Sunday Old School: Cerebral Fix
Having given birth to such bands as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, there isn't really any question that the English city of Birmingham is the birthplace of heavy metal. It, along with the surrounding Midlands areas have continued to produce some of the finest acts in extreme music since and today we will be looking at another of these such groups, Cerebral Fix. Cerebral Fix were formed in 1986 by singer Simon Forrest, bassist Paul Adams, guitarist Gregg Fellows and drummer Adrian Jones and wasted little time when it came to recording their music. By the next year they had recorded two demos, "We Need Therapy" and "Product of Disgust," which attracted the attention of Vinyl Solution, a record label in London who would also go on to sign such acts as Bolt Thrower, Cancer and Fudge Tunnel. Before the band could record their debut however, Adams parted company with the group and formed a new outfit, which would go on to become Benediction. They brought in Steve Watson as his replacement and recorded their first full length, "Life Sucks... And Then You Die!" which was released in 1988. The album garnered attention from the thrash, punk and hardcore scenes and led them to tour with the likes of Electro Hippies and Doom amongst other prominent names.
After recording two more songs for Sounds magazine, the group was to experience another change in lineup as Jones and Watson decided to quit the band, with their places being taken by former Sacrilege members Frank Healy (also formerly of Napalm Death) and Andy Baker, with whom they recorded another demo entitled, "Tower of Spite." The demo was circulated amongst labels and impressed Roadrunner Records enough to offer the band a contract, which they happily accepted. To promote the new partnership, Roadrunner booked Cerebral Fix to open for another of their exciting young acts, Sepultura, in London, before the band's sophomore effort, also named, "Tower of Spite" was released in 1990 to fairly positive reviews.
They promoted the album by heading out on the road with grindcore favourites Napalm Death, though once again the group was dealt another personel setback when Andy Baker announced his decision to retire, leaving the drum stool available for ex Metal Messiah drummer Kev Frost, who made his debut with the band on a tour of the Netherlands. He soon made his recording debut with Cerebral Fix too, as their third album, the bluntly named, "Bastards" hit the shelves in 1991. The record was notable for it's covers of "No Survivors" by G.B.H. and the classic song by The Damned, "Smash It Up," which featured Wolfsbane singer Blaze Bayley handling lead vocals. The album was met with some lacklustre reviews but their profile increased after they went on tour with American death metal outfit Obituary, who had already established themselves as one of the top names in their genre by this point.
"Bastards" would prove to be their final album for Roadrunner and soon after leaving, they inked a deal with Music For Nations, with whom they released their fourth album, "Death Erotica." The record featured more guest spots, this time seeing the band joined in the studio by Napalm Death and alternative rockers, Pop Will Eat Itself. They also included two covers once again, this time in the form of "Never Again" by Dischage and the Judas Priest anthem, "Living After Midnight." The band once again toured with another up and coming act after their album's release, this time hitting the road with Yorkshire metallers Paradise Lost before once again having to find new members following the departure of Frank Healy and Gregg Fellows, the former of which is now the bassist for Benediction. Cerebral Fix were able to bring Steve Watson back to the fold, this time as a guitarist, as well as receiving help from Discharge bass player Jake Morgan, with whom they embarked on a European tour with Cancer.
Upon returning to the United Kingdom, they were rejoined by Fellows and set out on another British tour, which saw then Cradle of Filth drummer, Nicolas Barker sitting behind the kit. However, the tour would prove to be their last of the nineties with the band deciding to call it a day soon afterwards. In 2006 the band announced their reformation, along with the news that they were planning on recording a new studio album. To date, this album has not yet surfaced, though they have been dealt blows with the departure of Frank Healy in 2008 and the death of their drummer Neil Farrington in 2009, however, with the recent news that Steve Watson has returned to the band, along with appearances at forthcoming events such as Radfest, the future of Cerebral Fix, and indeed the promise of a new album, looks very good indeed.
Cerebral Fix - "Warstorm"
Cerebral Fix - "Unity For Who?/Enter The Turmoil"
Cerebral Fix - "Veil of Tears"
Cerebral Fix - "Ritual Abuse/Feat of the Fools"
Cerebral Fix - "Haunted Eyes"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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