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Probably the most moshable album ever made - 83%

GuardAwakening, June 8th, 2013

Now this is a really interesting new heavy band straight out of Germany. Acranius originally began as your standard slam band with a few breakdowns here and there on their first EP titled The Echo of Her Cracking Chest before proceeding on with their full-length album When Mutation Becomes Homicidal and I swear, I always misread the title of this album every time I see it as "When Mutilation Becomes Homicidal" which almost comes as no surprise to me given how heavy and edgy the music is on here. Basically and musically, I guess you could call them a "deathcore band" in some senses, but it's the fact that they have completely different stylistic origins as your usual everyday deathcore band is what makes me feel that they should be partially divided away from that categorization.

Nearly all of deathcore bands are made up of two metal genres together; metalcore and death metal which is almost always the two ingredients that make up deathcore. But Acranius on the other hand do things their own way and combine beatdown slam death into the mini subscene known as 'beatdown' hardcore. A few amount of deathcore bands as well that trade in their metalcore influences for hardcore ones such as The Last Ten Seconds of Life and Genocide District are labeled as "beatdown deathcore" to distinguish them from the sound that usual deathcore bands such as Carnifex, King Conquer, Salt the Wound, Thy Art Is Murder, Veil of Maya and Whitechapel (ect.) usually bear. Acranius most definitely fit into this whole 'beatdown' deathcore movement, but not only that, they add slams to their music which makes them even more innovative from the entire sound of this scene. Something I would definitely refer to as "beatdown slam" if I had to make up a new genre.

With Acranius and their new sound bearing to the likes of this "beatdown slam" sound that I just explained, it's no surprise that the hardcore vibe does often appear in their music. Tight-as hell snare drum tuning, those long sustained groaning guitar licks, gang shout vocals and breakdowns are here but are combined with brutal slams, gutwrenching gurgling guttural growled vocals and pounding blast beats. Not only did the band re-record a whole bunch of songs from their original The Echo of Her Cracking Chest EP onto this album, but it also sounds like they injected a fair amount of hardcore influence on the way somehow into a way that just works. I'm not so much of a punk nut myself, but the hardcore punk hybrid into slam death just sounds great to be great. Acranius are an overall extreme metal band, but it's the crossover genes into their original brand of slam which makes the music sound so kick-ass which makes them not your average slam or deathcore band. Even after explaining this, it makes the title of the album seem to make a lot more sense being that they really did pull off an absolutely GENIUS mutation that ended up becoming "homicidal: in the means of the music being brutally badass. You can say it may just be me overthinking it, but I say maybe the guys in the band did a little deep thoughts before putting out a 13-track innovation such as this and aren't just some meatheads as many people think dudes in the -core scene are made out to be.

When Mutation Becomes Homicidal is definitely a record that I think draws a huge marking into being one of the most creative albums in heavy music of this year. This year is already half over and while this album was just released last month, it's already safe to say that not many contenders in the scene of extreme music can contemplate on competition that a band like Acranius have done so well. This record definitely is not perfect, but it's the fact that it's entertaining, unique and doesn't rely on 17 breakdowns per song is which saves it from being a mediocre The Last Ten Seconds of Life clone. If you're reading this review right now and have not yet even listened to this band but was impressed or interested by what I said about as of far, I would recommend throwing on the music video to their song "Life Sustainment to Continue Mutilation" from this album right when you're finished reading my final lines. It can be found on YouTube and you can thank me later.

Recommended for fans of: The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Genocide District, Black Tongue, Cephalotripsy, Cerebral Incubation or if you're a guy that just isn't afraid to add some beatdown to his slam.