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Before this album I didn't really care about Kraanium. As I was attempting to get into more slam obviously at one point I come across them but it was before this album and their early stuff didn't do much for me. Then a friend showed me "Bursting Rectal Sores" and I was blown away. This is some of the heaviest, catchiest slam out there, and thanks to getting into this album I've been able to appreciate their earlier albums. This album has basically turned Kraanium into one of my favourite bands.
The guitarwork on this album provided by Mats and Vidar is basically non-stop grooving chuggy slams, with barely any riffs. Usually these kind of bands get incredibly boring through being unable to make their slams varied and memorable (looking at you, Abominable Putridity). The slams Kraanium utilize will be stuck in your head when you're listening to it, and have you banging your head when you are. The bass has a presence in the mix, backing up the guitars with a low rumble that compliments them and makes them all that much heavier. The bassist Ian even gets to introduce some of the songs, such as "Coprophagial Asphyxiation", in a manner similar to songs like "Defenestration" by Cryptopsy.
Mitch's drumwork is a mix of double bass, gravity blasts during the faster slams and grooves to fit the crushing wigger slams. The drum production leaves much to be desired, however. They're a bit too clicky and the snare sounds like shit, which is a shame because the production on everything else is so solid. The guitar tone is crunchy and monumentally heavy. Vocalist Martin has expanded his vocal range beyond using mostly pig squeals on the early albums. While the pig squeals are still there they've taken to the backseat to allow the grunts and gurgles to take the spotlight. One song that shows off Martin's full range is "Slurping the Vaginal Pus" in which he shows his pig squeals, surprisingly understandable mid-range growls and his inhuman gutturals.
Overall if you're looking to get into slam death metal this could be a good start. It's not too extreme compared to other bands of the genre such as Epicardiectomy or Cephalotripsy, while still being a very fine example of what slam should be.
Highlights: Bursting Rectal Sores, Stillborn Necrotic Fuck Feast, Slurping the Vaginal Pus, Coprophagial Asphyxation.
Before I begin my review, I would like to tell some back story. Four months ago I was an innocent little boy listening to deathcore thinking "this is the most brutal thing I have ever listened to!" That all changed when I happened upon Kraanium's "Post Mortal Coital Fixation" which introduced me to the world of brutal death metal. The first time heard it I was actually afraid to like it. The shock value of it all was hard for me to handle at first, but there are a number of reasons why this album has become an addiction of mine for the past four months.
The grooviness of this album is probably the main reason why I have continued to listen to this album. As I have delved deeper into the genre of brutal death metal, I have found that grove is an essential component to good slam. Grove is the glue that holds the chaotic bits of a song of this genre together and Kraanium excels at this. They play atypical sporadic riffs, but always return to an initial groove that they usually open their songs with. A great example of this is from "Coprophagial Asphyxiation". This formula is the essence of Kraanium but is especially ubiquitous in "Post Mortal Coital Fixation"
The vocals are also another strong component of this album. Martin Funderud is one of the most talented vocalists I have encountered. Like every vocalist, he has a characteristic style. He sounds quite similar to a garbage disposal, in a good way of course. Unlike a lot of other vocalists, he is able to alter his voice so the often monotonous vocals become interestingly varied. Oddly enough, whether it is due to production value or to Funderud's vocals, there is quite a bit of pronunciation. It's still incomprehensible gutturals, but you can tell that there are lyrics to the song.
While I love this album to death, I do recognize that there are some shortcomings of this album. Firstly, not all songs are created equal. "Baptized in Boiling Sewage" feels very dull, almost as if they needed another song and just scrapped it together. It's lazy and not on par with everything else. Kraanium's cover of Abominable Putridity's "Entrails Full of Vermin" is also quite lackluster. While I think it is better than the original, the song is just plain bad and it certainly doesn't fit the character of the rest of the ablum.
Additionally, the riffs and slams are not particularly creative and the listener may find them quite repetitive at times. While I do think that Kraanium does a fantastic job of playing out good slams to accentuate the groove, it can be dull after they repeat the same slam 3, 4, or 5 times in a song.
Despite some of it's shortcomings, "Post Mortal Coital Fixation" is a fantastic album that would fit well into anyone's collection. The sheer grooviness will have you headbanging for months!
