Acrania
Totalitarian Dysfunction

Adding some deathcore to Unique Leader’s well documented tech death onslaught, comes the UKs self described ‘politicore’ activists Acrania (a fetal birth defect) bringing the absolute heavy to the fray.

Listen, if you don’ t like pig squeals, ‘reeeee’ styled inhaled growls, tons of bass drop laden breakdowns and some rudimentary if effective blasting, I’m not going to convince you otherwise. But if you re OK with some of the above elements delivered with monstrous heft and equally heavy social/political lyrical conviction, deathore fans will find a brutal example of the genre in  Totalitarian Dysfunction.

While certainly deathcore, there’s a brutal death metal odor (fellow Brits Ingested come to mind) with some blast beats and super deep inhaled burps here but for the most part Acrania are masters of devastating deathcore that delivers breakdown after breakdown and some of the more speaker killing bass drops I’ve heard. Case and point, obligatory intro track, “Hollow”, which is about one of the more crushing intros/breakdowns in the genre and is my new ‘scare the neighbors’ track of choice to pay them back for screaming past my house with ridiculous mufflers at 1am.

But I digress, after the intro you get “Festering With Dishonesty” and the title track, and that pretty much is the template for the next 36  bone crushing minutes. The production from former Eternal Lord drummer Stu McKay ( who also produced Ingested’s Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering and Annotations of an Autopsy‘s much maligned debut)  is punishing and clear. And surprisingly one of the albums best track’s is the instrumental number “Survival Sequence” with it’s news story sample (the murder of British solider Lee Rigby?) running in the background of the moody, heaving lurch, really allowing the production to shine as it’s free of the vocals, some of which might find annoying. Of course I’m talking the about the  super high pitched screams.

The namesake of the striking Par Olofsson artwork, “A Gluttonous Abomination”, is one of the album’s better tracks with a nice blend of speed and sheer down-tempo devastation that  is prevalent throughout the album. Even if after punishing “Dehumanise, Lobotomise, Negate (LDN)” the last two tracks sort of sound the same as the preceding 8, but that’s not what Acrania is about. They are not here to reinvent metal or even deathcore but to just wreck shit with breakdowns and the mission is accomplished.

After a quiet year, other than maybe CarnifexChelsea Grin and Whitechapel, deathcore’s gasping fade into blogspot fandom has had few highlights. However, this along with the promising  Aversion’s Crown later this year on Nuclear Blast, hint there might be some life in the ninja spin kicking corpse yet.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 22nd, 2014

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