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This is a powerful follow-up and it kind of goes to show that even late into their career Krisiun can still produce another brutal album, and even with the standard that Southern Storm had set looming above their heads, they didn't back down and produced another.
The acoustic guitar intro to "The Will To Potency" really gives it that Latin American atmosphere before the guitar and drums blow it out of the way. This is my favourite song from the album because of its powerful beat and truly brilliant death growls, also as in "Violentia Gladiatore", but on the negative side the songs do drag a bit and at times will sound similar or just not distinct enough after listening to the whole album, and the overall playing speed seems slower than what you get in Southern Storm.
The biggest issue I have here is the track "Extinção em Massa". Now I have nothing against a band having a guest musician appear in their music because it gives it that something extra, but if I'm brutally honest, "Extinção em Massa" is the worst death metal song I've ever heard. Not only are João Gordo's vocals way too soft in comparison to Alex Camargo, but it sounds like a guy has gotten himself stoned and convinced himself he can sing death metal when really he is just jabbering at ridiculously fast speeds. It has nothing to do with it being in Portuguese, it's just way too fast to even comprehend. If Krisiun had sung it themselves in a slower, more punctuated fashion in line with the rest of the album, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but I feel like it is a potentially awesome song ruined. I couldn't even bring myself to rip it onto my computer when I bought the CD it's that terrible.
A lot of the songs seem to lose their tone halfway through. Seeing as most songs on here are at least 5 minutes long, I feel they definitely could have varied the speed and tone a lot more than they have done in this album. Otherwise, there's a good line of consistency within the album. The lyrics are possibly the easiest to decipher out of a lot of death metal bands I've heard, which in this case is a good thing. Slamming the principles of cowardice and tyranny down to the ground with pretty much perfect growls, it really adds to the anger behind the album's lyrical content.
The rest of the songs, however, do feel more than sum up what the album is about, lyrics, artwork and all. I'd really suggest you get your hands on the version with the bonus re-recording of "Black Force Domain". It's worth it.
In the world of music you don’t happen to find too many sibling combinations that keep a very strong discography throughout their entire career, especially when it comes to the niche genre of death metal. Off the top of my head the only siblings to really make a name for themselves are Eric and Brian Hoffman (Amon/ex-Deicide), Don and John Tardy (Obituary), J.J. and Mike Hrubovcak (Vile, Divine Rapture), Shane and Shaun Stiles (Intestinal Alien Reflux), Mark, Scott, and Mike Ditch (Gutted), and Max, Moises, and Alex Kolesne Camargo (Krisiun). We have watched these three aforementioned brothers grow from being just another anti-Christian death metal band from Brazil and into the juggernauts of blasphemy that they are today for the past 21 years. Most of their discography has been released under the Century Media banner, so it was quite obvious that they saw something in those brothers-in-arms that nobody else did, and they have stuck by all of their musical efforts thus far, and “The Great Execution” is no exception to this phenomenon of loyalty in the music industry.
Since Krisiun’s 2003 release, “Works of Carnage“, we have seen a stylistic shift in terms of technicality and song structures. While “Works of Carnage” was filled to the brim with quick sweeps, visceral riffs and crushing blast beats, there really wasn’t that much there in terms of keeping the chaos controlled, which is the exact reason why it is my favorite album of theirs. However, once we saw a more “refined” side to the band on both “AssassiNation” and “Southern Storm“, it was clear that the brothers were experimenting with trying to integrate more matured song structures with their cut-throat speed. While I feel they may have failed in some aspects to fully combine those two traits on those albums, they are still trying to make everything sync together on “The Great Execution“.
If I may quote a portion of the press release I have received with this album:
“We know this album is a major step ahead from anything we have done so far,” says
vocalist/bassist Alex Camargo. “The songs bring a lot more maturity in every aspect of the music, especially in the variation between the songs.”
Now, when it comes to press releases from a band trying to hype up their new album, I am always very suspect of what comes out of their mouths. I mean, why wouldn’t a band want to say that “it is (our) best/most mature material to date”? It is obvious that they want the listener to be enthralled and intrigued by statements like that. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I have to say something that will put all of you in shock and awe: Alex Camargo isn’t jerking us around.
Right from the get-go you know you aren’t listening to a regular Krisiun album. There is just something else entirely behind the music and the emotion that pumps through your speakers. It isn’t about the band trying to “reinvent” themselves; it isn’t about trying to please the label by going more mainstream to capture newer fans; it isn’t about trying to be more “kvlt” than everyone else. It is about these brothers being able to show how much they have grown throughout their career and had never forgotten their bloody roots at the same time. The only comparison I can make is with how Behemoth made their switch and turned it up a notch going from “Satanica” to “Zos Kia Cultus“, and from “Zos Kia Cultus” to “Demigod“. It is that distinct with how much they have improved their sound.
