Thursday, 15 August 2013

Kraanium - Post Mortal Coital Fixation


One sub-genre that has been missing from my blog of late is good old, proper slamming death metal. That changes to day though, with another dive into the vault known as my inbox. Today's gory subject is Norwegian death metal band Kraanium. Featuring band members who are or have been in a huge list of extreme metal bands from their homeland, this twelve-track ode to medical journals was released in May 2012 via Comatose Music. Kraanium have a new record coming out late this year, so it seems like a good time to get up close and personal with Post Mortal Coital Fixation. Hey, they even throw an Abominable Putridity cover in for good measure!

Tracklist:-

1. Post Mortal Fixation
2. Stillborn Necrotic Fuck Feast
3. Bursting Rectal Sores
4. Compulsive Mutilation Disorder
5. Slurping the Vaginal Pus
6. Crack Whore Pounding
7. Coprophagial Asphyxiation
8. Slammed Kranial Remains
9. Sculptures of Perverse Suffering
10. Baptized in Boiling Sewage
11. Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication
12. Entrails Full of Vermin (Abominable Putridity cover)

This brand of death metal seems pretty under-appreciated to me. There are lots of bands doing it but they seem to nestle just behind the more melodic death metal bands for some reason. After the intro chug of Post Mortal Fixation, things take a gory turn with Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast. You know the score, kick drums, a tom that permeates the recording and those characteristic pig squeals. This isn't your cookie-cutter deathcore though; this is fairly technical and brutal, even if the guitars and vocals are swallowed up beneath that tom to an extent!

Bursting Rectal Sores sounds as nasty as the ailment it describes. It's here that you start to sense more interplay between the guitars and the double bass. There's also more pinch harmonics going on within the riffs. I definitely think that Kraanium are best heard up close and personal in a live setting. I felt the urge to listen to more slam death after going to this year's 'Kin Hell Fest and then watching a band from Leeds, called Tintagel a few weeks later. Kraanium definitely fill that craving and as Compulsive Mutilation Disorder fills the airwaves, it's hard to ignore why people loose their shit to this.

Kraanium as a band have been releasing their brand of gore-death since 2002, so with this record coming tens years after their first demo, they've has plenty of time to hone their sound and ensure that it all sound utterly filthy. I mean, you can't really go wrong with a song called Slurping The Vaginal Pus now can you! Another thing I like about death metal is that the majority of the bands filling the genre choose not to mess about. They're too the point and just blast. Live, they do the same and don't bore crowds with small talk. I can imagine Kraanium live shows are intense and full of chaotic. In terms of progression and variation, you won’t really find it nestling here though, so if you like your prog-death head elsewhere. The slower closing section of Crack Whore Pounding does highlight Kraanium's ability to groove though, which comes across really well.

Also, unlike bands like Nile and other American stalwarts, Kraanium don't solo and prefer to take the Cannibal Corpse approach. Those short song lengths stop the album from becoming an endurance test and keep you interested. The speed seems to ratchet up during Coprophagial Asphyxiation in places, as does the awesome technical lead guitar. The samples in between are horror film or post mortem soundbites, as you'd quite rightly suspect.  That grimness and intensity plunges through during the second half of the record, making the like of Slammed Kranial Remains and Sculptures of Perverse Suffering all the more torturous. When the latter settles down into another groove and the guitars thicken up, once their allowed room, it just sounds immense, which makes you wonder why the volume of the recording wasn't turned up a few notches at the productions stage. I'm no expert on production though; I just say what I hear. It still sounds no less punishing at high volume.

All in all, Post Mortal Coital Fixation seems to fly by. Baptized in Boiling Sewage is the briefest song on the record, apart from the intro and Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication is ferocious, but those growls really make it all worth it. That Abominable Putridity cover that closes the record is masterful. Kraanium keep the essence of the song intact. The guitars seem thicker though and with the introspective sections that break up the verses, they sound even more brutal. It's an epic way to end the album. Some people may baulk at the fact that Kraanium stick to their chosen blueprint, but if you're a devout death-metal listener, you'll no doubt already be into this. In my view, there can't be enough slamming death bands in the metal ranks and it's definitely a sub-genre that deserves more representation. Kraanium are killer and I can't wait to hear their new record later this year!

Post Mortal Coital Fixation is streaming in it's entirety, with a beefed up sound on Youtube. Check it out below:-


You can buy the record on CD from Comatose Music at http://www.comatosemusic.com/store.

Kraanium Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kraaniumslam
Comatose Music Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Comatosemusiclabel

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