Album Highlights: Bursting Rectal Sores, Coprophagial asphyxiation, Slurping the Vaginal Pus
There has been no shortage of gore obsessed death metal bands floating around, even before Cannibal Corpse put out an album bearing the description as its title. Distinguishing between a genuine museum of brutality and a group of guys banging out simple slam riffs, machine gun beats and gurgled gibberish is a bit of a task, but there is a small group of brutality steeped outfits that actually put together something that is consumable. Granted, it’s a rare occasion when a band in this style does something outright original or awe-inspiring, but there is a reasonable assurance of entertainment for the average slasher flick fanatic who likes his cinema loaded with people immortalized via the fine art of dismemberment.
If Kraanium didn’t publish its lineup with all of the heavily Nordic sounding voices included in it, one would swear that this bunch of perverted slammers came right out of the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. They’ve taken a formula not all that dissimilar from bands like Job For A Cowboy and Waking The Cadaver after they began their transition into a more straight death metal sound. The format is a bit over-simplified at times and a great deal of emphasis is placed on the incomprehensible vocal noises and Cryptopsy-lite drum showboating, but they manage to throw in a few good riffs every now and then to spice things up. But perhaps the biggest boon to the whole of this listening experience is the moderated production where all elements are near equally audible and the piccolo snare isn’t blaring out like an ensemble of old aluminum trash cans.
In a lot of ways, this album could be likened to a hyper-extreme sludge album, containing a rather surprising mix of blast sections and slow, swamp trudging grooves that give off a vibe a sheer neurosis when heard back to back. Some songs like the opener and follow up “Stillborn Necrotic Fuck Feast” put a greater emphasis on the slower elements and with it, a slight element of dread to go along with the perverse grab bag of profane lyrical images. Meanwhile, the shorter and nastier tracks in “Crack Whore Pounding” and “Baptized In Boiling Sewage” spend more time in the chaotic realm and seem to go a bit more quickly than they come. But whether straightforward or moderately intricate, this is music that is experienced more than it is heard, and little more than a slight impression of horror remains once the sonic poundage has ceased.
I’m generally not one for slam-infused death metal, but this is among the better albums I’ve heard in the style. Perhaps part of it lay in my older age and attachment to a more traditional form of death metal where the vocals are still largely intelligible and the songs are more thrash infused and loaded with extravagant guitar solos. Nevertheless, this is an album that much of the current generation should get some enjoyment out of, particularly those who watch the Saw movies solely for the intricately grotesque death scenes.
Norwegian metal has always been more of a country for black metal more than any other genres for me, with the country being the birthplace of the dominant style of the genre as we know it now. Add to that the fact that I know close to nothing about slam, Kraanium‘s new full length album, Post Mortal Coital Fixation is honestly a rather challenging album to listen to and enjoy initially. The band’s hiatus between 2002 and 2006 was not really a big issue for Kraanium, seeing how most of the band’s material were put out post-hiatus anyway.
Little did I expect the ability for a brutal death metal band like Kraanium to really put in such heavy grooves apart from the usual crushing guitar riffs that this subgenre of death metal has been known for, as the band introduces their abrasive form of music right from the beginning with Post Mortal Fixation. With Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast, the band begins their onslaught with fury, as vocalist Martin’s gurgling growls greet the listener, backed by the punishing instrumental section. The crushing, and at the same time rather groovy riffs of guitarists Mats and Vidar are doubled and made heavier and more intense by that low, rumbling presence of bassist Ian, all the more so with the heavy battery of drummer Mitch, all contributing to that suffocating atmosphere that stays throughout the entirety of the album.
The thing that was also rather interesting is how the band manages to play with such speed and intensity, yet at the same time having the song progress at a rather slow and doom-ish tempo, like on Bursting Rectal Sores, often resulting in that impending sense of doom and helplessness that one cannot run from. To further enhance that theme of horror and gore in their album, the band also includes spoken sound samples sparingly, such as those on the intro of Compulsive Mutilation Disorder.
From the views of one who is rather new to slam though, Post Mortal Coital Fixation has been a rather enjoyable album, and to be honest is quite an overwhelming introduction to this genre in general.
