One doesn’t need to search extensively within the metal world to find examples of successful family cooperation. The Duplantier brothers from Gorjira and the Weaver brothers from Wolves In the Throne Room are just two examples that come to mind. Another case of brotherly cooperation is the lads in Krisiun, a Brazilian trio of highly seasoned death metal fanatics with twenty five years of experience under their belts. Krisiun’s storied career has seen the three brothers from the south of Brazil produce album after album of relentlessly pummeling death metal ever since their 1995 debut Black Force Domain up to this year’s full-length number ten Forged In Fury. Their take on death metal doesn’t veer off the traditional old school setup with deep guttural vocals, crushing riffs, soaring lead guitars and blast beats galore.
Forged In Fury is a perfect example of old dogs keeping a tradition alive and kicking. It’s a fifty one minute affair that goes over some run of the mill topics like dogmas, heretics and the apocalypse. Upon examining some of the band’s earlier efforts, it comes as no surprise that this album’s production hits all the right notes. The guitar tone is deep yet gritty enough; the bass occasionally crackles in the background and stays mostly in its traditional, supporting role, bearing most of the load with drums. The tones on the cymbals are clear without being too sharp and whenever the lead guitar goes into a screaming frenzy, everything else gracefully takes a step back to provide the necessary space.
All these characteristics point towards a well executed death metal album but not necessarily a memorably entertaining one. Opening track ‘Scars of the Hatred‘ sets the tone for whole album with the auditory equivalent of being on the receiving end of a senseless beating. This violence becomes the overarching feel of the entire record but it does produce some slightly interesting nuances, mostly in the form of lead guitar segments. ‘Ways of Barbarism‘ and the furious-sounding ‘Strength Forged in Fury‘ are prime examples of compounding the album’s intensity and ‘Soulless Impaler‘ hits peak intensity with its cleverly arranged trills that usher in a brilliant guitar solo.
However, the album starts to lose steam afterwards. As the assault keeps on coming without anything to mix it up, the whole thing starts to get a little repetitive and disengaging. Second half cuts like ‘The Isolated Truth‘ and ‘Oracle of the Ungod‘ just seem to unexcitingly drag on and the inconclusive and non-dramatic one minute acoustic outro track ‘Milonga De La Muerte‘ doesn’t wrap things up properly at all; it could have been put to much better use as a mid-album interlude to offer the listener some respite from the endless death metal onslaught.
Krisiun is obviously a band with lots of confidence and experience but probably one with little tricks up its proverbial sleeves. This Brazilian trio is plugging away into its third decade with little interest in slowing down and Forged In Fury is an album that shows no sign of stopping. Yet there is always room for a calculated shake-up that can provide a breath of fresh air to the tried and tested formula. As far as old school death metal goes, Forged In Fury is right on the money and a boast some ideal summer festival material, but it’s not an album that would end up being a turning point in Krisiun’s career.
Krisiun’s Forged In Fury gets…