It all started in the Rímac district. Eloy Arturo met Micky Santos in 1982 on El Sol Avenue, in the Ciudad y Campo neighborhood. In those years, they used to exchange tapes, vinyl or magazines. They also attended various concerts and rehearsed playing covers of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, etc. Thus, in 1984, they formed Murder, but the name was fleeting, since the same year they changed it to Cráneo and, later, to Cranium. Ultimately, they decided to keep Kranium.
The name is due to the fact that both rehearsed at Micky’s grandfather’s house, where there was a closed room where a complete skeleton and several accumulated skulls were found. On one occasion, they took one of these and named it Benito. From that moment on, they began to light candles while rehearsing in the dark, which would become their main source of energy.
At first, it was just an instrumental band that followed a line of dark, gloomy, funeral and ritual heavy rock. Later, when Micky Santos’ brother joined the band, he proposed to use Andean winds to achieve a more heavy-folk sound, but this project lasted a very short time, since he left the band and, thus, the heavy sound was resumed. Around 1986, the band’s style became more aggressive. Songs with a dirtier, cruder, heavier and more extreme sound began to be composed, which could be considered deaththrash-core metal. Likewise, the new lyrics would contain a strong social criticism due to the political-economic crisis suffered in the country during those years.
In its beginnings, the heads of the band were Micky and Eloy. There were only two drummers, Chicho and Joe, but only as guests, until the first official drummer came in: Dead Jhony. Then, in 1985, Eloy was invited to the musical theater play Jesus Christ Superstar. There, he met Angel Matos and Mono Richard (RIP), who played the roles of Jesus Christ and Judas, respectively. In this way, Matos joined Kranium as the first vocalist, while Mono Richard would replace Jhony Ydahi on drums. However, Matos’ tenure on vocals was short, so Richard would take his place and would be joined on drums by Fernando Mortis, Eloy Arturo’s schoolmate. Later, Mono Richard would go to the band Dharma, and Kranium was established as a trio: Mortis on drums, Micky on bass and Eloy on guitar. The latter sometimes acted as a vocalist in rehearsals, but he never wanted to sing live.
In 1986, Marco Kuong joined as a vocalist, and he performed in several rehearsals, but, shortly after, he went to the band Jerusalem. In addition, albeit for a short duration, Beto Cárdenas joined on guitar that same year and played in some concerts. It was the Kranium era of hard rock and heavy metal. However, Beto left the band, insinuating that the members of Kranium were “satanic and occultists.” At the end of that year, the vocalist who would be stable for three years entered the picture: Max Lonzoy. In 1989, Giancarlo would join as bassist, and he would go on to play in several concerts with great effort. Now the two guitarists were Micky and Eloy. Thus, a stable quintet was formed during the eighties: Max (vocals), Giancarlo (bass), Mortis (drums), Micky (guitar) and Eloy (guitar).
This compilation includes 17 songs that were recorded throughout the five years mentioned. The first four belong to “Inquisidor”, the debut demo recorded in December 1986 in Pancho Muller’s studio. The lineup was as follows: Max (vocals), Eloy (keyboard intros and guitar), Micky (bass) and Mortis (drums). Musically, it was a production influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. Unfortunately, it could not be released due to the fact that two of its songs were lost and were only recovered after many years. Tracks 5 and 6 are songs from this demo and were recorded live at No Helden in 1987.
The transition towards thrash metal is observed on tracks 7 and 8, recorded in a rehearsal without the presence of Max, since he had previously been detained and locked up in a police station, which kept him isolated for about a week. Said rehearsal was carried out in the Locutor studio, and the members were Eloy (guitar and voice), Micky (bass) and Mortis (drums).
With Micky on vocals and Eloy on guitar, track 9 is an intro called “Kranium” and was performed in August 1984 at Micky’s grandfather’s house. On track 10, “Men of Evil”, you can see the heavy metal performed by Kranium. Recorded at the Locutor studio in March 1986, it featured the participation of Marco Kuong (voice), Beto Cárdenas (guitar), Micky (bass), Eloy (guitar) and Mortis (drums). In the same musical vein, there is track 11, “Bastard of the Darkness”, recorded in 1985 in the Sifuentes studio. On this occasion, Eloy was in charge not only of the guitar, but also of the vocals, while Micky played the bass and Mortis, the drums.
The last songs, from 12 to 17, have a more characteristic sound of what is commonly called deathrash metal. It is worth mentioning the guest participation of Christ Death, Hadez’s bassist at the time, on tracks 14 and 15, since Micky could not be present at the concert that was given at the Carpenters’ Guild (1989).