When death metal bands make the decision to add a few more crushing hardcore breakdowns to their tunes, they run the risk of being labeled with the ‘dirty word’: deathcore. So, let’s get something straight about London’s Acrania; they’re not deathcore. They’re a death metal band who can deliver equally crushing blows as your breakdown heavy ‘core band. It’s only important to make this distinction because Acrania are definitely not just a stupidly heavy band trying to ride the deathcore wave whose BandCamp you just overlook, they’re a stupidly heavy band who deserve your attention.
Straight from opening track ‘Hollow’, you can feel exactly how hard ‘Totalitarian Dystopia’ hits, and the opening gutturals show they’re not trying any hardcore stunts here. Luke Griffin‘s vocals are seriously impressive too, the guy goes from some of the most brutal lows to some screeching highs, and mixes it up enough to keep the delivery fresh for the whole record. The album is a joy for his vocals alone.
However, the excellent vocals don’t overshadow the face bludgeoning instrumentals, taking influence from old school death metal riffing and mixing the new breed of metal’s chuggy-er take on the genre. The album’s title track shows off this mix well as well as their hardcore influences, like a giant “bleh” before a riff. The album does feature a fair few “shout something before a breakdown” moments, but even so, they’re not done in a way that’ll make you roll your eyes. They’re done with a knowing wink.
It’s much more entertaining to see a band mix the two influences of deathcore without just jumping on its sonic bandwagon. It’s like the difference between a fast food burger and a gourmet angus, whilst they have the same ingredients, some just know how to put them together better.
Written by Jack King (@Jackingy)