Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cranium - Speed Metal Slaughter (1998)

Man, has this week sucked. I mean really, really sucked! I feel like my head is about to explode. Yesterday I had been up since the break of dawn, literally. My goal: trying to get caught up on reading, assignments, and HW for all of my classes. Finals are approaching and I have been overwhelmingly busy. And it sucks 'cause all I really want to do is slack off, drink beer all day, and listen to metal. The previous day saw me do the same thing though - I was up from dawn to dusk. I purposely avoided the phone, closed the blinds, and basically gave the rest of the world the middle-finger. The shit we students do to earn a degree, shit!

So last night I was working on some silly assignment for one of my classes. Realizing I wasn't going to garner any more success in completing it and I had had it with numbers, equations, text books, and papers, I set aside the books and went out to grab some dinner and a couple brews.

Lately I have been getting into darker and heavier beers such as this, which I highly recommend! But at over $10 a bottle, that can make a pretty significant dent into the pocket book! So, rather than opening the last bottle I had and digging into the "stash" I have hidden from my roommate, I decided to go to the store up the street. After a quick, painless walk to a pizza joint around the corner, I proceeded to the store for brew. Since I already had eaten, I was mainly on a mission to simply get beer. While this so-called "marketplace" has had a few new beers in stock recently, I wanted something different from the norm... Something I hadn't had in a while. I looked... and looked... and looked. But nothing appealed to me. They don't have that large of a selection but as mentioned, they get some new stuff in on occasion. When I was about to say "fuck it" and simply grab what I usually go for, I saw this was hiding from view! As was this! Saweeeeeet! Knowing fair well I still had shit-ton of stuff to do the next day I only picked up a couple bottles, one of each. While I have had significantly better brew from Germany, for the price ($3-4 a bottle) you really can't complain. Both beers are great for when you simply want something that tastes unique but isn't overpowering either.

Now Optimator is not that high in alcohol and neither is Ayinger but if consumed on an empty stomach, one can get a fairly rip-roaring buzz. Optimator tends to be dark-amber in color, with medium carbonation for a slight head that is generally off-white in color; it is a big malty brew that possesses a medium body that has hints of caramel, dark fruits (prunes, figs, raisins), and coffee in its nose and finish. Ayinger's Oktober Fest-Marzen tends to be copper in color, with a slight creamy, white head that settles quickly; it is a medium, light bodied beer that has the aroma and taste of sweet caramel malts that lead to a light, syrupy yet crisp aftertaste. Both beers have the consistency of a well-crafted lager and are only, very slightly hoppy. Needless to say both are, or rather, were quite refreshing!

Well, those two beers obviously didn't last long! Apparently I got such a rip-roaring buzz that I never got back to studying and quickly found myself listening to some tunes. I began with some Teutonic metal, which I thought was appropriate for the occasion. German beer goes really well with German metal, right? Subsequently this evolved into listening to some of this as well as this. At this point, I was more than just two beers deep as I got into my "stash" and with my iTunes library on random when I happened across this! Fuck yeah!! CRANIUM!!! I almost forgot I had this! Even though they're not German in origin, they might as well have been. For the next hour, I listened to most of Cranium's back-catalog and as a result, my beer "stash" has diminished in volume (funny, I'm not hungover today).

So what about this band called 'Cranium', you ask? Cranium hails from Sweden and was more or less a side-project of Dawn. Take the best of Destruction circa 1988 (i.e. Release From Agony) throw in a little Exciter, add some Kreator to the mix, and maybe throw in the tongue-in-cheek humor of Tankard and you have one of the best thrash bands to have surfaced during the retro-thrash resurgence of the late 1990s. Actually according to Metal-Archives the band "formed in 1985 by brothers Philip and Gustaf von Segebaden. The band later changed their name to Legion and reformed in 1996 as Cranium." They originally had been on the now defunct Necropolis Records, thus much of their material is now out of print and hard to find - at least, I haven't had any luck in finding it. They are relentless in their approach, are obscenely funny, and shred to boot! I could go further into their sound, or perhaps even provide further background, but I'll just let you listen for yourself...

Plus with an awesome band name like 'Cranium', who wouldn't want to check them out?!

So go out to the nearest local store (preferably one that specializes in stocking the aforementioned imported beer), get yourself a couple brewskies, and crank your Cranium!! Oh yeah, and quit being a poseur!


...fuck, my head hurts...


phinehas.roy said...

Dude, you've got to try Weihenstephaner Vitus. $3 a bottle and one of the best beers in the world.

Aegipan said...

Sweet! I've seen it in stores before. Never tried it though. I'm always open for new suggestions. Now finding it where I live may be an issue...