The Kraanialepsy split brings together two of the biggest heavyweights in the EU slam scene, conspiring to deliver absolute brutality to the masses. Portugal’s Analepsy are rather up and coming within the scene, the staggeringly brutal Dehumanization by Supremacy from 2015 being one of the best slam EPs of recent years, and their half of this split comes on the back of the powerful Atrocities from Beyond released at the beginning of the year. Kraanium have a longer history, having been around since 2001, and releasing the best of their four albums to date in 2015 with Chronicles of Perversion. Sadly vocalist Martin Funderud committed suicide in April, so The Kraanialepsy Split is the last release we will hear him on. Both bands contribute their own fantastic take on slam on this split and it serves as a great tribute.
The first side is classic Kraanium, a filthy production, downtuned guitars, gurgly gutturals and of course nasty slams make up their six tracks here. With murderous and perverted samples on most of the songs the depraved lyrics are delivered with filthy gurgling guttural emanations from Martin Funderud, and he sounds brutal and deranged throughout, with some higher pitched nasally shrieks among the carnage of the lower register. The guitars are always rhythm based with few leads, moving between the filthy groove of headbangable slams and faster chug based churning riffs. The bassy drops before the slams just add to their effect like a bomb going off, and the chunky basslines throughout complement the slam parts fantastically. The best track of their side is Double Barrel Penetration which has everything that’s great about Kraanium, in a more varied track with some higher pitched menacing riffs, monstrous chuggy slams and the best drums on their part of the album, with shredding blastbeats, and inventive fills. The only shame is that it’s the shortest of their tracks barring the intro and it feels it ends too soon. Kraanium’s side of the split is brutal and filthy, like wading through a sewer waist deep in excrement and body parts. Perhaps the main downside is there’s not as much variety as Chronicles of Perversion, but admittedly one doesn’t come to Kraanium for anything more than the classic combo of brutality, slams, blastbeats and gutturals, and they do this to great effect, working well over half an album’s length, and less is certainly more.
Not to be shown up by the veterans, Analepsy blow their Atrocities from Beyond album from January out of the water, with their over the top frantic brutal slamming death metal, going for all out freneticism over the filthy sewer trudging atmosphere of Kraanium. They’re insanely fast over the whole album, even the slam parts rarely slow down to anything slower than mid-paced headbang inducing grooves, and in the fast parts the blastbeats/churning riffs are so frenetic with their fast tremolo riffs, and (first track aside) they make a lot of use of the fretboard without going down a too over the top technical approach. The production is decidedly more modern in sound, amplifying the crazed approach of the music. More sick gurgly vocals are the order of the day once again to inject some guttural filth into the proceedings, with Martin Funderud himself appearing on the first track New Inception of Inhuman Cryotechnologies, It’s hard to pick a favourite track, each is really short but so brilliant each are equally worthy on a frenetic display of modern brutal slamming death metal.
Kraanium are the purveyors of filthy brutal slam, Analepsy showing the way forward in the fast and frenetic side of the genre without quite descending into the crazed technical approach side of Malignancy and Wormed, staying within the region of groove laden slams and guttural brutality. Definitely one for all fans of brutal slamming death metal, and as sad as it is that Martin Funderud has passed on, this has his last release as a high note with the sickest of gurgly, guttural vocals.