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For a band that has only been around since July 2012, Acrania sure have been making a name for themselves. The band’s first release was a split EP with Blue Waffle, and Acrania’s track in the split EP was easily the standout song on it. Once it was released the EP spread, as did Acrania. After that, Acrania prepped for an upcoming October 2012 release of their new EP, “The Beginning of the End.” The EP was eventually pushed back, which allowed the publicity of the band to explode. Within 6 months, the band already has 8,660 likes on Facebook and “The Beginning of the End” went to number one on the Bandcamp metal charts when it was released. So with all this knowledge, you would think that this band and subsequent EP are good right? Absolutely right!
First thing to point out is that Acrania combine so many different styles to create their own. On one hand they are brutal death metal but they are very technical band as well, along with some deathcore and grindcore influence. On top of all that, there is even some melody, some slam, and some groove going on here. That is seven different styles going on at once. The most important thing about all that is that it works. The band is able to balance everything out so it does not get unnecessarily technical or excessively brutal. “Auctioneer of Depravity” is a perfect example of this blending of styles. The song starts off with a melodic intro and then kicks into high gear, going from straight guitar shred to brutal slam-like breakdowns.
When talking about Acrania, you have to mention the vocalist. Vocalist Luke Griffin is one of, if not the best, upcoming vocalist in metal. Notice how it is not just one of the best vocalists in death metal or one of the best vocalists from the United Kingdom but Griffin is one of the most talented vocalists I have heard in a while. Griffin’s range has no bounds whatsoever. He his not one of those death metal vocalists who just stick to lows, as Griffin dominates with his highs just as well. His lows could be compared to Jim Martin (ex-Aegaeon) and his highs could be compared to Ian Bearer (Rings of Saturn) but like the music, Griffin has his own style. Griffin also likes to utilize the super low slam death metal style of vocals, similar to Jonathan Huber (ex-Pathology). He his also one of the fastest vocalists out there going into a part of a song where it seems like he says 10 words a second. Alright I may be over-exaggerating but it is ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Watch the lyric video for “A Trophy of Corporate Disfigurement,” and see if you can follow along with the words.
The music behind Griffin easily holds its own. The drumming is a breath of fresh air, as it is not just blast beats and double kicks the whole time. It has a great deal of variety, along with the guitars and bass. Yes, I did just say bass because it actually is audible on this EP. The guitarist brings a great combination of both technicality and speed. Not as technical and speedy as say Cytotoxin for example but still good regardless. This can best be seen in “A Trophy of Corporate Disfigurement,” which in my opinion is the best song on the EP. The song starts off rather chaotic like and it matches the lyric video which shows scenes of police brutality in protest movements. While listening to this song, you feel like you are at these protest movements and Occupy movements, watching the havoc that is unfolding in front of you. It continues this way throughout the song and it ends with a guest solo by Kevin Schwartz (Pathology).
There is really not many faults I can find with this EP but I can name a few. I would have liked to have seen another song or two. After it was over, it left me the feeling of wanting more. Not in the sense that it underachieved my expectations but in the sense that it was over too soon. Not counting the intro, the EP is only four songs long. Another thing to point out, is that while the guitar playing is good, I felt while listening to this EP that it can be improved. Luckily, before the release of “The Beginning of the End,” the band announced they has recruited Eddie Pickard, of Infant Annihilator fame, to be the second guitarist. This is match made in heaven as Pickard will bring even more technicality and speed to Acrania.
When Acrania announced this EP, I immediately said that this could be my EP of the year. While I do not feel that will end up happening, this will definitely end up in my top 10 EP’s of 2013 list. Acrania bring something completely fresh to the table for death metal, combining an unbelievable amount of styles to make a sound that is utterly their own. If you are a fan of death metal in the slightest, then there is no reason that this should not be in your music library.