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I suppose the politically correct word for bands like Krisiun these days is "consistent"; I saw them once opening for Behemoth and Morbid Angel, and while I can't tell you what song they played, it was a pretty good one. I was just surprised by it being a half hour long...
Krisiun does not thrive on variation or experimentation- they have, like many bands before them, arrived at a relatively simple formula and take pride in sticking with it. With the high-minded aspirations of Jungle Rot and the expansive musical pallet of Bolt Thrower, the band has for over twenty years now firmly stuck to the "less is more" philosophy which is written all over their music. They get points for perfection of a certain aesthetic, I suppose; while it's essentially impossible to tell one Krisiun track from another, I can't say I've heard one which actually strikes me as bad. The lexicon of blast beats and tremolo riffs is a small but elegant one, and Krisiun proves that you can do a lot with the two- a lot of the same, certainly, but a lot.
"Bloodshed" is some sort of mixture of unreleased tracks and a handful of songs from the earlier "Unmerciful Order" EP- it's not entirely clear what the goal is, and I'm hardly interested enough to start researching, but compilation or not, the music comes across with basically the same impression no matter how many years between songs might have elapsed. For those who haven't heard Krisiun: a death metal version of norsecore, perhaps, or Vader stripped of the lingering thrash influence. Rivers of blast beats endlessly flow alongside equally endless amounts of tremolo riffing, only occasionally breaking the perpetual breakneck tempo for a martial rhythmic stomp or needling solo. The gruff, half-shouted, half-growled vocals command the listener into battle, and... eh, I'm running out of clever imagery. Krisiun plays very fast, very intense (but not "brutal") death metal that's generally pretty one-dimensional but without the artsy implications you can read into something like Enmity. It's probably the most extreme and monodimensional music an oldschool death metal fan could claim to like.
None of it's bad simply because it doesn't really have enough personality or chances taken to BE bad- Krisiun know how to write tremolo riffs and blast beats and stick to that formula with such dedication that no chance for a bug in the system to arise ever emerges. The riffs are solid, mostly dissonant or hellishly melodic numbers, like a mixture of mid-era Cannibal Corpse and a straightened-out Morbid Angel, the drums are... consistent, and the vocals monotonously angry enough to meet my approval. It's as straightforward as death metal gets, and its lack of frills both prevents it from developing a personality and prevents it from ever stumbling.
My summary, which can be applied to basically any Krisiun release: fun for a while, grating by the end of the album, probably worth a purchase if you find it for under $5.
Heavy slightly muddled production creating fast/mid-paced semiblast-beat Death metal. The whirl-wind death metal style of Krisiun returns with this album and I’m happy to hear their style is still the same and heavy but I’ve realized that they’re running out of ideas. Half of this album is new material, just generic Krisiun, but the other half is just a rerelease of “Unmerciful Order” MCD, which in my opinion is far more superior than their new “Bloodshed” material.
Now with that said, that leaves me with a dilemma. I don’t know whether to welcome this new “Bloodshed” release or scorn it saying that they’re just recycling old ideas over and over. I, for one, haven’t heard their “Unmerciful Order” MCD before and when I heard the portion of the cd that contained it, I was really impressed.
“Bloodshed” is generic Krisiun, all the songs sound mostly the same utilizing the same formula (except for “Slain Fate” and “Hateful Nature” which stands out) and the instrumentals are pointless, its just slow atmospheric noise, I’m not really a fan of this slowass bullshit. But the “Unmerciful Order” portion of this cd fucking owns. I’m really fucking impressed by their early material. Its really fast and brutal without ever slowing down. The vocals are relentless and brutal the drumming is superb and blasting the entire time. The bass….well fuck the bass, who needs that shit when everything else fucking owns so much. The song structure in their old material is unique in a sense where its completely relentless, meaning it just keeps progressing from one kickass riff to another without stopping. When it does stop, it tricks you into thinking this torture is gonna end, and all of the sudden it kicks back up again raping your fucking ears.
So in the end, all it comes down to is this. The new “Bloodshed” material is generic Krisiun, if you’ve heard any of their recent cd’s you’ve heard their new material on this album. But if you haven’t heard “Unmerciful Order” (which is no longer available) definitely buy this fucking cd! “Unmerciful Order” by itself is worth your money and plus it comes with two songs from “Bloodshed” that doesn’t suck so its definitely worth it.
Overall, I’m still wondering whether I should welcome this release of “Bloodshed” or not. Since the material on “Bloodshed” mostly suck and they have to rely on their old material to make up for it, I’m not too certain about the future of this band. “Unmerciful Order” by itself in my opinion is a 100 but without it I would’ve given “Bloodshed” a 50. So for this cd I’ll give it a 75 but the future for this band is looking bleak.
RECOMMENDED SONG: Slain Fate, Hateful Nature, and all of their early material
THE GAY SONG: all instrumentals, Visions Beyond
LYRICS: Hate, murder, death
PRODUCTION: Heavy-clear, (its heavy and muddled for “unmerciful order”)
PACKAGING: Band logo with blood, comes with Lyrics sheet
OVERALL: Unmerciful Order will slay you all! For fans of brutal blast-beat death metal!