Cranial – Dark Towers, Bright Lights

Rating: 5/5
Distributor/label: Moment of Collapse Records
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Released: 2017
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Band line-up:

Cornelius Merlin – Drums
Michael Melchers – Guitars
Julian Weidhaus – Bass/Vocals
Bastian Krodkel – Guitars/Vocals


1. Dark
2. Towers
3. Bright
4. Lights



An imposing monolith shining forth a bright light across dark skies, a future age commanded by authoritarians behind thick concrete who hoard the power from those who live in darkness below. This is a sentence that Cranial’s new EP Dark Towers, Bright Lights, out on Moment of Collapse, first brings to mind. I’ve not read the blurb for this yet but after sitting here listening to the EP’s 4 tracks I’m instantly struck by the cinematic, futuristic and industrial themes ala ‘Metropolis’ and it’s no surprise to me that this group of sludgey doomers hail from Germany.

Forming after post metal heavyweights Omega Massif split in 2014, Cranial join Phantom Winter and Black Smoker having been spearheaded by Michael Melchers and a new company of like-minded musicians.

Concept EP Dark Towers, Bright Lights’ four tracks builds on their highly praised small EP, Dead Ends, released in 2015 and their successful appearance at Droneburg Festival that same year. With its futuristic bleeps in between songs and the imagery that it invokes it’s hard not to feel a growing threat and an atmosphere of impending Doom of a gloomy industrial future.

This four track EP is a perfect follow up to Dead Ends and is easily digested in one sitting as each track cascades into the other. The whole album is a stand out track and if you liked Nersosis or Cult of Luna then your gonna love it too. Personally this is some of the best post doom I’ve ever listened to and I expect bigger and better things from Cranial and I for one will be taking a keener interest after listening to Dark Towers, Bright Lights.

Review by Nathan Slack