Review – Kraanium: Post Mortal Coital Fixation

By -
  • Bio: "5 different dudes coming together with one common goal: To make some brutal shit!!" - ReverbNstion
  • Label: Comatose Music
  • Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
  • Genre: Brutal Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Oslo, Norway plays host to the Brutal Death Metal formation known as Kraanium. The group formed back in 2001, but had disbanded back in 2002 until reactivated in 2006. Aside their initial three demo recordings, there have only been two full-length releases, as well as a split with Epicardiectomy and Dormant Carnivore up to this point. All of these dropped after the point of reunion, and each one released under the underground label Pathologically Explicit Recordings. But, it’s now 2012, and one of Norway’s best kept secrets find themselves on Comatose Music to issue a slightly overdue new effort titled Post Mortal Coital Fixation. But, how does it stack up?

Well, for the most part, the album becomes a bit of a mixed bag of styles. It’s obvious from the start that Kraanium is going for a more traditional concept of nineties Brutal Death Metal, but at the same time incorporating plenty of Slam moments throughout. The recording quality ends up a little on the digital side, but not to the point where it becomes questionable as to whether it was a studio project, or all done at home on a laptop. The main goal seems to really push the bass to the forefront, which is done quite well, allowing a deep pulsing to easily be felt, driving the crushing material more than the lower distortions of the guitars and the often slower performances with varied bridges or random passages that find faster pace at work. The drums sound as good as they are going to though, but this isn’t always for the best. The cymbals are captured well but often sound really distant, unlike the snares that sound more like hitting pots and pans thanks to the louder metallic sound they have. The bass kicks simply sound uninspiring, though still have a decent click to them. Of course, the vocals are your traditional mesh of deeper gutturals that border on pig squeals, but are still impossible to interpret without the lyrics.

While the production itself really isn’t too bad, it can start to show some problems the slower it gets, such as during the many Slam oriented moments and breakdowns. There’s no real energy captured that you can feel or find yourself feeding off of to make you want to throw-down in a makeshift mosh pit, but the faster material does help wake you up a bit from the bass-driven monotony of the many groove filled prassages and the passive atmosphere they offer. The snares can clash horribly with the deeper riffs, and sometimes you can even pick up on them not quite being on the same pace. Unfortunately, those trudging passages, as well as the breakdowns, make up much of the release, never offering up a great range of diversity between them. “Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast” will find similar bass heavy groove foundations to later tracks like “Coprophagial Asphyxiation” and “Baptized in Boiling Sewage” among others.

With that said, Post Mortal Coital Fixation still boasts some great songs. “Compulsive Mutilation Disorder” features some of the heaviest material to be found on the recording. It isn’t largely slower slam-worthy passages with simpler groove filled breakdowns like others, though these do appear towards the end in a suiting manner to close things out. For the most part, the riffs hit hard and rather fast, utilizing some more complex elements than the simpler chugs that “Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast” and “Slurping the Vaginal Pus” can offer. “Slammed Kranial Remains” also has a bit of a quicker pace to it, but with it comes some largely Brutal Death Metal oriented riffs that simply sound heavy through much of it’s lifespan. The pots and pans snares here are a lot tighter too, unlike the many other times where the rapid fire pace can go off time with the kicks and general rhythm of the bass guitar. Instead, these show a little restraint as to not abuse them in the main verses. “Crack Whore Pounding” finds a similar mid-tempo performance, but carries with it a far more crushing tone. There’s also a mildly amusic necrophiliac joke in the form of an audio sample that kicks the track off. This is yet another groove-heavy offering, but the additional hint of adrenaline really helps to separate it from the others and makes it as memorable as “Compulsive Mutilation Disorder.”

KraaniumOverall, if you’re a fan of Brutal Death Metal in any way, as well as of the Slam approach to the style, Kraanium is well worth a shot. The slower sections can fall short over some time, but overall they still work well enough with the main verses to keep the listener occupied. While not necessarily a safe album, or anything dramatically new or fresh, Post Mortal Coital Fixation has its ups and downs that will speak to a large audience of listeners, though causing many to find widely different reasons and tracks to come back to compared to others, offering each listener a different overall experience. If crushing Death Metal of any kind is your thing, then this Kraanium album is well worth checking out, though sampling it first is definitely recommended.