Location: Ijuí, Brazil
Genre: Death Metal
Released: July 18, 2008
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: All-Time Favorites
By: Kris Kotlarik
It is no secret to those who know me that death metal is among my least listened-to subgenres of metal. There is something about the genre that has never attracted me in. If I had to pinpoint a specific problem, it would be those bands who suffer Cannibal Corpse syndrome. Same lyrical themes, very similar stylistically; simply put, there’s not a lot of replay value to keep me coming back for more.
Enter Krisiun, the trio of brothers (seriously, they are actually brothers) who have released nine albums over the last twenty years. Over that span, they have clearly evolved from the ridiculously raw Black Force Domain to their most recent release, the slightly political and well-produced The Great Execution. If you’re looking for a death metal track that has something to say (and/or if you speak Portuguese), check out “Extinção em Massa” from TGE.
Not all of their albums are great, but every album has at least one or two tracks that I can go to on a consistent basis and always enjoy. But something on their penultimate release, Southern Storm, clicked. From the world “go,” this is a death metal gem that few albums of the genre can match. There’s no bullshit intro that I’ve ranted about on so many albums; “Slaying Steel” is one of the most punishing openers I have come across, with its sweeping guitars and blast beats aplenty.
There is a lot of overlap in the critique I could make for this album, so I’ll just cover the highlights. For starters, the cover of Sepultura‘s “Refuse/Resist” is perfect, which is something I almost never say on an album review. Usually, I’m not a fan of covering tracks on albums. I think that’s best reserved for EPs or live releases. But Krisiun nailed this one. “Combustion Inferno,” with its simple yet enforcing riffs and ending solo, and “Sentenced Morning” are both great tracks that the label got right and marketed as singles with videos.
I think the best on this album is “Contradictions of Decay.” It’s the most dynamic track here and takes time (about a minute) to build up before it really kicks into gear. There’s another solo in here that isn’t overly technical but fits the overall vibe of this track very well. “Whore of the Unlight,” the closer, is also a standout, especially at the end.
While there are no weak tracks here, I do question the placement of the interlude, “Black Wind.” It’s a short acoustic number that Krisiun has slotted into other albums, such as Ageless Venemous and AssassiNation, in a similar fashion. It sounds like the band just needed to take a break from all the metal, so they just decided to wank on some acoustic guitars for a while and put it on the album. It’s pleasing to listen to, but is non sequitur to the rest of the album.
Nevertheless, this album is great. No death metal album will ever earn a 5.0, unless Ne Obliviscaris somehow blows me away more than they already have. But Krisiun comes close.
Overall: Will probably end up in the bottom half of the top 50, but that’s still pretty damn impressive. The fact that my name happens to be a part of this band is mere coincidence.