The debut LP from Würzburg’s Cranial was an album high on our list of most anticipated heavy releases of 2017. “
/ Bright Lights”
delivered on these high expectations with four huge cuts of intelligent sludge. Dark
Cranial honed their Earth-shattering attack to razor-sharp perfection and expanded the scope of their music to galactic levels of grandeur. All of the hallmarks of post-metal are present; epic ten minute compositions, seismic shifts in dynamics, crushing riffs, however what set Cranial apart from their peers is the venom in their delivery, all of the smooth edges have been filed away to leave only the heaviest and nastiest elements. The band are a relentless riff engine, churning out a constant flow of thick sludge, like Neurosis channelling the almighty crunch of early Mastodon. This is best exemplified by the cataclysmic ending on the track “Dark”. Just when you think the dust has settled on the track, an ominous riff slowly moves into view which, when fully unleashed, feels like it could level all buildings in a ten mile radius, like a Godzilla-sized version of Sumac.
Cranial have taken a genre that now often sounds slick and safe and stripped it back to its raw essence to make it furious and alive once more. This German quartet has well and truly imprinted themselves upon us at The Sludgelord and have firmly establishing themselves as one of our favourite bands and we can only hope they leave the same impression upon you.
Today we invite Bastian, Michael, Julian and Cornelius, better know as Cranial to choose their top 5 albums from post metal and sludge, as take our weekly trip into the extreme, by cranking it to 11. Why do we go to 11, because “It’s one louder, isn’t it?”
Men In Search Of The Perfect Weapon – “S/T” chosen by Cornelius
Heavy, Doom, Sludge, Melody - one of my favourite albums that leaves nothing to be desired concerning sound, songwriting, rhythms and riffs. Published in 2005, the album still shows how it’s done. Sadly they split up not too long afterwards.
Neurosis – “Souls At Zero” chosen by Bastian
It’s not easy to pick one album by Neurosis but I think the one that had the biggest impact on me and how I still see music is “Souls At Zero”. This album marks (in my eyes) the transition between Hardcore/Punk and atmospheric heavy music. Perfect atmosphere, dark melodys and heavy riffs without any savage Metal-Attitude.
YOB – “The Unreal Never Lived” chosen by Michael
I stumbled over YOB's – “The Unreal Never Lived” a decade ago in a local record store. The opener "Quantum mystic" with its mesmerizing and thundering main riff was and is still an instant jawdropper. If you can handle Mike's pissed-off-grandma clean vocals, YOB deliver a unique, earthshaking sound that bulldozes everything in its way und grabs you by your balls. This band is probably the biggest influence on my guitar play.
Hellshock – “Shadows Of the Afterworld” chosen by Julian
This album (released 2005) is very groundbreaking and there is no way to get along without it. No matter how many times I put on the record, everything’s still hard, fast, dark, and above all ... just a masterpiece. Especially the vocals, very cold and straight, but the feeling of gloom never breaks down. A must have for those, who like dark anthems in their purest form.
Eyehategod – “In The Name Of Suffering” chosen by Bastian
I discovered the debut album of Eyehategod when I was 15. I was heavy into Punk and this music was scary and fascinating at the same time for me. So nihilistic and sick, it totally caught my attention.
Cranial’s latest album “
/ Bright Lights” is available here Dark Towers
Band info: facebook