Krisiun_Forged in FuryAh, Krisiun. Your militant drumming, battering riffs, and enraged vocals have earned you a place on quite a few of my “wake up the neighbors” playlists over the years. While calling you an institution may be a stretch, you’re certainly a band of workhorses, belching out no-bullshit death metal as a fraternal trio since 1990, and serving as a constant reminder that Brazil is more than just nice tushes, dense rainforests, and a Terry Gilliam film about a dystopian bureaucracy that would make FEMA shiver. After seven albums, you really hit your stride with 2008’s Southern Storm, a release that combined your classic rhythmic pummeling with some refreshing melodic sensibility. 2011 follow-up The Great Execution was likewise impressive, but that was four years ago – has a nonstop onslaught of touring dulled your edge, or will Forged in Fury keep the war machine steaming?

While the Joe Petagno artwork had me salivating, I’ll say outright that Fury is a tad by-the-numbers for Krisiun, and is best described as a combination of the sprawling chugs of Execution with the lead-friendly songwriting of Storm. Opener “Scars of the Hatred” (these guys are toe-to-toe with Napalm Death for best song titles) is downright noodly at first, sounding like a slowed version of Origin, before morphing back into the band we know: massive, lockstep riffing, underlaid by drumming that alternates between blasting and – my favorite trick – moments where the bass drum continues blasting while the snare performs stop-start battering in sync with the guitars, as employed on early highlight “Ways of Barbarism.” Later songs feature some reluctant ventures from this template, including the rapid and near-dissonant main riff and wailing leads of “Strength Forged in Fury,” the lumbering bassline and Seasons In the Abyss-style melody of requisite slow track “Soulless Impaler,” and the monumental chugs and squealing lead guitar of closer “Timeless Starvation.”

Unfortunately, Fury suffers some missteps that prevent it from being the creme-de-la-Krisiun I was hoping for, not the least of which is the long-windedness carried over from Execution. A death metal album needs to be damn good to be nearly 52 minutes long, and while much of the riffwork here has just the level of early Deicide savagery I’d expect from guitarist Moyses Kolesne, Fury’s second half also features several licks that alternate between mildly stale and “hey, isn’t that the same riff from AssassiNation?” Furthermore, Alex Camargo’s growls lack the potency and fullness of earlier releases, sounding more like Phil Anselmo attempting a Vader song, causing even acerbic lines like “mass murder is the new God’s will!” to leave me unmoved. Devoid of many “oh hell yeah!” moments, the songwriting also feels a tad “riff-salad” at times – one could easily transpose many of these licks from one track to another, with little disruption in flow.

Krisiun_2015a

Fortunately, Max Kolesne’s drumming is as tight and ferocious as always, and – thanks to Erik Rutan’s production – the album sounds downright marvelous. Nearly three decades since the genre’s inception, it seems we’ve finally learned how to produce modern death metal that sounds crushing while avoiding squishing the bass into oblivion. Alex’s rumbling basslines are a treat throughout, and while the DR is a tad low, it’s fitting for Krisiun – like the opening minutes of Bolt Thrower’s “World Eater” stretched over a discography, the group has always focused on conveying sheer force and might over chromatic atmosphere.

So, where does this leave us? If Fury is riff salad, it’s salad of the best sort, garnished by a dressing of more-than-capable instrumental performances, albeit with a few stale pieces of lettuce and some nose-wrinkling anchovies souring things a bit (representing the vocals, in this over-extended metaphor). As a band so often overshadowed by country-mates Sepultura and other modern death metal like Nile, Fury doesn’t up the ante enough for Krisiun to become the new saviors of the scene, but it is an enjoyable piece of chug-heavy death metal that refrains from tainting the band’s legacy. Lest we forget, this is still the band that wrote “Vicious Wrath” – and if nothing else, Forged in Fury proves that same blood is in there somewhere.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Century Media Records
Website: Facebook.com/Krisiun.Official | Official Website
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 08.07.2015

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  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    Sometimes a cover just says “I dare you to figure out what is going on”. Here it is with more dogs

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      You should start doing album covers. This joke is seriously better than some serious covers I have seen later

    • RuySan

      While awesome, the dogs look more like offsprings of a seal and an owl

    • Monsterth Goatom

      This is something from Google’s Deep Dreaming effort. The image on which this cover is based was posted by one MethodOverDriver in the subreddits r/deepdream and r/deepdreaming. It would seem computers like to dream about a lot of dogs and a lot of eyes.