No matter where you start in this album you know you’ve stumbled upon an even greater Krisiun beast than you could have prepared for. I found it a little odd in the way the band decided on the track order. It feels like the first half of the album is dedicated to those who were big fans of the last two albums, and the second half seems to cater to those who harken for a more “Works of Carnage“-era Krisiun, all while still keeping those modern influences in tact and blended much better than their previous efforts. It was kind of like listening to two different Krisiun EPs, one after the other. The variation in song writing certainly kept my attention and I was really taken back with how far the band has come.
You’ll even hear some guest appearances, like Joao Gordo of Brazilian thrash/hardcore band Ratos de Porao on the track “Extinção em Massa”. It was a very good choice to put him on that song as it feels like it was ripped from a discarded Sepultura songbook from the late ’80s, mixed with some heavy death metal and crossover/hardcore influences. Even the very talented Spanish/Gaucho guitarist Marcello Caminha makes a couple appearances. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what songs he shreds on, but you can obviously hear his acoustic influence in the songs “The Will to Potency” and “The Sword of Orion”. It was very smart to get a couple different artists that I am sure the rest of the world has not heard very much from, and I know that their performances will certainly get them more well known.
Another thing that I really respect about Krisiun is that they recorded this entire album using nothing but analog gear and instruments, just to make sure it didn’t sound “too processed”. You can feel that all of the instruments have a very bottom-heavy tone to them, and it works perfectly for the type of death metal these maniacs love to punish with. There is just a great balance to everything in the music overall, and it doesn’t leave me hoping that something was brought up or down a little more. It’s the perfect showcase for the band to show you that they do not mess around when it comes to writing music.
While I may not have been the biggest fan of their last two albums, it seems that Krisiun have managed to find the perfect blend of old-and-new-school sounds, as well as throwing in a few surprises along the way. It is just 10 tracks of punishing death metal thrown at you from many different angles. I can guarantee that this album will get many spins from both the die hard fans and the new ones who are lucky enough to hear and learn about these Brazilian monsters. “The Great Execution” will happily sit right next to “Works of Carnage” as my second favorite album from the Kolesne Camargo brothers. I am going to end this review with a simple quote for the fans:
“This is not just another death metal album. Go and get your copy, you won’t regret it.” -Alex Camargo
Originally written for Metal Blast (http://www.metalblast.net/).
2011 has been a tough year for many metal fans. Classic bands such as Morbid Angel, Autopsy, Vader, Immolation, etc. have all released great albums this year, and then newer bands like Obscura, Decapitated, Gorgasm, Belphegor, Aurora Borealis, etc. also released really great albums in some people's opinions. Well, while all these albums were fighting a vicious, brutal battle trying to decide who is the king of death metal in 2011, motherfucking Krisiun comes riding out from a void in the sky on an undead steed, sword held high, causing heads to turn and mouths to fall agape at the descending doom. Krisiun are here to show all the other bands of today how real death metal is done, crushing skulls and decapitating hapless bystanders in the name of pure brutality. With "The Great Execution", Krisiun have shown us yet again that they are the true kings to the throne of Brazilian death metal, and right after Vader's "Welcome to the Morbid Reich" this may be one of my favorite albums of the entire year.
If you were like me, and couldn't get enough of Krisiun's previous album, 2009's "Southern Storm", then you'll be happy to know that this album is definitely a step up in the songwriting department. Instead of a whole bunch of great songs that sort of expand upon the same general concept, we have a whole bunch of great songs that have a single point of reference but each accomplish a different goal. We have progressive rock-laden passages as well as flamenco guitar excursions in "Sword of Orion", as well as mid-paced, groove-based death metal in "Descending Abomination" and "Rise and Confront". Then we have jaw-dropping, epic numbers like "Shadows of Betrayal", which is probably my favorite song on this whole CD, which completely sum up the theme of the entire album and roll it up into one spicy, juicey burrito of great death metal...yum!!!
