Krisiun - Forged in Fury (Century Media)

Release Date: 
6 Aug 2015 - 11:30pm

Mid way through the second track on this, Krisiun’s tenth album, the admittedly excellent Ways of Barbarism, I found myself wondering ‘why? why am I bothering with this?’ which surely isn’t a good thing to be thinking when you’re listening to an album you’re meant to be appraising honestly and fairly.

Still I’m a professional (actually, I’m not getting paid for this, so in strict terms I’m very much an amateur), and the boss man wants Forged in Fury reviewed so here we go. As I indicated in the opening paragraph, there’s actually not much to dislike about this record; Within it’s incredibly limited parameters it functions perfectly well, Alex Camargo leading from the front with a gnarly vocal performance that sounds positively quaint in these days of indecipherable metalcore belching yet still carries the requisite level of brutality about it to maintain credibility, whilst the Kolesne brothers rarely if ever put a foot wrong, with Moyses’ lead work in particular carrying a nice cutting edge with just the right reek of Hanneman and Kisser when required.

It’s just most of the material they are performing lacks a certain something. One track ends, another begins, erasing any memories the previous one embedded in the ol’ cortex. Great death metal always carries those little whiffs of skewed melody – the lead runs that snag the ear, the brief whirlwind strikes of harmony guitar that set the pulse racing, you know what I’m on about, but Forged in Fury just doesn’t come up with the goods on that score. Consequently the listener is confronted with fifty minutes of blitzkrieging noise with rarely any light relief to capture the imagination.

The mid section of Strength Forged in Fury is a welcome exception, leading the listener to yearn for the bit more in the way of structure and dynamic that this song offers; sadly too often all you’re actually left with is the perspiration rather than gratification that’s the hallmark of so many other wormanlike, unspectacular acts. Soulless Impaler and Oracle of the Ungod also have their moments, but if, like me, you remember when Krisiun were viewed as a genuinely dangerous alternative to Sepultura, it’s hard to see FiF as anything other than an exercise in treading water. Disappointing.

(Was Mick right? Or just a curmudgeonly old thrasher? Have a listen to Ways of Barbarism below and decide for yourself - Ed.)