The Germans Cranial are one of several bands born from the fragmentation of Omega Massif, excellent interpreters of sludge matter in Germanic land at the turn of the last two decades. It was then guitarist Michael Melchers to aggregate the various Julian Weidhaus, Cornelius Merlin and Sebastian Kröckel to give life, in 2014, to this interesting new reality, able to move with great competence in this swampy musical terrain. Dark Towers / Bright Lights follows the ep Dead Ends and is, of course, the first full length for the band from Bavaria: the work contains four tracks all lasting just over ten minutes, but despite their objective length so much and so much is the intensity put on the field by Cranial that, frankly, you can not feel the weight. A tonnage that, instead, falls on the head of the listener in the form of a deadly riffing, teutonically rigorous although distorted as per script, among which sometimes tries to make room for a scream full of anger and suffering; the sound coordinates are those that we know well about the European post metal sludge, with the inevitable approach to the magnificent AmenRa, compared to which, however, the sound is partially less claustrophobic and, therefore, slightly more enjoyable, without losing an ounce of its power annihilating. Cranial don’t pursue, in fact, a monolithic idea of the genre, not disdaining some magnificent atmospheric opening and melodic lines that remain distinguishable, although buried by the cascade of mud discharged by the string instruments: it’s emblem the wonderful and conclusive Lights, track that perhaps better than the others summarizes the modus operandi of Melchers and members. The tension almost never fades and Dark Towers / Bright Lights flows away leaving only excellent feelings, as well as a masochistic desire to start listening again, possibly at a higher volume: as far as I’m concerned this is one of the best expressions in the field of sludge post metal in recent times.

2017 – Moment Of Collapse Records / Hand of Death Records