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Craneium - Unknown Heights

Unknown Heights
by Craig Rider at 24 December 2021, 7:54 AM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I am proud to present to you: CRANEIUM; signed via The Sign Records, hailing from Finnish grounds - performing Stoner/Doom Metal/Rock, on their 3rd Full-length album entitled: “Unknown Heights” (released October 15th, 2021). Since formation in 2011; the quartet in question have an EP entitled: “The Slowerdrive Tapes” (released in 2012), 2 Splits entitled: “3rd Trip / Craneium” (released March 7th, 2014) & “Craneium / Black Willows” (released March 30th, 2018). 3 Singles entitled: “The Gnome” (released April 1st, 2014), “Manifest” (released September 4th, 2018) & “Sweet Relief” (released December 20th, 2019). Amongst 3 Full-length albums entitled: “Explore The Void” (released October 25th, 2015), “The Narrow Line” (released December 7th, 2018) & this here album of which I am introduced to entitled: “Unknown Heights”. 6 tracks ranging at around 34:56; CRANEIUM arranges an intricately designed formula on some heavy-hitting Stoner/Doom Metal/Rock amalgamations.

Opening up with this rampantly rompy riff & punchy pummeling; “A Secret Garden” attributes at a fuzzy manifestation of mellifluous yet volatile tonality, while clean but high fueled chords yell with shouty singing prowess… this vibrantly potent synergy ramifies with symbolic virtuosity, utilizing this psychedelic boundary in dynamically nimble mellow while frolicking gallops rift with euphonic dexterity from consisting duo guitar/vocalists Andreas Kaján & Martin Ahlö. Both construct a light-hearted hymn, embedding an easy-listening remedy which revels with zestful richness. “Somber Aeons” distils a backward spiral on that incentive, as an organic substance showcases sanguine sublimity until this distorted grumble belts a harmonic hook as a gnarly bass audibility from Jonas Ridber flickers his axe with sulfurous versatility where noisy thuds piledrive with sturdy trembles & primitively raw firepower expertise.

Weight To Carry” injects an infectiously venomous snare to it, as a distinctively distinguished crunch flourishes with tremor & majesty while thumpy grooves creates a bombarding fervor on monolithic tempo & prodigious yet prestigious synthesis on an experimental hybrid of rip-roaring yet somewhat melancholic trippiness that shines with this silver-lining edge on resonant rock desolation… fabricating with jangly yet jingly prerequisites. “Shine Again” marvels with more rambunctiously stompy kicks from hammering drummer Joel Kronqvist; the plodding yet gravitational craftsmanship ability swerves with strident yet weighty tightness, surging with jumpy mobility and catchy flair. While the sound production sounds like a blast from the past with the 70s-esque tinkering, this merged impact harnesses an intriguing aesthetic on 80s percussion too… marvellous stuff that adds a chilling effect on striking pursuits of enriching but immersive coherency - where this profusely robust progressive indulges in concretely gritty but funky technicality.

Solos range from arpeggio standard to tremolo tradition while shifting outbursts of vibrato rhythms rivet with solid slabbiness; where the penultimate track “The Devil Drives” is like the polar opposite to the rest, where jazzy veracity rollicks with meaty maelstrom perseverance which persistently unleashes ethereal crescendos and choppy swag. Overall concluding “Unknown Heights” with the finale epic of the titular track; layered vocals while shimmering yet transcendent momentum masquerades with archaic but cordial stability, I am compelled to say that CRANEIUM most surely outdone themselves with 3rd offering of Stoner/Doom/Rock sub-genre fusions. An enjoyably entertaining discovery full of wonderfully vigorous songwriting musicianship that while it doesn’t grasp or grip with me personally, I can certify that for fans of these varieties – this will mesmerize & hypnotize you with marvelous diversity and hefty eclat.

Bottom line; worthy of rocking to, this release is a spiritually spellbinding rocker that most certainly deserves spinning to or replaying a good handful of times. Do check it out!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. A Secret Garden
2. Somber Aeons
3. Weight To Carry
4. Shine Again
5. The Devil Drives
6. Unknown Heights
Andreas Kaján - Guitar/Vocals
Martin Ahlö - Guitars/Vocals
Joel Kronqvist - Drums
Jonas Ridberg - Bass
Record Label: The Sign Records


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