posted on 7/2008 By:
It’s kind of a rare thing for a band to continue to improve after six or seven albums. More often than not we’ll see an act peaking somewhere between their debut, the follow-up or ‘difficult’ third album. Not so Krisiun. I could be in the minority here but this band’s early albums bypassed me somewhat, and it wasn’t until the excellent AssassiNation that I finally sat up and took notice. Given the quality of that album and Krisiun’s extensive back catalog, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to assume that their apex had been reached. Well, two years on from that ‘peak’ and it would seem the band has other ideas. Enter Southern Storm.
From the moment no-nonsense opener “Slaying Steel” kicks off proceedings it becomes apparent that Krisiun aren’t interested in reinventing the wheel, instead opting to further grind our ears with their signature sound whether we like it or not. And that’s the thing about Southern Storm, in that you won’t mistake it for anything other than Krisiun. If you don’t already appreciate the band’s particular take on brutal death metal you possibly never will. If on the other hand you dig their South American-flavored, militaristic blast then Southern Storm will feel like a refinement of all of Krisiun’s strengths, with an even greater focus on channeling their fierce technicality into strong, memorable songs.
Southern Storm has its fair share of highlights. Early on, “Sentenced Morning” tempers its furious jackhammer rhythms with a slamming breakdown, while “Minotaur” retains the intensity even as the band shifts down to medium pace. Two of the best songs are found near the end of the album. “Contradictions of Decay” features some of Krisiun’s strongest riffs to date as well an invigorating use of melody. Closing track “Whore of the Night” is surprisingly bombastic for Krisiun, and is absolutely ferocious with some great licks from guitarist Moyses (his leads are outstanding throughout the album). There’s even some icing on this cake in the form of Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist” that fits in with the rest of Southern Storm better than I had expected.
2008 has so far proved to be a bumper year for death metal what with the likes of Dismember, Grave, Hail Of Bullets, Decrepit Birth, Dead Congregation etc. all releasing killer efforts. Krisiun deserve to be counted among this lot, as Southern Storm is a superior example of quality death metal songwriting. These guys are one of the most committed bands in the genre and this latest effort proves that the fire in their belly is stronger than ever. Southern Storm is an excellent album and one that will hopefully be appreciated by the death metal community at large and not just Krisiun fans.
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