Krisiun
Forged in Fury

Krisiun, always the bridesmaid, never the bride…that’s too bad really, because the truth of the matter is that this trio of brothers can put out some terrifically fast, tight, and brutal material that, when done right, can clearly out shine many of the top tier death metal bands that Krisiun often get overlooked for.

Most of the metal listening world’s first aural experience with Krisiun came with their third album, 2000’s Conquerors of Armageddon. Conquerors showcased a band salivating to bash your skull in with their fierce onslaught of fast and blast. The album was a success, pleasing both metal fans and critics alike, and poised the group for an attack on death metal that could have led them to the top of the ‘ol proverbial mountain. A mere year later, choosing to strike while the iron was still hot, the band released Ageless Venomous and unfortunately, Krisiun dropped the ball. Ageless wasn’t a bad album, at least not in the songwriting department, but it did suffer from an extremely too clean production, and what might possibly be the worst typewriter sounding bass drums ever recorded.

While 2003’s Works of Carnage corrected the production mishaps from Ageless, it sadly, failed to deliver anything more or necessarily, even better than any material from Conquerors or Ageless, ultimately, relegating the band to the realm of second tier death metal. You have to give Krisiun props though, never to sit on their laurels, the brothers three came back with not one, not two, but three consecutive albums of downright great to excellent material with AssassiNation, Southern Storm, and The Great Execution; albums that really stepped up the songwriting in both groove and memorability, while maintaining the core Krisiun sound. It seemed though, that the damage had been done and the opportunity to climb metal’s social class ladder had been lost, as the band still seemed to be cast to second tier purgatory, regardless of how great their last few albums were and how much they deserve to be mentioned with metal’s upper elite.

So here we are in 2015 with Krisiun’s new album, Forged in Fury, marking twenty years since releasing their blasting debut. While Forged in Fury is another successful notch in the band’s ever growing belt of furiously solid, semi-technical death, guaranteed to please long-time fans, it unfortunately, won’t do much to move the band to any higher status or opinion in most metal fan’s minds.

Still retaining their tried and true sound, Forged in Fury initially, comes off as a standard Krisiun album, if not a bit paint by numbers, though after multiple listens the material really does begin to open up more. The band has always had that feel of a Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal hybrid, but on Forged in Fury, I catch an added flair of thrash sensibilities. This may be due to Alex Camargo’s bass having a much stronger presence in the mix, with his instrument having more mids and highs pushing, giving a strong bouncy sound to his bass, akin to many of the thrash masters of the 80’s, which in turns gives the material a slight airy feel.

The material itself is all pretty much top quality, whether it’s the punishing album opener, “Scars of the Hatred”, the bludgeoning “Ways of Barbarism”, or the pummeling of “Timeless Starvation”. In fact, it’s actually hard to pinpoint any true standouts on the album as all of the songs contain what we’ve come to expect from Krisiun. There’s fast riffs, slow riffs, syncopated riffs, militant tempos, blasting drum rolls, and plenty of double bass, with some tasty solos and fat grooves, all wrapped up in a seething menace of brutality. Hell, you even get a couple of nice guest solos from Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad/Tenet/Zimmer’s Hole/Scar the Martyr) on “Strength Forged in Fury” and album producer, Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/Morbid Angel/Ripping Corpse) on “Burning of the Heretic”. Speaking of solos, guitarist Moyses Kolesne once again lays down a gauntlet of impressive leads. His guitar work is blistering tight and his solos, ranging from dive bombs to melodic runs, really do add a lot of dynamics to the band’s sound.

All in all, Forged in Fury is a really solid, if not slightly great album. The material isn’t necessarily as impressive as that found on the band’s last three releases, but I attribute this to the material on the album as having too similar song structures, with drummer Max Kolesne’s work sounding interchangeable from song to song at times, as well as most of the song’s lengths being too long. Production wise, Forged in Fury sounds great. Rutan does a fantastic job behind the board, giving all the material heft and clarity. In fact, I wish there was a little bit of dirtiness to be found within the production, as well as a bit more dirtiness in the vocal department, as Camargo sounds much less guttural than in older times, though these are very minor quips.

Throw in some Joe Petagno cover art, and the fact that the digipack version of Forged in Fury comes with a nice fold out poster, as well as a kick ass patch, plus two bonus tracks; one of which is another solid Krisiun track, and the other being a musically accurate, yet vocally wretched cover of Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral” (seriously, it sounds like Oderus from Gwar doing guest vocals, and while I loved Dave Brockie, this simply sounds comical), and what you have is another damn fine Krisiun album, that while doesn’t break any new ground for the band or metal what-so-ever, does succeed in providing quite an enjoyable thrashing.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
September 24th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Saw these guys live for the first time last night and have always been a fan. They killed it live, but very spot on with this review: good, but not going to catapult them up the ladder.


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