As an hard rock enthusiast, when thinking about the combo of Brazil and extreme metal it’s easy to get stuck on the national, or at least Belo Horizonte, superheroes of Thrash/Death-Metal, Sepultura, or if you have a deeper interest in extreme metal, maybe some of Brazils other early metal bands, such as the legendary Death Metal pioneers Vulcano and Sarcophago who together with Sepultura put the country on the extreme metal map during the mid-eighties.
Among this company, it is easy and perhaps understandable, to forget about a relatively “new” band, yes they have “only” been around since 1990, such as Krisiun, who, apart from the fact that they sport the genres by far ugliest logotype, with “Scourge of the Enthroned” delivers their eleventh full length album, twenty-eight years into their career!
With the legacy of the above-mentioned bands in mind, it’s safe to say that Krisiun have some pretty big shoes to fill, but instead of continuing on the same path as these legends, delivering the embryonic Thrash/Death-metal that has become synonymous with South American extreme metal, or the groovy Death Metal of later Sepultura, Krisiun with the new record, takes on another branch of the Death Metal tree.
With “Scourge of the Enthroned”, Krisiun leaves the classic South American sound far behind, and despite the fact that there are some small hints of Florida styled Death Metal incorporated in the music, they rather take inspiration from the other side of the Atlantic ocean, namely Europe and Poland’s finest, the mighty Behemoth! However, where Behemoth still blends some elements of Black Metal into their take on Death, Krisiun still remains with, if not a foot, at least with a few toes, in the mill of Thrash Metal. The South American heritage may not be completely wiped out after all.
Though my metal heart might pump a little harder for the Stockholm or Florida school, than the, although also brilliant, Polish style of Death Metal, I can’t deny that Krisiun, on “Scourge of the Enthroned”, delivers something really good and there is no doubt that Krisiun are full blown professionals regarding both their musicianship as well as their songwriting skills!
Something that makes me really happy is the variety of the song material, especially concerning the drumming. Where modern Death Metal drummers often tends to stick to a rather monotonous fast double bass playing over a mid-tempo beat, Max Kolesne plays drums like a real Death Metal drummer is supposed to do! In other words, there is a wild mix of double bass, grind, blastbeats and other pace variations, and changing the beat during one and the same guitar riff is more the rule rather than the exception here! Of course, this gives the music another dimension, and in my eyes this type of playing is one of the corner stones of Death Metal, and not during any of the numerous times I’ve listened to the album I feel that the songs have stagnated or that I’m losing interest in the music.
But… there is always a “But”…
Despite the fact that Krisiun, with “Scourge of the Enthroned” delivers a really good album, I have a small, but still so important, issue with the album. When listening to Death Metal, I want to feel the stench of rotten zombies as I do when listening to Obituary. I like to sense unmentionable evil lurking in the depths like I do on Entombed’s first albums or, as on the four first classics by Morbid Angel, hear the insane chants of the necromancer, calling out to the ancient ones as he lifts his ceremonial dagger in triumph over the blood soaked sacrificial altar!
These images are never delivered to me, listening to Krisiun and despite their blameless performance and brilliant song material, the atmosphere I find so important in almost all music is sadly absent on “Scourge of the Enthroned”. With that said, I still want to lift up “Scourge of the Enthroned” as a really nice modern Death Metal album, and even though it doesn’t quite reach the eight, foremost because of the lacking in atmosphere, it’s well wort, a really strong seven!
Title: Scourge of the Enthroned
Label: Century Media Records
Date of Release: 7/9-18
Playing time: 38:07
Stand out track: All tracks are good!