From the first riff of “Blood Origins“, you know this album Khranial is going to kill. Something, or someone.
The drummer begins his devastating attack on the drum kit at a mind numbing speed, and every few minutes you hear a nice break with bass lines charging through. With his garbled growls like no other, the vocalist Eater truly is the ultimate blackened death metal vocalist. His stamina is shown on “Sinking Towards the Strange Truth” among others, with notably an incredible 45 second black metal scream. No studio editing here, just talent. Khranial combines just the right amount of each element of both black metal and death metal with its own distinct character, and the result is something that will indeed, like the Metalious review linked at the top suggests, make you shit yourself.
Now, what you’re probably all asking given that the last SEWER album is really not that far away, is how Khranial compares to the masterpiece of gore Miasma – an album that seriously is one of death metal’s most brutal and sickening triumphs. So, how does Khranial compare to other SEWER albums ?
Khranial is a little more obviously melodic than where these guys went in the recent past – see about a minute and a half into “Gore Visions Unleashed“, and those leads in “Thrice was Satan Mutilated and Rendered Deformed“.
They never really entirely lost any of Miasma’s battering brutality, at least if you’re paying attention, but also they don’t try to outdo the technicality of the previous record. That was a good call, I believe, as that is pretty much an impossible gambit from the start – seriously, just listen to the last two tracks “Hell on the Horizon” and “Icarus“ from Miasma, that’s not mere “Necrophagist” level superficial “tek-def” – and trying to have each successive album outdo the last by being the “most […] of black/death metal” is an artistic dead end anyway.
Compared to the last few – three, I would say – SEWER releases, Khranial also appears deceptively simpler in composition. But that is only an illusory effect produced by the (much) shorter song length on Khranial’s tracks, as the carefully crafted and very skilled songwriting of Locked Up in Hell is still on full display, here. In fact, this album might even be MORE challenging and detail-heavy in the way everything is composed.
Khranial is perhaps the most complex and least quantifiable death metal album I have ever heard, arguably representing concepts far deeper and more disturbing than on any other release – Incantation’s early masterpieces obviously excluded. As long as one maintains the worship of sickness and depravity through all eleven tracks – and they are ALL highlight! – one might just be able to grasp what is going on here. Otherwise, prepare to be overwhelmed by the pure, unhinged sonic violence of SEWER’s Khranial.
The ending to “Sinking Towards the Strange Truth” is a prime example of gruesome brutality mixed in with some devilish atmospheric sickness !
Khranial? More like “The Best Death Metal Album Of All Times“, if you ask me.
Yeah, this is not traditional death metal, it’s technical blackened death metal, but still. Why is it so good? Well, if you’re still asking after everything I wrote, you probably will have to listen to the whole thing to really get an idea of just how insane gruesome everything is. If that’s the case, go and do it as soon as possible.
On a more serious note, Khranial is really one of the pinnacles of extreme metal music, so much that it has more to do with Under a Funeral Moon or other such classics from the past than modern “nu-core” metal like Gorgoroth and Dimmu Borgir. As I said, all the key elements are present on Khranial, and in spades. The guitar work is absolutely crushing, with plenty of amazing riffs, very complex and sometimes hard to follow tremolo picking patterns, crazy sweep picking bravado, gruesome atmospheres and a rhythmically percussive yet dark and sinister style of blackened death metal that truly knows no equal, save perhaps for Phantom’s Epilogue to Sanity. Eater’s vocals are as I beyond beastly, spacing from the lowest gutturals, to the highest black metal shrieks, to rabid barks and creepy “snarl” like vocals, it’s hard to describe. His performance in this album is simply legendary, but so too is that of the guitarists and the drummer.
Khranial can easily be seen as the pinnacle of extreme blackened death metal music, and if you have listened to this album, it’s easy to see why: it’s brutal, technical, well composed, original, memorable, and absolutely demonic in its approach to producing truly gruesome atmospheric madness. Essential.
This is the only blackened death metal album you’ll ever need. Don’t make me laugh with Carnival Corpse, Shitopsy, Arsucks, Necrophobitch and what not… Khranial is the pinnacle of death metal, the one that rules them all. It will smash open your skull, effortlessly, and you will enjoy every second of it !