(To The Estimated Size Of The Universe)
Atmospheric metal, Stoner rock
Torche, A Storm of Light, Mars Red Sky
We are starting to find some terrific obscure music emerging from the Mediterranean these days, Tuber and One Leg Mary to name a couple. Now from Thessaloniki, Greece, we welcome newcomers CRAANG. Their debut, To the Estimated Size of the Universe is a psychedelic, heavy hitting bombshell of an album. Consisting of three members; Manos (Guitar/Vocals), Mike (Bass), Nick (Drums), they have combined to deliver a four song album of rich, atmospheric blistering songs. Now four songs may not sound like much, but this album runs at 41:16 long, so you know there will be plenty of jams to satisfy your stoner rock cravings. Here is a breakdown to help navigate your journey through this universe.
Track 1: Slow Forward Jam (7:55) – This one kicks off the album in stellar fashion as it is indeed a slow forward jam. This instrumental bleeds of heavy, rhythmic slow moving lava. The bass is steady and deep, the drums are powerful, but not overpowering, and the guitar is often spacious and a bit sludgy. This instrumental has an Arc of Ascent vibe, it’s trippy and genuine. The breakdown at the 4:15 mark is a great move to change the pace of things. We seem to easily gravitate towards the softer side of the band; it really shows true musicianship to know how to keep the mellow arrangements just as interesting as the heavier parts… excellent way to open an album.
Track 2: Butterfly (9:04) – Vocals are introduced here and they are fitting as they complement the music very well. Manos has this inspiring vocal range that injects life into the song. The vocals do not stand out too much above the music, and are layered perfectly within all the heaviness. This song has a drifting quality about it and you will see it’s easy to get lost in this one; they don’t miss a beat here. The bass actually provides a strong foundation, never straying from the formula.
Track 3: Magnolia (9:37) – Another quality cut that will keep your juices flowing. The sludgy, bouncy Torche-like rhythm in the beginning will lead us into psychedelic territory, and they do this flawlessly. Just sit back and take this one in as the music develops a mellow stoner vibe to end.
Track 4: The Meteorian (15:22) – This spaced-out juggernaut has everything going for it; it’s atmospheric, stoner-driven with echoed vocals to top things off. The guitar in the middle of this song sounds as if it’s being played side by side with synths, giving it an outer-worldly sound. The song carries on with more spacious, heavy jams to end, we particularly love the Monster Magnet Tab 25 vibe at 11:30 minutes in and it keeps this drug-laced rhythm to end.
CRAANG has delivered a very strong debut album here. We enjoy their use of open architecture style combining a variety of different genres. While their music may not be groundbreaking, we appreciate their fervor and diversity. We are all aboard this one and we look forward to the journey. - 10/3/2014
Standout Tracks: Butterfly, Meteorian