Brutal Slamming Death Metal band ACRANIUS have returned with a new album, their third. Reign of Terror is available everywhere now through Rising Nemesis Records and is one of those records that is highly consistent without attempting to reinvent the wheel. I mean let’s face it, we don’t listen to this stuff to help us master the Pythagorean Theorem, do we? Fuck no, we blast this shit because it feels good and makes us wanna destroy things, and in some cases, people. Now, don’t go thinking I’m trying to diminish what these boys have put to tape here, because it is some very hard-hitting stuff from beginning to end.
After the intro track “Born a King” the album truly begins in earnest with “Kingmaker”, a song heavy on the brutality and chugging riffs. “Return to Violence” is next and it’s an immediate standout for me. The gutturals are sick as hell, and the chug-chug guitars are on point. Meanwhile, “Outlaw” kind of grabs you by the neck and shakes the shit out of you for the duration, something that’s always welcome here at A&GS HQ. “Built On Tradition” is another one that struck my fancy because the band basically goes batshit, for lack of a better explanation, and the bass drums kick like a mule throughout.
“Warpath” starts out at more of a lumbering pace, like an armored tank division rolling over the hills, then it picks up a bit before settling back into its deliberate groove. “Battle Scars” then comes in all guns blazing for 2:51, making this another favorite. “The Executioner” goes back to a slowed down groove, but it’s also heavy on the blast beats and features some killer fills. “Died a Liar” is a very strong closer because once again, you can feel it in your chest which is something I expect from my Death Metal.
Truth be told, the only tune I really wasn’t hot on was “The True Reign” because it just didn’t move my needle one way or the other. But other than that this is quite a solid offering from a very good band. Does it get a wee bit repetitive at times? Sure, but the intensity never wavers, and they play their songs with conviction which counts for a lot in my book. If you’re looking for something to put on while you’re at the gym, or working through some anger issues, and/or smashing windows, then ACRANIUS and Reign of Terror might just be what the doctor ordered.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Built On Tradition”, “Return to Violence”, “Battle Scars”, “Died a Liar”