm.

 Drums play very innovative patterns and its timing allows guitars, as well as vocals to highlight key notes, where they work very well together. Vocals bow out for a short time, as the track's lyrics dives into themes to do with gun violence and mass murders in American gun culture which is definitely a debatable topic, so onto the final track which is “Things They Do in France”. As a guitar riff opens the final track on this EP, with drums following along as vocals are thrown in there too, the tempo here varies quite a lot more than before, each instrument seems to have a lead part of guiding the track in this way to different timing structures. Drums also incorporate a short stamping of snare hits and soloistic behavioural patterns where they fit in perfectly.

 The tempo changes again with a sort of off beat rhythm by drums, guitars pulling out all the stops with riffs and solo parts adjusting to the tempo changes each time consistently. The gradual rallentando or ritardando, call it what you will, we hear vocal whispers from the backing vocalist, as drums and guitar bring this EP to a conclusive closure. Overall it was a very good EP, the vocals were so dedicated to what they could produce, drums and guitar certainly exceeded expectations, as a musician myself, it was such a great overall sound, giving different themes. I will look forward to hearing more from this band and I couldn’t highly recommend these guys anymore to anyone into sludge metal or progressive metal, you will get the best of both worlds in this EP.

8 / 10









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"Cages" Track-listing:

1. Adult Baptisms

2. Kissed By A Morose On Mont Royal

3. Original Uranium Baby

4. Dark Side Of The North

5. JOI To The World

6. Disco Naps On The Devil’s Bedpost

7. Blue Royale

8. Recoil (A Collective Behaviour Of Violence)

9. Things The Do In France

Cell Press Lineup:

PQ - Vocals

Sean Arsenian - Guitars, Bass and Vocals

Mark McGee - Drums

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