Split Cranium
Split Cranium


3.5
great

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
April 18th, 2012 | 17 replies | 2,647 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Short, sweet, and intense, the self-titled debut of Split Cranium is a satisfying, albeit unoriginal, collection of blistering crust punk.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

When post-metal giants Isis amicably decided to part ways in June 2010, it was assumed by most everyone with any knowledge of its members that their musical careers were far from over. Frontman Aaron Turner alone has been involved with nine side projects to date, ranging from dark ambient to black metal to industrial, while other members also find themselves participating in a slew of seemingly unrelated projects. As such, it came as no surprise when the formation of a new supergroup headed by Aaron Turner called Split Cranium was first announced. What was a surprise to some, however, was the form this band took: while most projects with any relation to isis tend to fall somewhere within the realms of avant-garde music, the last thing many expected the mastermind behind an excessive amount of ambient ventures to turn to was something as conventional, blistering, and - most of all - to the point as the self-titled debut of Split Cranium. Over eight tracks, ranging from one to eight minutes in length, this supergroup bashes skulls, riffs hard, and generally goes for an approach less subtle than anything in the entirety of Turner's career.

The performances, while not bearing a level of technicality that would be worth writing home about, are perfect for what Split Cranium are going for here. Speedy, face-melting, and catchy crust punk riffing dominates the music, accentuated by a spirited drum performance from Jukka Kröger and an abundance of those signature half-shouted, half-growled vocals that have been appearing less and less frequently ever since Celestial was released in 2000. In fact, the vocals are an obvious high point on Split Cranium: frenzied, forceful, and emotional, this is the best Turner has sounded in a long time. On eight-minute album closer 'Retrace the Circle,' the most experimental song on an otherwise conventional record, his distinct cleans even make an appearance, giving this album highlight a feel much closer to what a listener would expect from this album going in blind. It's also worthy of mention that Split Cranium is made even better by a characteristically exceptional production job courtesy of Kurt Ballou, serving to give the album a welcome boost in intensity. Of course, it is not without its flaws. Songs and riffs blend together quickly after a few listens, and the reverb and delay-drenched vocals that rear their head in otherwise-excellent songs like 'Sceptres to Rust' are completely unnecessary, bordering on annoying. However, these flaws are outweighed by this album's many strengths. Split Cranium is short, sweet, old-school, and blistering, but more than anything, it's a remarkably fun album that completely successfully pulls off what its creators certainly strived to achieve. One can be sure that, with a bit more focus and experimentation, Split Cranium can make something truly exceptional the next time around, but for now we are left with a more-than-satisfying debut that bashes more skulls than anyone could have ever expected.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
April 18th 2012



5325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

album rules. it's nice to hear an Aaron Turner project as bullshit-free as this.

CaptainDooRight
April 18th 2012



28864 Comments


i like crust so i'll check, pos good rev

CaptainDooRight
April 18th 2012



28864 Comments


one critic is I would rec' for future reviews be a little less formal.

it's nice when it seems like the reviewer is your friend and is having a down to earth conversation with you.

you were very informative and I feel a balance of the two would make your reviews all the more better than they already are

Ignimbrite
April 18th 2012



5325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

sweet, thanks for the tip. there's some other stuff I need to go in and edit at some point in this, so I might also work some
of that in here.

when the site starts working, that is... haven't been able to access the "edit reviews/albums" page for the past week or so.

PistolPete
April 18th 2012



3591 Comments


Nice review Ignimbrite! Good to finally see one for this, it's a nice refreshing listen from the more brooding depressing tracks on any Isis album.

Iunno CaptainDooRight, I always get dinged for being either too informal on this site or using too many personal pronouns (fair argument cuz I often do). So there must be a happy medium somewhere and this seemed fine to me. Pos

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)

CaptainDooRight
April 18th 2012



28864 Comments


No problem:]

Yeah man I've had the exact same problem. It appears it's affecting several users. I think the mods are aware of it at this time and are probably working out the kinks. Hopefully it's working soon.

"Iunno CaptainDooRight, I always get dinged for being either too informal on this site or using too many personal pronouns (fair argument cuz I often do). So there must be a happy medium somewhere and this seemed fine to me."

Yeah it really comes to finding that balance. Because if it's too formal people won't read it, or if it's too informal people will ding you because they feel you're not being serious. I'm no Captain(:]) but I do know the skill comes with time and practice. I know it's possible because there are several skilled users who do it successfully review after review. It is something I'm humbly working on as well.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012



15893 Comments


This is a great review Ignimbrite. Very informative, not overloaded though. Reads smoothly and gets all your points across. Easy pos.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

PistolPete
April 18th 2012



3591 Comments


"sceptres to rust" makes me wanna pick up things in my room and smash them against the wall and cause havoc and whatnot =I

rasputin
April 18th 2012



14540 Comments


i thouht this was really mediocre

it takes a well established style and makes it sound absolutely sterile

Ignimbrite
April 19th 2012



5325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I get where you're coming from, but hey, to each his own.

rasputin
April 19th 2012



14540 Comments


yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of Turner either

great review though

Imperial
April 27th 2012



1726 Comments


There's a couple tracks that are decent like Scepters to Rust. Overall it just lacks that drive and punch I want from this type of music.

Imperial
April 28th 2012



1726 Comments


checking them out.

foxeren
April 29th 2012



96 Comments


agree

Sunn177
July 12th 2012



285 Comments


really liked Old Man Gloom's new album so this thing is a definite must listen for me.

Ignimbrite
July 12th 2012



5325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Seminar III is, like, one of the farthest things from "mostly meh" in the entire world of meandering hipster metal

Butkuiss
October 26th 2012



4159 Comments


Should probably check this out.

But I'm so in love with Edward's Lament right now I don't know how I'll fit it in.



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