Album Review

Album Review: Acrania – “Totalitarian Dystopia”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM (PST)
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London death-core-metallers Acrania have come stomping onto the scene wielding uncompromisingly political lyrics and unyieldingly brutal instrumentation.

With their debut album Totalitarian Dystopia, released last month, Acrania have taken the metal world by storm.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review this brutal album.

Click here to read my thoughts on this most devastating of debuts.

When I first heard the single, “Festering With Dishonesty”, I was really excited for this album. How can any self-respecting metalhead not appreciate lyrics like, “Eat up // You pigs // Gorging yourself upon their fucking lies!”

The album starts in the now classic deathcore fashion of mixing distorted instrumentals with what sounds like heavy machinery being ground forcefully against other heavy machinery.

The opening track, “Hollow” works very well in the sense that, while it opens the album, it is also exactly the kind of thing a band would open a set with. Instrumentation, nothing crazy or showy or flashy right off the bat. You don’t lay all your cards on the table at the beginning of the game. The instrumentation leads into Luke Griffin growling. Not any particular lyrics, just sort of warming up for the wretched truths he is about to lay down upon the listener.

This album is built to be played live.

After the opening track, the listener is thrust immediately into the brutality of “Festering with Dishonesty”. Griffin’s growls remind me very much of Phile Bozeman of the much lauded Whitechapel.

These Londoners seem to have no qualms speaking their opinions on the electoral system in their country, “Time to realize // That whoever you’ll vote for // It’ll make no difference // They are one and the same!”

Being a three-piece, Acrania has to come off tight, and they do! Acrania sound refreshing without trying to reinvent any metal/death metal/deathcore wheels, as it were.

Where Acrania stands out is in their politically-charged lyrics. Maybe not since Crass’s take on Thatcher has England produced such blatant criticism of their governmental body.

The third song on the album, the title track stands out with chugging guitars and Griffin growling, “Wake the fuck up!” and though it isn’t copy-catting Lucker’s vocal styling, it unavoidably reminds me of Lucker, and may be a nod to him.

Acrania continue to mix their hardcore punk rock sentimentality with their death metal lyrical virtuosity in the track “Susceptible to Retinal Reprogrammability”:

“Shut the fuck up, watch the latest headlines cattle. Everything will be ok. // What about the poison in our water supply, wars for oil, false flag attacks? // Shut the fuck up now, hush why don’t you go back to sleep? Everything will be ok, listen to your TV! // Maybe I should just sit down and watch an episode of bullshit?”

All in all, Totalitarian Dystopia stands in strong contention for ‘Best Deathcore debut of 2014’. Looking forward to seeing and hearing lots more from this London trio.

Check out the lyric video for Acrania’s “Festering With Dishonesty” here and make sure to check back with Metal Riot for all of your heavy metal news needs!

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