Coming right out of Norway, I'm pretty sure this band surprised a ton of people way back when; especially considering their preference for slamming brutal death aesthetic as opposed to the usual black metal antics. Kraanium is a five-piece outfit formed in Oslo sometime in the early 2000s. Over time, the band has come to release several brutal albums under their belt and has also grown to feature musicians from outside Norway as well. And, up until 2017, Kraanium was led by the vocal talents of Martin Funderud, who unfortunately passed away that same year. Following this untimely event, the band continued with a new vocalist from Denmark and are now back with their latest full length release.
Slamchosis serves as the group's fifth album and the first with a new frontman. The new effort was just recently released through the Comatose Music label on multiple formats and includes nearly 40 minutes of slams and brutal death madness broken up into ten songs. Slamchosis was also mixed/mastered by Benjamin Wingmark (most notably of Diphenylchloroarsine) over at Snuffchamber Studios. The artwork and logo were also done in collaboration with Jon Zig, who's previously worked with Disgorge, and Christian Wulf Designs.
With all that's happened in the past, including the lineup change as well as the rather tame album cover and generic "br00tal" album title, I've been rather iffy about checking this one out. However, upon listening to the opening track, my opinion soon began to shift for the good as all the destructive chromatics, loud gutturals and insane blast beats come in. Sure it may not sound too different from the rest at the end of the day, but the content here still emulates all of the qualities that make Kraanium enjoyable for any slamhead. The guitars on Slamchosis overall come off as a bit more versatile as opposed to previous releases. They're still in there...but, at the same time, they're utilized more sparingly and modestly. Not to say that this is a more experimental venture; however, I felt a tad more variety whilst listening to this album. On another note, the bass drops throughout the album really gave me a Parasitic Ejaculation/Extermination Dismemberment type of vibe.
I'm glad that the band opted for minimal usage of the audio samples on Slamchosis, which is usually a pet peeve of mine when it comes to this type of music. The low-fi kind of production quality also gives oldschool feels at times, especially when it comes to tracks such as 'Gratification Through Annihilation' as well as 'Slamchosis' itself, which are arguably my faves. The spoken vocals in the song's intro give off an epic type of tone, as well as the structure and short length that ultimately build up and serve as an intermission to the album's second half. I will also state that the later songs have more of a slammy oldschool Kraanium sound, especially given the massive slowdowns and squealing vocals here and there. In addition, I'm pretty sure one of the songs is a cover of an older Kraanium track, which I don't mind either. 'Slam Her Guts Out' is another good one merely for its ridiculous outro alone.
To conclude, Slamchosis is about as assortedly disgusting, fast paced, fleshed out and brutally slammy as the modern genre is able to get. It's neither too similar nor too different from either its predecessors or other slam releases you may find out there. Sure it's not very surprising, but it has just the right amount of edginess and aggression to give you brutal death fanatics out there a fairly good listening experience...and about forty minutes worth of over-the-top, incoherent, and disturbing excitement.
Fave Tracks: 'Blob of Inhuman Metamorphic Transfusion', 'Gratification Through Annihilation', 'Slam Her Guts Out'
For Fans Of: Devour The Unborn, Epicardiectomy, Parasitic Ejaculation
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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