If there's one thing you immediately should know about ROBERT CRANNY - who died suddenly at the age of 27 on Saturday, April 21 - it's that he was immensely loved by everyone he met. Cranny was a larger-than-life figure with a magnetic personality and he was a man whose warmth, compassion and absolute love for metal were ingrained in everything he did. Whether it was relentlessly supporting Canadian metal talent through his label Northern Storm Records or entertaining metal's sometimes lost sense of humour with his band DETSORGSEKALF, Cranny made friends and admirers everywhere he went, people quick to pick up on his total love for life and his extremely affable nature.
I met Cranny and his good friend Bill Whish at a show in Montreal in 2006 after several years of communicating with them online, and the three of us instantly became wrapped up in animated admiration of AMON AMARTH's then latest-album, With Oden On Our Side. After discussing the fantastic merits of the album, Cranny told me about his love of IN FLAMES, a band with whom he had an unending allegiance. Not only was his In Flames collection probably larger than any other on the planet, but Cranny even forged a friendship with Gothenburg's melodic death institution and was proud to know that he had told In Flames, personally, of his unwavering and unrelenting dedication. The fact that In Flames has publically mourned Cranny's death speaks volumes in terms of the impact his fandom had on the band. It's the type of impact Cranny had in all aspects of his life.
Cranny's unequivocal support for metal as a whole was pillared on the openness and friendliness he offered to everyone. His classic interview with CNN while aboard the 70,000 Tons of Metal Festival cruiseship saw Cranny cheerily explain his pink wig and corpsepaint that incorporated the word 'bacon' into it ("It's because everyone loves bacon") and, in that moment, Cranny's jovial nature made its debut on the international stage CNN offers. It's such a shame that we won't get a sophomore effort.
Rob Cranny positively impacted the lives of so, so many and I wish his friends and family all the strength in the world during this difficult time. Here's hoping that Rob is listening to his cherished In Flames on the other side, banging heads and talking records with his comrades-in-arms Adrian Bromley and David Gold. I bet they're having a helluva time. You will be missed, Rob.