With an album titled Slamchosis, can you guess what genre of music Krannium play? I will be honest with you, there are some slam bands that I do like, namely Abominable Putridity and Devourment, but at times, the incessant pig squeals can put me off as well as the biscuit tin snare drums from other bands. One band though who I find myself dabbling in the back catalogue of is the multinational act Kraanium, who have fought against the odds with line up issues to come up with their fifth album. With an album cover that’s reminiscent of the body that had been starved for days in the film Seven, I knew this album was not going to be about fairytales and all living happily ever after. That’s the point though. Life is tough and struggles we face every day are real and we need an escape to let out our frustration and destruction and that’s where a band like Kraanium comes in.
Kraanium also fall into the brutal death metal category and with opening track “Bound to Kill”, this is as in your face that you’re going to get. Intense blast beats from Erhan interspersed with brutal slams and breakdowns that just snap your neck in two. Riffs from guitarists Mats and Jason are as low tuned as you can get with bass from Mika that bludgeons your rib cage. With the unfortunate events regarding Mats brother Martin, Mats has spent the time to find a suitable replacement and has taken a chance with vocalist Jack who debuts with this album. Jack certainly has the lungs to deliver with his intense deep growls to pig squeals during the slams and can live with the best of them. Impressive start from Jack and the album as a whole.
There is some brilliant slamming death metal on display here that like the next track “Blob of Inhuman Metamorphic Transfusion” which is where I feel Kraanium are at their strongest. Kraanium do not write songs for you to raise your horns to. Kraanium take much more pleasure in bludgeoning you to oblivion with music that just beats you to death. This is one such track which shows Kraanium at their finest and is definitely one of the highlights of the album for me if not the favourite song. Plenty of slams and breakdowns here for you to lose your shit to. This train of thought is carried forward to “Gratification to Annihilation” with intense double bass Erhan. Jack likes to have one line deep death growls and the next pig squeals, which certainly mixes things for the listener and keeps them interested.
“Forced Rectal Exhumation” is much more death metal in its delivery than the couple of previous songs with much more technical riffs than the more simplistic slamming riffs. Best riffs of the album so far from Mats and Jason. The double bass once again from Erhan and the thickness of the overall sound is stunning. “Slamchosis” being the title track has a lot to live up to compared to the previous tracks again with the huge thick sound and double bass work from Erhan make this an enjoyable but short track compared to the rest of the album.
Some of these song titles are a serial killer’s wet dream highlighted by next track “Larva infested Cum Sluts” which is as chaotic and as fast as you thought the title would suggest. The song does have its slams interspersed in the song which makes the listener get off their ass and kick the shit out of each other in the pit. “Midget Fucker” which is as uncompromising in its delivery and of the brutal death metal variety and pig squeals from Jack prevalent throughout.
“Slam Her Guts Out” is a song you play to sweet talk your girlfriend into bed. Frenetic blast beats from Erhan are the fastest on the record and I couldn’t help but think of Devourment and “Babykiller” throughout this song. I don’t think the lyrics would work if you were to sing them though. Now, here we go with the song titles again that are humorous but a necessity within this genre, namely “Face Fucked with a Brick”. As with a number of intros to the songs, this track warns you of bludgeoning the victim and this song certainly bludgeons the listener into repeat spins such is the class on show here.
Final track “Putrescent Indulgence” needed to be a strong finish and once again, Kraanium mix up the speed and know when to speed things up and slow things to a crawl for maximum effect. There is a mix of death metal, brutal death metal and slams all concocted to create this monster of a final track. There is no indication that Kraanium are going to go prog on us anytime soon.
I said at the start that consistent pig squeals that take over the overall sound have in the past put me off brutal death metal and slam death metal. While the pig squeals are commonplace throughout the record, they are not overpowering (unlike the last Pathology album) and drown everything out. This is where credit must be given to the production and mixing / mastering of this album by Benjamin Vingmark at Snuffchamber studios. Kraanium certainly have released one of the better slam death metal albums of the year and continue to shock, bludgeon and take everything to the next level of sickness. For fans of Devourment, Skinless and Disentomb.
Slamchosis is out October 26th