I know on multiple occasions I have brought up the fact that slamming brutal death metal can be quite difficult to do well. There are so many factors that can take a well-meaning slam album and turn it into a lifeless and repetitive mess. It is because of that I wanted to take a break from slam for a while since it was all beginning to run together for me. However, that “break” from slam ended almost immediately when I was given “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” by Kraanium. I didn’t even know they had a new album coming out until about a month before its release, and that lack of knowledge surprised me since I was a fan of their previous releases “Ten Acts of Sickening Perversity” and “The Art of Female Sodomy“. It’s needless for me to say that I was quite excited to hear what these Norwegian sociopaths were able to come up with this time around.
It is important for a death metal album to open up with a song that will undoubtedly make sure I know that the band isn’t here to mess around, and Kraanium does exactly that. ’Post Mortal Fixation’ is a short-and-sweet piece that focuses on a real nasty riff that you can’t help but move your body to, which leads into four crushing minutes of ‘Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast’. I used to drive 80,000 pound semi-trucks and still operate construction equipment that can exceed well over 60 tons for a living, and this is far heavier than anything I have ever hauled, dug, or scraped off of this earth.
It is because of this primal need for Kraanium to sound so plodding and barbaric that it gives the entirety of “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” a ton of charm. While each song may rely on the slam factor, the band does a magnificent job of somehow not making it sound tired and worn. The Funderud brothers, Martin (vocals) and Mats (guitars), seem to know exactly what is needed for this type of brutal death metal to be incredibly entertaining. Each riff is specifically crafted to invoke that feeling of being crushed to death while Martin’s guttural vocals are akin to a septic tank bursting, which in this case is a very, very good thing. Mitch Rider’s (Blasphtized) drums do far more than just keep a beat; it drives the music much further than it would be able to on its own. Tracks such as the aforementioned ‘Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast’, ‘Bursting Rectal Sores’, ‘Slurping the Vaginal Pus’, ‘Crack Whore Pounding’, and ‘Sculptures of Perverse Suffering’ are some of the best slam I have heard this year.
The only song that I wasn’t crazy about was their cover of ‘Entrails Full of Vermin’ by Abominable Putridity. The original version is so powerful that it is very hard for any band to try and recreate its magic, and unfortunately I think Kraanium may have fell a bit flat on this one. Plus, this was the last song on “Post Mortal Coital Fixation“, so it is pretty disappointing for them to end such a fantastic album on a low note. This next one is just me being picky, but I know that brutal death metal bands love to go overboard with band, song, and album names. Hell, that’s one of the major appeals to me about the sub-genre. However, the name “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” is just an overblown way of saying “I <3 Necrophilia”. I am all for hamming it up with titles like that, but I think they could have done something better.
In addition to the music being top-notch, it looks like Kraanium also enlisted the help of Lou Martinez (Flesh Throne) and Jason Lambert (Pain Penitentiary) to do guest vocals on ‘Sculptures of Perverse Suffering’ and ‘Slurping the Vaginal Pus’. Both of these men do an excellent job in keeping with the guttural sickness that Kraanium is known for and really bring those tracks to the next level, and they sound great on their respective tracks. In fact, everything on this album sounds incredible, with the exception of the bass. You can hear it a tiny bit, but I wish it were a little more prevalent overall. I know I already spoke of him, but I think Mitch deserves another mention because this is also his first album with the band and is one of the major highlights of “Post Mortal Coital Fixation“.
While slam tends to get justifiably harsh criticism, Kraanium were able to forego just about every single pitfall that plagues the sub-genre. The relentless groove, stellar composition, and overall brutality of “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” is extremely enjoyable and has tons of replay value. I have been headbanging to this album about two times per day for the past three weeks and it has not worn thin on me by one iota. These five men have crafted my favorite slam album this year by far, and if you are a fan of this type of music like I am, then you will not be disappointed by giving them your money.
Originally written for Metal Blast: http://www.metalblast.net/2012/05/kraanium-post-mortal-coital-fixation/
The crunch guitars are the highlight here and make up for the flat sounding drum outputs. One vocalist only spewing out Putrid Pile type throat, really deep which puts this band in the category of brutal death metal. It goes well with the music. The production is solid except for the drums like I said. If they would've been mixed better I would've given Post Mortal Coital Fixation a higher rating. The guitar riffs are the highlight to this entire album.
Chunky toned meaty guitar which features a lot of chord progressions and some faster tremolo-picked rhythms, but overall they're slower paced, thick, and totally original. It's what I like best in a release. Definitely awesome in that respect. This album clocks only a little over 30 minutes in length. It's still good, though. Worth checking out if you're a brutal death metal fan. The guitar will pummel you and the throat totally mixes great with the music.
