The best French brutal death metal band is finally back! After 8 years of waiting, Kronos has returned with their most epic and ambitious album to date, “Arisen New Era.”
Having helped spearhead the death metal movement in France in 2005 alongside Benighted and Morbid Collection, Kronos spawned one of the best French extreme metal albums of the first decade of the 2000s, when they released “The Hellenic Terror” in 2007. The spirit that has inhabited the group since its inception allows Kronos to create colorful and catchy songs with interesting structures, without losing their brutality and heaviness. Unfortunately, Kronos’ popularity has not risen to the level of their peers. They have had to face many obstacles, including line-up changes over the years.
The beautifully illustrated cover of “Arisen New Era” depicts a Greek mythology scene, foreshadowing things to come. ‘Infernal Abyss Sovereignty’ is as explosive a beginning to any brutal death metal album, and everything that follows is just as intense.
Early in the blast, one immediately figures out Kronos’ ‘style’: the incandescent energy, flaming rhythms, and expressive riffs that have made the reputation of the group. However, not everything is as it was before. The rhythmic twists are sharper, as “Arisen New Area” carries a reinforced technicality. Whether it is new drummer Anthony Reyboz, or the pair of guitarists Richard and Grams, one feels that they have lost none of their instrumental mastery, and have gained fluidity.
Fortunately, not everything has changed, actually far from it. The atmosphere of previous albums materializes through expressive leads and irresistible riffs. However, they are slightly less memorable than was heard on the two previous albums, but not short on thrills. These riffs, solos, and leads are lively like the soul of a Greek conqueror, awaking warlike impulses that lie dormant within us.
Kronos has always stood out from the pack of brutal death metal groups that share their ability to be just as brutal, without resorting to violent, unbroken rhythms. However, this fact seems to have greatly diminished, since many of the songs on “Arisen New Era “show a ubiquitous violence. Kronos is intelligent, controlled, relevant, and enjoyable, but violent nonetheless.
It is not until ‘Klymenos Underwrath’ and ‘Brotherlords’ we find some attractive mid-tempo songs. These songs ramp up quickly, but never get carried away. I like ‘Colossal Titan Strife’ for its atmosphere and better calibrated rhythms, which are able to accelerate at any time.
Excellent pleasurable moments between perfect acceleration, communicative energy, and relentless riffs punctuate “Arisen New Area.” Unfortunately, it lacks the brilliance of the subtlety and harmony that made the two previous albums successful. Despite the overall positive impression, I still have the aftertaste of ‘disappointment’, the foremost in this unusual tenfold energy to the group, and significantly less epic and daring riffs than before. That being said, I will take “Arisen New Area” for what it is: an excellent brutal death metal album, which is already quite a bit.