Two years after their crushing Dark Towers / Bright Lights, Cranial return to form with Alternate Endings, a monolithic 48 minute atmospheric sludge beast that combines what the genre has best to offer. While still retaining some influence from their previous project, Omega Massif, Cranial are creating a legacy of their own with their incredible releases that lean more to the sludgy side than the atmospheric side.
Despite clearly being a band that thrives on pummelling distorted riffs, Cranial are also adept at building tension with cleaner parts as showcased in their last track ‘Holistic Figure’. On this almost sixteen minute colossus, the band delves in all the characteristics of their sound, from fast paced to glacial riffs; from super distorted parts to clean passages. Crushing roars sit alongside clean background vocals all bolstered by incredible drum work throughout the whole track. And whilst this demonstrates the broad range what this album has to offer, Alternate Endings can’t be reduced to just this one track. Every track stands as it’s own, each with it’s idiosyncrasies and composition elements that stray away from the formulas of their genre, making this album a fresh release within the post-metal/atmospheric sludge world.
Alternate Endings is out now via Sludgelord Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Benjamim Gomes