Arguably one of the least represented genres here at Heavy Blog, brutal death metal is shlocky at best and ultra-gimmicky at worst. There is a very limited array of tools for these bands to use and if said band isn’t actually proficient with them, it’s always pretty obvious. Kraanium have continuously been held in high regard within the brutal death/slam community and the passing of their vocalist Martin Funderud last year dealt a big blow across the wider world of this sub-bass heavy genre of extreme metal. The band’s fifth full-length, Slamchosis, grips the slam hammer with both hands and bludgeons violently. But it doesn’t do much more.
No one is coming into this record looking for anything other than brutal vocals, brutal blasts of piccolo-tight snare, and maybe four brutal riffs between the record’s ten tracks. Also, brutal soundbites. Slamchosis has all of these elements. That will not be disputed. The beating doled out on the romantic number “Slam Her Guts Out” should turn a club show into a viral-video worthy pit of windmilling arms, and the subsequent tornado of snapback hats flying into the air. So to will the in-depth examination of the human form “Forced Rectal Exhumation,” in all of its Mindhunter sampling glory.
In accordance with the genre’s prolific and blatant disregard for “PC culture” – whatever that really means anymore – all the tracks are titled in a manner that will ensure your search history is being monitored somewhere. The FBI meme man won’t know whether to report you or whether or not he should send a message asking if you’re okay. “Midget Fucker” seems the most problematic, and I don’t recommend searching for it anywhere other than your media player of choice, lest you want some old school, Limewire era porn viruses to inseminate your device.
There’s not much to review on this record, to be honest, but there is a time and place for low-brow gross comedy accompanied by chunky riffs and the same triplet drum fill every other time. Slamchosis could definitely be used in a game of brutal death bingo, with the first to cross off all the options (sub-bass drop is obviously the free space in the middle) the lucky recipient of a collapsed eardrum and death belched vocal breath mints. If there are any huge positives to take away from this experience, the record should introduce a few more people to the stellar Mindhunter show from David Fincher. Exceptionally cast, directed, and scored, the show makes perfect sense to feature on this record, given the diabolical nature of the antagonist’s violent crimes. There are no sub-bass drops on Mindhunter.
Slamchosis isn’t disappointing by any means. The bar for this type of metal is pretty low, after all. Kraanium have succeeded in commemorating their fallen comrade with a ludicrously heavy record, albeit one that fails to divert from the beaten path whatsoever. The outrageous track titles and bullish riffs are good for short listens but for anyone looking at this record from outwith the closed world of slam, it’s going to sound monotonous/awful. It’s hard to really criticise a band like Kraanium for failing to leave the bottom five frets, but outside of a few choice moments of riffing, the tracks on this record might as well be interchangeable. Overall, a textbook brutal death metal record, stuffed full of bass drops and gravity blasts, but nowhere near the upper echelon of death metal releases someone could listen to in 2018. Even just the second half of 2018.