originally written by Chris McDonald
“Sometimes, people that are mentally challenged, and have a history of sexual abuse… mutilate their own sexual organs.”
I don’t get the opportunity to write about slam-heavy brutal death metal that often, and maybe that’s for the best. It’s a style that I enjoy in ways that probably aren’t that well suited to being consistently analyzed and written about, but every now and again it can be interesting for me to approach music that I typically experience with the perspective of a brainless headbanger with the perspective of a reviewer.
Kraanium hails from Norway, of all places — not a country that’s typically known for producing an abundance of brutal death metal. Beyond that, there’s very little that’s distinctive or unusual about this band or this album — it’s the same breed of slam-blast-repeat brutal death that Devourment popularized in the late 90’s, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything more. It’s brainlessly brutal music that seems tailor-made for blasting in your car while sneering at the other innocent motorists passing by, and it lives up to this purpose quite admirably. Songs are generally very binary in their composition; the blasting segments are mostly just there to fill in the spaces between the breakdowns, which are obviously the heart and soul of this music. There’s incredibly slow breakdowns, mid-paced breakdowns, faster breakdowns, and choppy, weird-time breakdowns. It’s dumb, but it’s dumb in a satisfying way.
With that said, I’m actually somewhat impressed with the variety of ways in which Kraanium is able to expand their limited craft over the course of eleven songs. Many of the slams have an interestingly off-kilter and technical structuring, which extends over to the blasting segments as well, which occasionally delve into tremolo-driven melodies more reminiscent of traditional death metal. Sure, most of the riffs are very derivative of each other, but I didn’t find myself caring that much. This was also partly due to the high quality production job, which delivers the drums with an incredibly satisfying snap and the guitars with a crunchy clarity. I’ve never understood why some people seem to think that weak guitars and overly-pingy snare drums are a prerequisite for making good brutal death; albums like this prove what a boon good production can be to this style of music.
Of course, this album runs into the same problems that typically plague this kind of death metal. The repetition means the visceral thrill of listening is reduced by the album’s second half, the occasional attempts at gravity blasts are annoying and unnecessary, and the extreme prominence of the gurgled vocals can get a little tiresome. It’s definitely an album best suited to listening in short bursts at high volumes, but that’s OK with me, because Post Mortal Coital Fixation is a satisfying and surprisingly well-crafted slam outing. It may operate in one mode for its duration, but it executes in this mode well enough for me to have a good time with it.