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Craneium - The Narrow Line

The Narrow Line
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 January 2019, 6:04 AM

A good advisement for the bands is: if there is a law or model on your music genre, just break it. Yes, smash it to ashes, ignore it and do things on your way. This is how the fans separate those bands that have a reason to exist and deserve to be listened, or those that deserve to be thrown into a garbage can. And one fine example of how to break rules, but remain loyal to a musical genre, is the quartet CRANEIUM, from Finland, that arrives with their second album, “The Narrow Line”.

The album presents a personal and melodic approach of the quartet on Stoner Metal/Rock. Obviously it bears the features of the genre, but with a strong personality that separate their lovely music from many clones that are always trying to hitchhike on other bands success. The quartet prefers to create something melodic and introspective, with clear influences from classic Doom Metal bands. And it’s filled with energy and musical identity.

On the production, Alexander Björkqvist on the mixing and Joona Hassinen on the mastering built a very good sound quality, what’s different from the excessive dirty sound that many prefer (as dirty could meant organic). It’s sounds organic and with the essential dirty touches due the instrumental tunes, because the sound quality is clean. It’s not the best for the music, but it’s truly very good.

Introspective and filled with emotion, “The Narrow Line” is a very good release, indeed. And the thunderous and raw “Manifest” (very good guitars and vocals, with the song presenting aggressive parts contrasting with introspective ones), the Southern deep feeling on the melodies of “I’m Your Demon”, the harsh atmosphere of “The Soothsayer” (very good bass guitar and drums work), and the introspective and melodic scent of “The Goat (is in Command)” are the best moments of the album.

It’s clear that CRANEIUM have talent to create something even better than what is heard on “The Narrow Line” (that’s already excellent), so let’s hope that Stoner Metal fans can give them an opportunity. They’re really worthy of it.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Manifest
2. I’m Your Demon
3. Beyond the Pale
4. The Soothsayer
5. Redemption
6. The Goat (is in Command)
7. Man’s Ruin
Andreas Kaján - Vocals, Guitars
Martin Ahlö - Vocals, Guitars
Jonas Ridberg - Bass
Joel Kronqvist - Drums
Record Label: Ripple Music


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