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Certainly better than most modern slam albums - 84%

MutantClannfear, July 1st, 2013

Craniotomy are a Slovakian brutal death metal band who have been around long enough to have apparently released four - count 'em - full-lengths. The reason, then, why they seem to have avoided all recognition in the brutal death metal scene completely eludes me. I'll admit, I hadn't even heard of them until earlier this year sometime after Supply of Flesh Came Just in Time was released, and I only heard of it because I was looking through lists of the brutal death metal albums released in 2013. Maybe I've just been looking in the wrong places all this time, but it seems to me like Craniotomy are a very low-profile band. If this album is any indication, that's an absolute shame: not only is this album good, but it's probably one of only a few modern slam death metal albums I could actually say I wholeheartedly enjoy.

Supply of Flesh Came Just in Time isn't anything new or particularly interesting, it's just extremely well-executed. Craniotomy play the usual formula of slam death metal with deathcore elements, but they avoid the shitty stereotypical elements of similar bands like the plague and the quality of the music demonstrates that they did a good job with that. Craniotomy are better than most bands at writing slams, in no small part due to their gargantuan deathcore-like guitar tone which sounds something like a pissed-off elephant whenever the band pull off a slam. It's dense, it's got a lot more blunt impact than a lot of BDM bands can manage, and most importantly, it is heavy as balls. This is a good example of a BDM band using the stupid "modern" clear and well-produced guitar tone to their advantage, rather than just taking it on because everyone else is doing it and trying to adapt the music to it. Craniotomy's music certainly isn't as malevolent as a lot of older brutal death metal bands', but if the new goal of slam death metal is to be heavy and catchy, then Craniotomy do it well.

The neanderthal-like, triplet-based slams are mixed in with various other bits of polish, like dissonant Wormed-like guitar harmonies and waves of eerie chords and partially technical groove riffs like the sort that Dying Fetus are wont to use. When you get right down to it, though, Craniotomy focus on groove first and foremost, with every element of the music designed to contribute to it. The band are more eager than most slam bands to use outright blast beats, but instead of mixing them with dumb tech-death riffs they usually just pile them right on top of the slams, giving them a powerful, propulsive, deathcore-ish vibe. It works a lot better than just using aimless noodly riffs and hoping something sticks to the listener, that's for sure. Like most brutal death metal albums, the vocals are probably the weakest aspect of Supply of Flesh Came Just in Time; they're rather quiet, croaky Torsofuck gutturals that sound like a lot of the flesh of their performance is lost under the guitar tone, giving them this irritating "vibrating" quality that just doesn't suit the music well at all. Craniotomy's music sounds best-suited for a more actively involved, less overwhelmingly guttural, and more versatile vocalist, not a single-minded wave of purrs that mostly end up smothered by the other instruments.

But yeah, all-in-all this is definitely on the better side of things as far as polished, modern slam goes. The guitar tone is brilliant enough to compensate for the lack of ingenuity in the actual compositions, and aside from that the added musical elements keep the music interesting from beginning to end. Perhaps these guys started as one of those god-tier brutal death metal bands like Vulvectomy and then eventually devolved into the sort of super-modern stuff you see here, but while we're rolling with the Vulvectomy comparison, this is noticeably better than Abusing Dismembered Beauties was. Overall, a worthwhile album.