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Dividing the sum to appreciate the parts. - 65%

hells_unicorn, September 9th, 2012

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.