Of course, there are other songs that follow the classic Krisiun sound. "The Extremist" returns to the band's infamous fusion of Slayer-influenced breakdowns with Vader and Morbid Angel influenced riffs which are topped off by unrelenting blast beats, guttural shouts, and lyrics which combine imagery of war and battle with Satanism. Then there is "Extincao En Massa", which features a guy named Joao Gordo doing the vocals and sounds like a trip back in time to the early days of "Black Force Domain" and "Apocalyptic Revelation". However, the band never strays too far from their roots and the distinct Krisiun sound is still dominant throughout pretty much the entire album, so don't be worried about thinking you're listening to a different band...it's all got that trademark sound that could only be of Krisiun.
Probably my favorite thing about this CD is Alex Camargo, who is the bass guitarist and death growler for the band. His voice here is much louder and clearer than on past albums, which sort of gives this album a similar feel to Vader's "Necropolis" CD, where the vocals were extremely clear and likely one of the main highlights of the entire CD. Here, though, it's impossible to overlook the extreme amount of talent that the band's guitarist Moyses Kolesene possesses. This man can do it all, but there's no doubt his real forte is guitar solos, which on this album are expertly crafted fusions of melody, creativity, and emotion blasting through your speakers at maximum volume, and add a bigger, more "epic" vibe to the music.
Overall, I really fucking enjoyed this CD. I would say there were some tiny awkward bits on the "Blood of Lions" track, and "Descending Abomination" isn't the best thing I've ever heard as far as Krisiun is concerned...but overall this was an extremely good album, and anyone who doesn't go and pick this up is really missing out. I would suggest you listen to the songs "The Extremist" and "Shadows of Betrayal" before you buy it, because those were my personal favorite tracks.
Among a couple of other huge names, Krisiun stands proudly as a monument for consistency in death metal world: consisted of three brothers Moyses, Max and Alex this band hasn’t changed their lineup from its inception (apart from two additional members) and have been churning high quality music for almost twenty years now.
Krisiun ascended to stardom in the second half of the nineties, which is generally considered as low period for death metal altogether, with their poisonous brand of South American madness elevated to new heights of brutality (I still remember well how “Conquerors of Armageddon” kicked me in the balls hard way back in 2000 – I really had a hard time believing the aggression of it). String of successful albums and high profile tours are behind them, they are considered as role models for young hordes in their country so one might rightfully say that they have nothing to prove to anyone...
But from the first listening of their 8th full length “The great execution” it is very obvious that these three lunatics still have some fire burning under their asses and desire to develop even further. I can safely note that “The great execution” continues right where their previous two “AssassiNation” and “Southern storm” left off and that is more various arrangements without sacrificing the bare brutality that marked so strong their old releases. First off I must give my comments about the production work: you see, the album was again recorded at Stage One studio with their old partner in crime Andy Classen but the band decided to use only analog equipment and that is more then notable, especially if you are listening the album on your headphones. Simply put, the sound is much more warmer and natural, even bass can be finally spotted amongst the chaos and this is maybe the best drum sound that they caught on tape in their career – and that was one of their main problems in the past (remember horrible clicky tracks on “Ageless venomous”?).
The music, as I have already mentioned, follows the route of the last two Krisiun outings and takes it even further as the guys have really developed their songs so “The great execution” clocks in around one hour which is the longest ever in band’s history. That fact is the biggest flaw in my eyes as some of the tension is just lost in the album longevity, “Southern storm” is the longest that this kind of brutal music should be and on this one it is more than notable. But luckily Krisiun know how to write some killer riffing and to back it up with machine gun drumming which is still their main weapon, mix that with some mid tempo headbanging parts and you have the winner.
There are also two notable guest spots which show the versatility of this release. First off, Marcello Caminha lends his talent on acoustic flamenco guitar on two songs that is really a fine twist when put against the wall of Death Metal lunacy the Krisiun way. “Extincao em massa” features the guest vocals of Joao Gordo from cult crossover Brazilian band Ratos De Porao and said track carries great Deathrash eighties’ feel, kinda reminscent to older Sepultura stuff and it is one of album’s highlighs for me.
It is very clear that Krisiun have put a lot of hard work to make one interesting album with “The great execution” and even though there are some minuses that I’ve spotted, Krisiun are still at the top of death metal food chain in this moment, and now they have good reason to go on the road once again to transfer their art to live in the live setting where they are strongest.
Back many a year ago, it had been quite a while since Brazil gave the extreme music world an act worthy of attention. Now granted, there have been all sorts of bands that have tried to conquer the throne left vacated by the disintegration of Sarcafago and the worldwide stardom of Sepultura, but I’d not really seen (and heard) anyone worth their weight in Brazil nuts in terms of being able to be the next big thing from the rain forest up to that point. And then came Krisiun, and the throne was seemingly taken after several blisteringly fast and brutal affairs, showing that South America may have the kindling of death metal still aflame after all this time in stagnation. There may have been a misstep or two along the way (“AssassiNation”, anyone?) but as a whole, the KRISIUN boys showed enough moxie and energy to keep their diabolical hearts beating all throughout the music they continued to make.
