It's been 20 years since enigmatic Brazilian death metal group Krisiun released debut album Black Force Domain
, a release which, whether you like it or not, brought a more global affection for the sub-genre to the masses. Because before Krisiun arrived on the scene (in 1990), the field of Brazilian extreme metal relied simply on Sepultura and Sarcofago for the more interesting side of the sub-genre. It's now 2015, and Krisiun have just released latest album Forged in Fury
after a four-year wait-which, incidentally, is the longest time taken between studio albums for the band.
If you're a long-time fan of Krisiun, then you'll be aware that Forged in Fury
has already ticked all of the right boxes. It's furious, menacing, sinister and has buckets of instrumental talent throughout the near hour-long runtime. The trio-who have been together since the band's formation in 1990 (The same line-up for 25 years is an incredible thing for any band to achieve)-play and perform on Forged in Fury
effortlessly but also with the right amount of vigour and energy to maintain the listener's interest until literally the last minute. The opening one-two punch of "Scars of the Hated" and "Ways of Barbarism", whilst not examples of the album's strongest material, offer the usual flurry of Camargo's thunderous bass and vocal work, whilst accompanied by the Kolesne brothers as they bring the heaviness from the background to the forefront in what seems like seconds. This level of musicianship is what keeps the momentum going essentially, and not even the album's weakest song, "The Isolated Truth", can take away from that impression.
However, the album is as good as it is because of its distinctive highlights-that is, "Dogma of Submission" and it's sub-title track counterpart, "Strength Forged in Fury", as well as the frenetic "Burning of the Heretic". It's both a shame and a marvel to realize that these three songs far eclipse the rest of the album, and are essentially three examples of Krisiun at their very instrumental best. "Dogma of Submission" never lets the momentum die down, the monstrous vocals of Camargo and frenetic rhythmic pace of the Kolesne brothers exploding out of the stereo until the last minute. The drum work in particular is something which makes this song stand out. With almost machine gun-like battery, Max Kolesne hits the right rhythms each and every time, keeping fully intact with his band-mates and providing the backbone to the instrumental flow. "Strength Forged in Fury" is almost a master-class in how to lay down the heaviest of death metal riffs. Moyses Kolesne brings the heaviness to the forefront but also invites the listener to experience the more melodic side of his talents, yet the song simply never tires of his instrumental efforts. There's also more complexity in this song than in any other, particularly in the last two minutes or so, where Kolesne simply lays down every consecutive idea he has in the form of riff after riff. And the best thing is, the accompanying drum and bass work simply never seem to be overshadowed by Kolesne's guitar work, which is what the greatest strength of "Burning of the Heretic" is, just to a slightly bigger degree.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album can't really live up to these three aforementioned highlights. After the enigmatic one-two strike of "Dogma of Submission" and "Strength Forged in Fury", the album takes a bit of a creative dip-and it's instantly notable when comparing different parts of the album. What makes this more unfortunate is that the weaker songs also happen to be longer than their stronger counterparts, though the musicianship is still relatively solid by Krisiun's standards. With all this said, Forged in Fury
is a welcome back from Brazil's premier death metal group. The latest album, whilst having moments of musical brilliance, won't be a game-changer for the band, but it will make those who have stood by Krisiun believe there is still a lot of creative life left.