A memorable release here. Some double bass drum bits featured with faster blast beating depending on what the guitars are doing. Mainly slower tempos and the music is pretty much void of leads which is okay. It's better than mixing them here because it doesn't throw off the rhythm guitars. I liked that part of this album. The music definitely dominates and the vocals are totally brain wrenching. This band is definitely one to put on your list of what to check out.
Overall, a great brutal death metal composition. I wasn't disappointed whatsoever. Each track is worthy of praise. The production was solid, guitars perfectly executed, the vocals hoarse throughout this release and tempos mostly slow and murderous. Again this does remind me of Putrid Pile only better. I'm not big on brutal death metal, but this was an exception. I loved the rhythm guitars and what they had to offer. Total annihilation of heaviness.
If you like brutal death metal, Post Mortal Coital Fixation is where it's at. Trust me, nothing like good solid guitar work alongside brutal vocals. The only beef that I have from this album is again the drum quality to the snare. It's totally flat. But the guitars make up for the poor sound coming from behind the set. Everything was in unison though despite that. Do yourself a favor and check out this album! It is what brutal death metal album that is encompassing!
I have a tendency to associate Norwegian death metal with the more amorphous, dissonant and unusual acts like Obliteration or the cult favorites Molested, but Kraanium are playing with a decidedly US appeal to their slam-oriented misogynistic brutality, and doing a fine job of it. The group's second album, The Art of Female Sodomy flew in one of my ears and back out the other, but I recall getting some enjoyment out of their 2008 debut Ten Acts of Sickening Perversity. Now, in the near past, I seem to have generated some antipathy over the fact that I don't focus in on a lot of releases in this particularly niche, that I specifically dislike this sound, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've listened to and continue to listen to death metal in ALL its incarnations since the damned genre started (hell, before it started). The caveat is that I hold it even its most brutal, masochistic artisans to the same standards I would hold almost anything: the necessity for solid songwriting, engaging rhythmic variation and consistent value. Extremity for extremity's sake is not all that interesting to me if I can't remember it 15 minutes later.
The reason I bring this up is because Post Mortal Coital Fixation brings all three of these things to the table, and it's an enjoyable slugfest that should appeal to fans of slam gods like Dying Fetus or Devourment with ease. The Norwegians build this enormous tone to the guitars which curries a rich, old school depth despite the fact that it's constantly being used as a catalyst for as much moshing as possible, conjoined to loads of squeals and thundering double bass action that strikes just as closely to the gut as the incessant, bouncing grooves of tracks like "Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Fest" and "Baptized in Boiling Sewage". Yet Kraanium definitely has a faster, meaner streak to it which is incorporate among a lot of the slower pit dynamics. A lot of the cuts have blasted sections like "Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication" and "Compulsive Mutilation Disorder", even if they're not immensely accelerated; and they definitely give the drummer free reign to hammer out loads of fills above the more predictable rock grooves. The bowel rupturing bass tone is also to be lauded, so copious that I don't recommend listening on an upset stomach, and though Martin Funderdud's vocals might not stand out as significantly unique for the genre, but they deliver their gruesome deeds with admirable, guttural enunciation. In particular, I dig his sustained notes which sound like some taxed air filter on a stagnant fish tank.
Post Mortal Coital Fixation is not exceptionally unique or creative, and a lot of its appreciation will hinge on just how much the audience still loves their grisly gore and sample-driven carnage. Personally, I found it fun to just sit back and let my conscience lay into the huge, meat fisted grooves that the band uses as a slamming substrate. Could they offer more variation than you find on this disc? Certainly. Are they capable of more atmosphere? I would say so. Hell, just listen to the resonant growl and frightful ambiance set to the female screaming at the intro to "Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication" and just imagine how SICK an album like this would be with more instances of such woven through the perverse pummeling. That said, Kraanium has done a good job in arranging 35 minutes of intestinal revulsion, and to top it all off they include a cover of "Entrails Full of Vermin" from Russian slam butchers Abominable Putridity (from their debut In the End of Human Existence), likely to impress a few fans with a broader appreciation for the style (though I've got no real recollection of the original). Post Mortal Coital Fixation should prove worthwhile for any wannabe necrophiliac, mutilation addict or mosh baron out there, but it's pretty fun for the rest of us too.