Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned – Album Review

36524857_10156751414553217_6640589463380557824_n

Artist: Krisiun

Album Title: Scourge of the Enthroned

Label: Century Media Records

Date of Release: 7 September 2018

There are few bands that can boast a line-up that has remained unchanged for their entire career. However, aside from a brief, ill-fated experiment as a quartet, Krisiun have always been a trio. What’s more, the three protagonists are all related – bassist/vocalist Alex Camargo, drummer Max Kolesne and guitarist Moyses Kolesne are brothers not only in extreme metal, but by birth as well. Brazilian outfit Krisiun are therefore the very epitome of ‘tight-knit’, a truly unified unit that has remained thus throughout their lengthy career that has seen them release no fewer than ten albums over three decades. ‘Scourge of the Enthroned’ is studio album number eleven.

If you thought that the ravages of time might have had a detrimental effect on the potency of Krisiun’s no-nonsense old school death metal, then allow ‘Scourge of the Enthroned’ to prove you very wrong indeed. For 38 minutes, Alex, Max and Moyses take great delight in bulldozing the unsuspecting listener with some brutal, savage and unrelenting extreme music, the stuff of nightmares if you happen to be anyone within a 3-mile radius as I blast this record from the speakers from inside the Mansion of Much Metal at significant volume.

The one constant that I find most beguiling about Krisiun, has to be the drumming of Max Kolesne. The guy is quite literally all over the show, delivering a cogent lesson in the art of pummelling. What I particularly like is that Max’s delivery is not one-dimensional, as he is happy mixing the ubiquitous death metal blastbeats with elaborate fills, slower beats and an approach that comes across at times as almost unhinged and out-of-control. It’s all an illusion of course as the drumming remains sharp and precise, but I really enjoy the more frenetic moments when things threaten to go horribly wrong and descend into madness, only to remain on-point throughout.

That said, I find it hard to criticise any of the performances on ‘Scourge of the Enthroned’, because this is easily one of their best releases within their lengthening back catalogue. From the opening, slow and measured beginning of the opening title track, I knew that I was going to enjoy this album more than others from the Krisiun past. The deliberate intro is soon replaced by an absolutely frenetic and uncompromising blast of dirty, gritty death metal. The riffs are not overly complicated but they hit the mark, ranging from fast and furious to grinding and groovy, always complimented by a rich, full-bodied tone. I also find favour in the way the track frequently differs in tempo, creating an undulating feel that seems to toy with us as listeners. One minute we’re suffering whiplash, the next we’re nodding our heads in slow, appreciative rhythm. As always, Alex Camargo’s gruff bark is resonant, almost surprisingly so, adding another layer of extremity on top of an already extreme listen.

krisiunbandjuly2018_638

‘Demonic III’ begins with a glorious machine-gun riff that’s joined in total unison by the drums and bass of Alex. It is the prelude to a track that is a genuine showcase for the brothers’ individual technical abilities as well as a demonstration of how they are able to work together to create something tight, interesting and nasty as all hell.

It takes until the third track, ‘Devouring Faith’ for Moyses to unleash a proper lead guitar solo. It appears right at the outset and is a wailing, squealing and vaguely unhinged affair deliberately loose-sounding despite the apparent technique involved. And, if the meaty, ominous guitar tones that usher ‘Slay The Prophet’ into existence don’t stir up any primeval feelings within you, then perhaps old school death metal isn’t for you after all. As the track develops, it becomes increasingly chaotic but, as is their way, true chaos never arrives as the brothers keep things in check thanks to their combined abilities.

Other highlights include the thunderous bass work within the swirling and eddying tornado of a track that’s ‘A Thousand Graves’, the pronounced groove and exuberant lead solos of ‘Abysmal Misery (Foretold Destiny) and the final cut, ‘Whirlwind of Immortality’, which is easily as extreme as Krisiun have ever sounded, whilst being as dynamically interesting and varied as the opening title track, if not more so thanks to a few more nuanced moments within the carnage.

A final word has to go to the production courtesy of Andy Classen, who has worked with the Brazilians in the past as well as other luminaries such as Belphegor and Tankard. It has to be said that this is one of the most vibrant-sounding death metal albums I’ve heard of late. It is a great blend that captures the earthy, more organic nature of Krisiun’s material, whilst also keeping a clarity that means that the music doesn’t descend into a muddy, indecipherable mess.

After the ‘meh’ feelings that the last couple of albums induced, I wasn’t necessarily expecting too much with this new record. However, ‘Scourge of the Enthroned’ has pleasantly surprised me to the point that it has rekindled my respect and admiration for these veteran stalwarts of the death metal scene. Sometimes, I need some brutality in my life and when the mood takes me, Krisiun and ‘Scourge of the Enthroned’ fits the bill very nicely indeed.

The Score of Much Metal: 8.5

If you’ve enjoyed this review, you can check out my others from 2018 and from previous years right here:

2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

Kingcrow – The Persistence
Cast The Stone – Empyrean Atrophy
Omnium Gatherum – The Burning Cold
Helion Prime – Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster
Madder Mortem – Marrow
A Dying Planet – Facing The Incurable
Árstíðir – Nivalis
Mob Rules – Beast Reborn
The Spirit – Sounds From The Vortex
Aethereus – Absentia
Unanimated – Annihilation
Manticora – To Kill To Live To Kill
Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
Halcyon Way – Bloody But Unbowed
Michael Romeo – War Of The Worlds, Part 1
Redemption – Long Night’s Journey Into Day
Distorted Harmony – A Way Out
Tomorrow’s Eve – Mirror of Creation III – Project Ikaros
Atrocity – Okkult II
Lux Terminus – The Courage To Be
Kataklysm – Meditations
Marduk – Viktoria
Midas Fall – Evaporate
The Sea Within – The Sea Within
Haken – L-1VE
Follow The Cipher – Follow The Cipher
Spock’s Beard – Noise Floor
Ihsahn – Amr
The Fierce And The Dead – The Euphoric
Millennial Reign – The Great Divide
Subsignal – La Muerta
At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself
Dimmu Borgir – Eonian
Hekz – Invicta
Widow’s Peak – Graceless EP
Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik – Hugsjá
Frequency Drift – Letters to Maro
Æpoch – Awakening Inception
Crematory – Oblivion
Wallachia – Monumental Heresy
Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality
MØL – Jord
Aesthesys – Achromata
Kamelot – The Shadow Theory
Barren Earth – A Complex of Cages
Memoriam – The Silent Vigil
Kino – Radio Voltaire
Borealis – The Offering
W.E.T. – Earthrage
Auri – Auri
Purest of Pain – Solipsis
Susperia – The Lyricist
Structural Disorder – …And The Cage Crumbles In the Final Scene
Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram
Divine Realm – Nordicity
Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart
Poem – Unique
Gleb Kolyadin – Gleb Kolyadin
Apathy Noir – Black Soil
Deathwhite – For A Black Tomorrow
Conjurer – Mire
Jukub Zytecki – Feather Bed/Ladder Head
Lione/Conti – Lione/Conti
Usurpress – Interregnum
Kælling – Lacuna
Vinide – Reveal
Armored Dawn – Barbarians In Black
Long Distance Calling – Boundless
In Vain – Currents
Harakiri For The Sky – Arson
Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs
Tribulation – Down Below
Machine Head – Catharsis
Bjorn Riis – Coming Home EP
Twilight’s Embrace – Penance EP
Bloodshot Dawn – Reanimation
Rise of Avernus – Eigengrau
Arch Echo – Arch Echo
Asenblut – Legenden
Bleeding Gods – Dodekathlon
Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s