Hailing from Würzburg, Germany, Cranial is gearing up to release Alternate Endings on September 27th 2019. This sophomore effort will be put out by Moments of Collapse and Sludgelord Records.
Michael Melchers (ex-Omega Massif guitarist) founded the sludge/post-metal group in 2014 with Julian Weidhaus (bass, vocals), Cornelius Merlin (drums) and Sebastian Kröckel (guitar). They quickly worked on the first tracks and recorded them in the Blank Disc Studio with Tobias Anderko (Black Smoker, Omega Massif). The songs were mixed and mastered at the Tonmeisterei in Oldenburg (Nightslug, Alpinist, Men In Search Of The Perfect Weapon). That material was released in late 2015 in the form of the lavishly designed Dead Ends EP on Moment Of Collapse Records.
International praise and festival performances followed, and the band released their first full length, Dark Towers / Bright Lights, in early 2017.
We loved it and you can read our review here.
Now it’s time to re-enter the world that Cranial inhabit. A world that is often impossibly enlightening, incredibly memorable and deliciously heavy.
All of that and more is present in the tome of an opener that is Faint Voice. Deep sludge beats, faster-tempo post guitar rhythm and deep guttural roars are just a part of the journey this track takes us on. Like wind over desert sand, the landscape shifts time after time until it’s unrecognisable and disorientation is all that the mind feels.
Getting lost in it is a given, what isn’t though is just how much enjoyment can be taken from it. Simply put, Cranial are able to take the listener on a trip that beggars belief and it’s not just on the opening track but the album as a whole.
It might only be four tracks long but each one is an epic of a listen with a flabbergasting level of detail.
Unceasing Lack combines a brooding depth within the percussion and vile sounding roars tucked away in the background with haunting melodies and depressive soundscapes. Burning Bridges, the shortest of the four at only 8:33, challenges by switching and changing the tempo at regular intervals all while layering this filthy reverb on the guitars.
Finally we get Holistic Figure, a track that begins in the post-sound area while it builds towards a deeper and more charged metal effort. Unleashing some of the heaviest riffs and vocals heard on the album so far. All before its even 6 minutes into its near 16 minute length.
Of course it continues to transform as only Cranial can make it and by time the final few crushing minutes are reached, few won’t be absolutely spent.
Cranial – Alternate Endings Full Track Listing:
1. Faint Voice
2. Unceasing Lack
3. Burning Bridges
4. Holistic Figure
Cranial - Alternate Endings (Moment of Collapse/Sludgelord Records)