Acrania - Fearless
Experimental Death Metal
9 songs (38:48)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Goat

Imagine, if you can, if Atheist were from Mexico and went all-in on the Latin Jazz flavours that made Elements such a controversy. What you have is something very close to Mexican group Acrania, here on their third full-length and making hugely enjoyable music. All too rare in death metal is the bands that make music that is enjoyable rather than a slog to listen to; no disrespect to the sludgy likes of Teitanblood, but Acrania are far more fun. Opening blast People of the Blaze is a perfect example, beginning with rough-seeming tech death but introducing trumpet and Latin percussion soon, allowing them equal prominence with the metal elements to create a perfectly judged mixture. There's a brief little proggy exploration of the non-metal parts before the guitars come roaring back in with tech-death riff-trades and soloing galore – a great start sure to draw your ear.

From then on, the album takes an interesting route through the elements it has set up so well on the opening track. Poverty Is in the Soul makes good usage of the percussion and gets a little avant-garde with the structure, loosening it up to allow the rawness of the death metal influences shine through. It's perhaps a little long at over six minutes, but even when directly compared with Atheist, it's dynamic and interesting enough to be at least a contender. I Was Never Dead and Man's Search for Meaning get a little thrashy and flamenco on the listeners' asses, Overflow is downright jazz metal, and finale Point of Collision brings the album to a close with a dense and technical barrage. There are faults; the band's songwriting could use a little polish, for one, and this is best in small doses due to a lack of real variety. But this is an interesting take on the genre from a country not known for its death metal, and Acrania deserve a wider audience.

Killing Songs :
People of the Blaze, Overflow, Point of Collision
Goat quoted 70 / 100
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