      • Actually it’s more likely the human AI trainers are the ones that really like dogs and eyes

        • Monsterth Goatom

          However they go about doing it, it’s certainly a trippy program.

        • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

          The image data base they “trained” the software on had a bunch of dog competitions in it randomly which is why.

          I still like to pretend robots dream of electric dogs.

          I know I do

    • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

      I actually do album covers on commission but they don’t look anything like this. Deep dream and I just really like dogs and eyes.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I see I’ve made a mistake. I wasn’t paying attention, and thought the Forged in Fury cover art already contained the dogs and eyes, and that you were just embellishing it. I probably sounded like an anal whining about someone not citing sources. Sorry. Didn’t mean to steal your thunder. Nice work.

        • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

          HA, yeah the cover is a mess, running it through the filter doesn’t change it THAT much. No offense was taken by me.

      • sickbroski

        Did you do the Iron Maiden one with the Ally McBeal dancing baby?

        • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

          Are you talking about dance of death?

          Because lol

          No I do fun illustration work mostly. See Dead Conspiracy’s Abomination Underground if you’re really interested. (I did both the CD and the Vinyl covers)

          • sickbroski

            Wow, that’s very expressive. Do I see a Tonberry on the CD?

  • Pimpolho

    Brasil huehue. I like the embedded track, quite a lot. And great review, btw! Got me hyped for this album!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Good old Krisiun!
    They still look like it´s the same guy three times! Their picture even looks photoshopped!
    Every single Brazilian band is foreshadowed by Sepultura and while Krisiun has never released a genre-defining album like Sepultura did (maybe up to four times) they have never released a stinker, which Sepultura (and its members) has done plenty of times.
    Longevity and consistency goes a long way.

    • Daniel

      Sarcofago are the other great Brazilian band.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Sepultura and Sarcofago are puppies from the same litter.
        Two very sick puppies.

  • ASTHX

    I like Krisiun well enough but the vocals have always been sub par to me, guess I’m just not a fan of that style.

  • JL

    The embedded clip sounds badass. I’ll check this out. Over the years I forgot about Krisiun. Solid band.

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    brasillllllll, great, every space in media we win is special for south america metal, up your horns

  • Man, I absolutely LOVED The Great Execution. If this album is even half as good it will be damned well good enough for me.

  • JL

    LOL I just heard the new Nile single and it SLAYS!!

  • Here’s Johnny

    Didn’t know it was out yet, you were quick with this one. 3/5 is decent for an album you found ‘by the numbers’. I’m pretty sure i will rate this higher when i get it, Krisiun fuckin slay! Have loved every album.

  • Tom Hardy

    The preview song is horrific compared to their first 3 albums, something as a standard I hold every Krisiun album to compare with.

    It’s an interesting choice to mention Sepultura or Nile in closing, to me neither are comparable with Krisiun, even musically. Like Polish Deathmetal, Floridian Deathmetal and so forth, there’s Brazilian Deathmetal that’s a niche of its own with bands like Krisiun, (criminally under-rated) Rebaelliun, Mental Horror and such. There’s a particular signature sound to all of em aiding to the coining of the term. Sarcofago or Sepultura of old are more Death/ Thrash in comparison. But I digress. What both Krisiun and Sepultura have in common other than country pride is they’re both washed out, lacking in the quality department, riding on the brand that is their respective names and longevity, which we as fans shouldn’t mistake for quality.

    To put this linked YouTube track in perspective, it’s as bland and tasteless as those few pieces of steamed broccoli that came with a Sesame Chicken my assistant ordered from a Chinese take-out food establishment in America. And it ain’t what it’s supposed to be like in the first place since it’s Americanized to cater to American-everything-tastes-mad-spicy-to-us tastebuds right? But we all have nights where we want good ol Chinese take-out too, so I guess this album will do well for those folk. Give into this bland crave, I cannot. What I will give into is the Crave Case at White Castle.

  • Thais Munk

    Not for me, but really well written review. :-) Thanks!

    Also..I misread this sentence “….and a Terry Gilliam film about a dystopian bureaucracy that would make FEMA shiver.”
    I actually read that as “FIFA”, which would also make sense I guess :D

  • Wilhelm

    It just sounds too clean, “modern” and safe to be very effective. I like my death metal wild with more bite and a more opened sound.