Krisiun: Forged In Fury

Brazilian berserkers hit a career peak

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Back in 1995, Krisiun’s debut was everything the stagnating death metal scene needed.

Utterly brutal yet extremely precise and lethal in its execution, it felt like being hit by a bus at full speed to the sound of a Morbid Angel 33rpm played on 45, and with that unique extra South American venom to spice it up.

Black Force Domain made such a mark that not only did it become synonymous with what was later dubbed the ‘Brazilian sound’, but the band based their whole career upon it. Such a foregone conclusion makes Forged In Fury an even ballsier achievement, even if isn’t revolution per se. For those who were hoping to be rolled over by a legion of tanks, however, it just won’t be quite the same. Yes, they are still just as vicious, but here the trio have done the unthinkable: exhibiting an undeniable talent for finesse and even tact.

The writing was already on the wall with 2011’s The Great Execution, but assisted by what must be Erik Rutan’s most balanced and subtle production work to date, letting every little nuance shine through without losing a gram of its power, they’ve dared to come out of their comfort zone here, even if the core of their sound is still dominated by those staccato riffs performed in perfect symbiosis with hysterical blastbeats. The arrangements are far more complex and Moyses Kolesne’s guitar playing has far more to offer now, with Voivod-esque breaks, dissonant parts and chest-beating melodic solos. Also, for the first time in the band’s history, you can actually hear his brother Alex’s bass loud and clear in the mix. The result is once again greater than the sum of its parts but it’s really its unprecedented ambition and clear-cut performance that sets Forged In Fury apart, even if, at 52 minutes, it may offer a tad too much to stomach. Still, as stubbornly stuck to the sound they help defined 20 years ago, 10 albums on they still find new ways to sharpen their knives. Here lies the difference between followers and leaders. Krisiun always belonged to that second category and it’s never been truer than in 2015.