Kraanium - Chronicles of Perversion - (7.5/10)
Published on August 18, 2015
Women and children first.
President of the modest Norwegian fraternity of brutal death metal slammers, Oslo-based quintet Kraanium have returned with Chronicles of Perversion, the band’s fourth full-length album and a record that succeeds—but not exactly exceeds—2012’s Post Mortal Coital Fixation in the infectiously dumb groove department.
Littered with the standard fare of misogynistic horror samples and brimming with blue-collar riffs torn from the entrails of classic American outfits like Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation, Chronicles follows the band’s hearty template of thuggish slamming brutality with punishing if not anticipated results. Kraanium mix things up nicely here, coughing up remorseless beatdowns, street-trash slams, and bulldozer riffing with exacting knowhow. The level changes are consistent, and tracks like “Sodomize Her Headless Corpse” are fittingly rough and pummeling, Martin Funderud’s gurgling belches layering the music like a fine tuxedo of aural diarrhea. The addition of a new bassist and guitarist—Brad Wroe and Jason Varlamos—works seamlessly, with the duo’s bolstered weight adding the extra muscle Kraanium’s been known to violently flex.
Despite Kraanium’s bouncy, groovy penchant for urbanized slams and breakdowns, all of the swagger is molested with a sleazy, omni-malevolent vibe that makes Chronicles entirely more offensive than slam acts peddling brutality set against sci-fi and irreligious backdrops. Oddly enough, this ratcheted hostility lends a certain degree of maturity to the record that allows it to easily differentiate itself from its gnarled, heavier predecessors. Of course, labeling a ‘heavier’ Kraanium record is a lesson in futility, but it’s hard to dismiss the sewer-tunnel fog of bass that chokes 10 Acts of Sickening Perversity.
As a new Kraanium record, Chronicles of Perversion looms as perhaps the band’s most well-adjusted output; as a slam album, it could be a bit more outlandish. The result is definitively heavy, relatively repetitive, and entirely barbaric—in other words – exactly what you were hoping for.