And now, we come to their latest, “The Great Execution”, so let’s see if said energy has yet to hit a snag at all…
Straight away, one can tell this would end up being a bit of a different death metal beast, as much of the dulling, blinding speed is set aside in favor of more realistic songwriting, a few bouts of mid-range tempos and even a touch of harmony tossed in. There’s still some serious fury within the thick walls of guitar riffs and five-bullets-a-second drumming, if more streamlined and a bit more simplified to prevent complete and utter slack-jawed stymieing. It could be that the songs present don’t simply throw riffs at the listener, it could be the rather slower scheme of things, it could be the crisp and clear production, but whatever it is, it kept my attention pretty nicely, something most groups of their ilk aren’t able to do. Rarely do I come across a deathish act that does its thing coherently and creatively rather than simply aping many of their mid-90s influences in a manner more befitting hacks and fools, and lately Krisiun have been impressing me more and more the further attention I give them, and “The Great Execution” is truly no exception to the rule.
The guitars and bass tear at you with a fierce ferocity, leads and solos attempt to soothe amidst the portrait of violence thus created, the drumming pounds the listener into feeble submission, and the lead roaring speaks more volumes in its darkness than many other pitch-shifted growlers/squealers out there. There may not be a lot of depth and structure involved, but then again, this kinda thing doesn’t usually require a firm ear to appreciate; anger for the sake of anger doesn’t really need it, as long as it’s done correctly and can still be a strong piece of work in the end, to which this latest record is able to accomplish. Which is a fine thing to do for this reviewer, he who doesn’t really care for most death metal out there, and songs like “The Will to Potency”, “Descending Abomination”, and “Rise and Confront”, while not able to change my mind on the genre wholly, do their best to at least keep my mental attentive juices piqued.
In the end, I dug “The Great Execution” a great deal. I may have been wrong on these guys in the past (it happens), and the future may bring me back to the KRISIUN rain forest camp time and time again for all I know. If not, I can at least appreciate and check this little doozy out to my dark heart’s content. Recommended.
Originally written for The Offering
Krisiun is a band that has taken me some getting used to, as I've experienced a number of their live performances at which I found the music to feel dull and repetitious, despite its brutal architecture. I could also say the same for their albums, but a number of them have grown on me, from the 90s excursions like Apocalyptic Revelation or Conquerors of Armageddon to their 2008 outing Southern Storm which showed an increase in songwriting depth and variation that was well timed in such an enduring career. The Great Execution is the band's eight full-length, and continues along the axis of its direct predecessor, that is to say a more versatile approach which channels their massive Deicide, Vital Remains, Morbid Angel influence to an appreciable breadth of possibility, if not the most breathtaking results.
The Brazilians pace themselves fairly well here, but I can't help but feel that a lot of the actual riffs being performed are highly predictable and unwilling to change up the progression of notes into something more satiating to the ear. "The Will to Potency" is an almost tribal escalation of momentum, but until about 3 minutes in, and the great lead sequence, it feels underwhelming. "Blood of Lions" integrates a lot of chugging, thrash influence but this often manifests in a pretty bland selection of mutes, and once again the bridge and guitar solo are more musical than the remainder of the track. Fortunately, the deeper in, the more exciting and memorable the actual rhythm guitar content becomes, so songs like "The Extremist", "Violentia Gladiatore" and "The Great Execution" itself are spring-loaded with great riffs that feel as if they deserve the Mosyes Kolesne leads, which are in general excellent across the entirely of the album.
One of the tightest functioning death metal bands in existence, the execution of the musicianship here is pure precision, and that's always a pleasure to experience, even if they're not among the more menacing or memorable of death metal acts internationally. Max is a metronome of steady muscle who never wavers, and the crisp and clean tone of the guitar suits the percussive nature of their composition. I'm not a big fan of the bass-lines, which too often seem to follow along with the rhythm guitar so that you rarely notice them, but then, Alex Camargo is also doubling up as vocalist, a position in which he is superior. The Great Execution definitely seems to me like a clinical, modern upgrade to the roots of their countrymen Sepultura, bathed in the context of Krisiun's USDM influences. It's not quite as forceful as Southern Storm, but shares in that album's more adventurous use of the guitar in the bridge and leads to create what is a damned solid, if not perfect, listen.