To suggest that there’s a shortage in hard and true, purist Death Metal due to the ascension of the break-down, pig squeal favouring and (if we’re honest with ourselves) fairly watery sub-genre “deathcore” is exactly the kind of assertion made almost exclusive by members of the Bloodstock online chat forum. Dying Fetus opening the main stage at Download in 2014, Cannibal Corpse’s consistently cited press coverage (whether to positive or negative effect) and the return of Entombed and Carcass to the fully active mould are just a handful of many signs in the past two years that the vast roots keeping the gravity around the majority of Death Metal in its old-school sense are still holding firm.
Brazilian DM legends Krisiun’s 10th LP (and their first since 2011) “Forged In Fury is not only another cog in the well-oiled machine; it’s an absolutely barn-storming comeback. Pristinely produced, almost all the way through the quartet find the balance between technicality and proper, teeth-grinding death ‘n’ roll in an exemplary way. They successfully harness definable melody, bull-dozer brutality and artistry that (thankfully) falls well short of wanky-ness. And it pulls no punches on that right from the off; The imperiously tight opener ‘Scars of the Hatred’ is as strong-armed a way to body slam the listener’s ear drums into submission as any, and ‘Ways of Barbarism’ marries the same sense of skull-crushing grooviness with a sometimes pensive sense of spaciousness.
The unexpected turns the band take are consistently thrilling too, their off-kilter persuasion always maintain a righteous beat all the while. There’s a short but near meditative soundscape on ‘Dogma of Submission’ and rib-cage shattering violence to the staccato riffs on ‘Strength Forged in Fury’. The sadistic, swarm-of-wasps hum of ‘Burning of the Heretic’ provides the backbone to a horrific solo of guitar scree halfway through, attesting to the album’s most evil-sounding moment. The direct historical bent of penultimate track ‘Timeless Starvation’ perhaps alludes to Stalin’s brutal attitude towards the famine in Russia during his reign, all tales of mass murder.
Just like the bands mentioned earlier, what makes “Forged in Fury” so worthwhile is that Krisiun are still totally doing their own thing. At a time when Death Metal is either so commercial elitists have almost shunned it altogether, or technicality is the genre’s calling card, bands like the Brazilian heroes are still proving there is plenty of room for a band to create their league and own it.