We fucked up, guys. Last year, we wrote a post telling you to listen to Cranial and even ended it by saying we look forward to their full length release. Then, that release came and went on January of this year and we were completely and utterly silent. No excuses; we missed it and we suck. Thing is, it’s not only our obligation to our promise that’s dragging me down here. It’s the fact that this album is goddamn immense and every single fan of crushing post metal out there needs to hear this. Dark Towers / Bright Lights is a masterclass in how to write this kind of music and cements Cranial is one of the best proponents of this style currently walking. Let’s remedy our silence and jump right in, shall we?
In case you were looking for time to get your shit together before this album starts to pummel you in the face, let me open by saying no such prelude will be allowed you. “Dark” erupts with a massive riff out of the gate, taking its time to explore it before moving to a more somber and thoughtful bridge. That bridge however only leads to an even more despotic and drawn out version of the opening segments, this time also accompanied by bottomless vocals that somehow both lift the music along with them and bury it into new lows. It all culminates in furious outro which blends all the elements together, adding effects and even more feedback to the guitars.
It’s all uphill from here, as Cranial unfold and then unfold again their blanket of oppressive post metal, skirting the edges of black metal and sludge as they move along. The second half of the last track, “Lights”, deserves special attention as it weaves a more contained and bass-heavy approach to its progressive outbursts together with the vocals to create some of the best moments on the album. Overall, again, we fucked up by not paying attention to this band. Rest assured we won’t make that mistake again and neither should you; Cranial are a name to follow.