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Warning shot heard round the underground... - 79%

HeavingEarth, June 27th, 2011

This release, a split with the death metal band Harmony Dies, is somewhat troubling for me to review; it is a contradictory, yet intriguing and prophetic release, for a number of reasons. Grading it was tough, because there are many, many different things to consider and take into account.

First off, the sound is... strange. The mix is absolutely disgraceful to the rhythm guitars. When spun, Max's drumming is RIGHT FUCKING THERE IN YOUR FACE LOUD AND CLEAR. You can't hide from it; it absolutely DOMINATES the mix, sound-wise, and also playing-wise. They are very clicky sounding, in an un-triggered way, and the kick drum, toms, and snare are the most prominent things in the mix, with the ride cymbal being below them. What really hurts is the cymbals, because the hi-hats and crashes are just a big wash of hissy static peaking the recording device.

Slightly below the drums are the vocals, which show an early Alex coming into his own. If you realllllly strain hard, you'll hear the guitar riffs. The bass guitar almost helps accentuate and reveal the riffs, because below the high-end treble clicking of the drum kit, there is this round, low end vibrational humming that helps you discern the guitar riffs, which seem to be mostly speed-picked. However, when they happen, the guitar solos jump right out and are mixed very well, full of whammy bar chaos and shizoid tension.

So, mix-wise, this sucks, but serves to demonstrate that there is a new force coming soon, because despite the flaws, you can clearly tell that A) this band is talented, and B) they're crazy as shit. And this is where the main success is, because I can understand how, when this came out, it would have made people go nuts with wanting to hear more, because the crazy chaos is appealing, and because there is something hidden in the music; they aren't getting the whole package. There is more to be discovered, in both new songs and hearing the riffs clearer. So, in this respect, it has succeeded wildly, because even when I listen to it, it makes me jones hard to play Black Force Domain and Apocalyptic Revelation, which features the re-recording of "Rises From Black".

Lastly, this release can be seen as a declarative statement, because for a band coming from the 3rd world at this time to get something so wild and out of control recorded and released, and performed with such technical facility, it really is a remarkable achievement, and shows that they mean absolute business. In a way, this release epitomises the struggle that Krisiun went through, the fight that they had to endure and all the shit they had to crawl and claw their way through. The clarity of the drums show that they've got some success under their belt, but the obscured guitars still show that there is more ground yet to be conquered. They're not there yet, but they're on their way.... and will not give up. So again, in this manner, it succeeds again, because look at where they've gotten. So this release is basically them saying "Here we come, and watch out".

So, all that taken into account, this is a great piece and if you stumble across it, you should absolutely get it. The vinyl is great quality, and the jacket is just paper but has lots of information in it, including the lyrics. The songwriting is pretty typical Krisiun, and shows the form that they would basically take until Ageless Venomous onward. The main hindrance is the horrible mix with the guitars being so low and the hissy static of the cymbals. I understand that recording facilities in Brazil at this time were probably not so good, but if they were able to get the drums, vocals, and guitar solos right, its pretty inexcusable to have the rhythm guitars be buried. The cymbals are more understanable, given the limited technology to record them, but if those 2 things were touched up just a little bit and adjusted, this would be one epic release. Plus, I wish it were longer. Still, its a monumental demonstration of brutality that should be honored and sits at a crucial place in Krisiun's history.