Cranium - _Speed Metal Slaughter_
(Necropolis Records, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5 out of 10)
The album title _Speed Metal Slaughter_ does capture most of Cranium's intentions, as this is indeed all about speed metal revivalism -- but with a major lack of seriousness, mainly thanks to their attempts at humor. Vocalist Frederik Soderberg tries to bring back the 80s' high-pitched speed metal vocals style, and the result is -very- annoying. Hard to believe that this is the same Frederik Soderberg who plays guitar for the excellent Dawn, another Necropolis band. The adequate instrumental performance turns out to be the best side of the album, although originality and noticeably good moments are equally scarce throughout its 32 minutes; but with these vocals on top, the rest of the band would really have to excel in order to make this a good album, whereas they just do their job. The fact that the vocals are most likely close to what the band intended does not necessarily make them better in my view. Apart from that, and even though there is nothing anywhere near groundbreaking in _Speed Metal Slaughter_, it will still probably be attractive for those speed metal fans who happen to find the vocals enjoyable.

(article published 9/1/1998)


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