Cosmic Rock

CRANEIUM - 'The Narrow Line' Review


- Pat 'Riot' Whitaker




December 7th will see Finland's finest stoner / fuzz rock export, Craneium, release their sophomore album 'The Narrow Line' on physical CD format via Ripple Music. The digital version of the album has been available since November 23rd.


If you are already hip to Craneium then you have some inkling as to what you can expect, i.e. infectiously thrilling rock and roll that possesses powerful elements of psychedelia, desert rock, and much more. Since the band's critically acclaimed 2015 album release 'Explore The Void', Craneium has remained a solid presence on both the minds and record players of those with their ears to the underground.


But, if you are someone that has tragically missed out on Craneium until now then hey, fret not, you are in for one hell of a fine discovery here, today. 'The Narrow Line' contains seven tracks of amazing, immensely groove-driven music that resonates with simmering desert rock qualities and an undeniable contemporary commercial appeal. There are riveting, hazy undercurrents flowing within such stellar cuts as "Manifest", "Beyond The Pale", and the mind blowing album closer "Man's Ruin".


Then there are elevated stand outs where Andreas Kaján (Vocals & Guitars), Martin Ahlö (Vocals & Guitars), Joel Kronqvist (Drums), and Jonas Ridberg (Bass), really shine upon. The quartet's talents for songwriting are really on magnificent display within the songs "I'm Your Demon" and "The Soothsayer" as both are solid, hard hitting numbers, for the most part. I add that because the Craneium crew are also well adept at infusing alluring, and enthralling, heady touches to certain songs. "I'm Your Demon" is a rather fine example of this knack of theirs with its simmering, slower descending verses and the direct, energized upward climbs of its choruses.


I must make mention of the song "Redemption" too, one of the album's most powerful compositions, but one crafted with an abundance of melodic, tranquil touches throughout. With gradual pulses of sonic force, the song's mood is calm and sedate but as more if it unfurls, passages of focused, more aggressive music soon takes the reins.


All in all, there's no question that Craneium have once again proven themselves, and that they are one of the underground's true underdogs. Don't get me wrong though, there is nothing wrong with that, in being somewhat of a secret "thing" that only the more enlightened people are aware of. Make sure you are either already one of them, or that you are well upon your way to becoming one with your own exploration of 'The Narrow Line'.


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