Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kraanium - Post Mortal Coital Fixation (2012; Comatose Music)

Slam fans, I think we might have a classic on our hands. Kraanium's newest full length is that good.

It's probably premature to call this a classic just yet, but Post Mortal Coital Fixation is the best album I've heard this year by far. It's a huge step forward for the band and vaults them forward to the top tier of current slam bands.

In the past I've always been fond of Kraanium, if not as big a fan as some. They wrote catchy, compulsively listenable slam with tinges of thrash in their breakdowns. It wasn't the most interesting material, but it got the job done and the band played with a lot of energy and passion. That'll last a band a few albums, but even slam death bands need to evolve (if only slightly) to keep people coming back album after album. That's why so many bands are one and done, or worse, release progressively worse music.

Kraanium avoided that fate here by turning to a more serious and mature (well as mature and serious as this genre gets anyway) approach. Post Mortal Coital Fixation is not as in your face as the past two albums, but that's a good thing. Kraanium attack with an inexorable assault of slow breakdowns, and writhing riffage. The trash stylings remain but are less prominent, in favor of a darker tone to the breakdowns. This reminds me a lot of Infernal Revulsion's Devastate Under Hallucination, which was a classic in its own right. Post Mortal Coital Fixation has a sense of darkness and foreboding, that enhances the crushing nature of the breakdowns.

It is obvious from this album that Kraanium really understand what makes this genre of music so good. Taken as individual parts slam is pretty simple and straightforward and that's fine. But it is incredibly gratifying when a band can take those parts and create something more - a particular feeling. That feeling where you just want to start banging your head. That feeling that only metal fans understand. No particular song or riff stands out above the others, but that's because they all work together to create an incredibly powerful album.

My only worry is that fans who loved Kraanium's previous albums might not be able to get into this one as quickly, due to its higher bar of accessibility. If you are feeling this way I urge you to give it a few more chances. This one is definitely worth it. I fully expect it to be near or at the top of my best of 2012 list.


Anonymous said...

Yep, very good album and you summed it up nicely when you said 'Kraanium really understand what makes this genre of music so good'.

Some of the riffs try to be great by being simple but fail at it. While I can appreciate simple riffs - something Chordotomy does really well, for example, there are a few places on this album that need variation to avoid being too monotonous.

That said, I think it captures the slam feel very well and besides a small few shortcomings, the album stands out as a upper-tier slam album for a variety of good reasons. Catchy stuff, sounds, production, and filth. This is one I keep going back to over and over again and that's always a good sign for me.

Anonymous said...

the production of this one makes me drool everytime

one of my favorites of 2012 so far