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Acranius - Reign of Terror Award winner

Acranius
Reign of Terror
by Andrej Romić (Nekrst Fanzine) at 05 July 2017, 3:07 PM

The German Slamming, Brutal Death Metal  heavy artillery ACRANIUS are finally back with something new for the international Slam fans and the scene itself. Active since 2009, the band rose from the underground as fast as the genre itself was getting more and more fans, releasing their debut EP in 2011 calling it “The Echo of Her Cracking Chest” with 6 nasty songs, a gory artwork, and showcasing the very first collaboration with Rising Nemesis Records. The first full-length was the icebreaker here, for most people and me too, and they have named it “When Mutation Becomes Homicidal”, releasing it on May 9th, 2013, through the same label previously mentioned. I’ll highlight their single from the same year, “Expulsed to the Worthless”.  This album wasn’t just a simple breakthrough in the scene, but an album showcasing incredible, massive talent of the genre, dominating guitars, generally a gory, nasty, and sick atmosphere, brutal vocals, artworks, mostly varying between Brutal Death Metal and just a bit of Hardcore.

One year later, on December 11th, 2014, “Dishonor” was released, with my favorite artwork to date, but it didn’t top their last one, which is of course only my opinion. Now, three years later, taking a bit of more time to write things, they are back with “Reign of Terror”, originally released through the same label, on January 27th, 2017, and it contains ten songs. Let’s break down how the songs sound, and what has the band prepared for their next assault. With a classic artwork, this album starts off with “Born a King”, which is kind of a short, 2:11 minute track, with a short intro at the start. It goes on with really dark riffs, and even darker Brutal Death Metal oriented vocals. The atmosphere is really crunchy, massive, dark, just like every other instrument and the classic Slam riff keeps going on in the entire song, whilst the vocals remain half-dominant, but still very promising. “Kingmaker” is the next assault – and it starts off a bit faster, focusing more on a rawer drum sound, and a lot of licks, both in the bass and normal guitar category, making this song really sick – giving it a nice touch of brutal vocals, and somewhat an interesting musical landscape. I never doubted the things this band is capable of.

Return to Violence” is another massive, slower-oriented track, this time putting all focus on the vocalization, of course, you can’t not move your head and body to these songs, because they are super sick. “Outlaw” is a track focused a bit more on the guitar performances, still remaining loyal to the original sound the album started off with. The label might not be known, but it’s enough that people who enjoy this type of music actually support it, and how couldn’t you…can’t you see how massive releases they are shooting at the fans? “Built on Tradition” is a track with original riffs, more focused on speed rather than catchiness, and if this means something, it’s the third longest song on the album with 3:22 minutes. The overall atmosphere hasn’t changed much, but it’s really heavy, and the best way to describe it would be a deadly, armored tank, massively coming toward you to crush you to death. “The True Reign” is more off a dissonant, slower, less rushed song, the atmosphere slowly but surely builds up to a point where it just simply gets unleashed, tearing the entire place to pieces, with the incredibly sick vocal, guitar, drum, and of course, bass performances.

Warpath” so far is the seventh out of the ten in total, and although the album is only 31:31 minutes long (I got to appreciate the numerology here), it’s still an album you will want more from. “Battle Scars” is a heavy, fast, and relentless song. If I’d have to pick a favorite, it would be this one. Not only because it’s fast, but because of the main reason, giving you serious goose bumps. It’s a shocking, energetic, and sometimes slow song – a perfect example what makes this genre so great in its own way. Penultimate track here – “The Executioner”, and the band hasn’t slowed down not even for a minute throughout the entire album, and they totally do their jobs finely throughout the short period of time that is the album’s actual length. “Died a Liar” is probably a continuation of the first track, not only in name, but in music too. It gives you that first impression, that warming up, pumping energy which was carefully packed in the first song – leading us to the conclusion that except for a few slow-downs, the band totally had no intention to stop with the incredibly heavy songs – what I must highlight and admire. If you’re a fan of INGESTED, VULVODYNIA or perhaps WAKING THE CADAVER – you know what to do!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Born a King
2.Kingmaker
3.Return to Violence
4.Outlaw
5.Built on Tradition
6.The True Reign
7.Warpath
8.Battle Scars
9.The Executioner
10.Died a Liar
Lineup:
Lars Torlopp - Bass
Björn Frommberger - Guitars
Rob Hermann Arndt - Drums
Kevin Petersen - Vocals
Record Label: Rising Nemesis Records
     


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