Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Review: Krisiun - Apocalyptic Revelation

Krisiun, the Brazilian death metal outfit comprised of three brothers, are understandably legends in their own right. Their 1995 debut full-length album, Black Force Domain, is widely regarded as one of the greatest death metal albums of all time for its incredible myriad of talent-laden tracks. The band's 1998 effort, Apocalyptic Revelation, is the sophomore follow-up; there's no doubt that it has big shoes to fill, but given the skill that each member of Krisiun possesses, it shouldn't be too tall of an order.

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Dynamo Brazilie
Release Date: 1998
  1. Creation's Scourge
  2. Kings of Killing
  3. Apocalyptic Victory
  4. Aborticide (In the Crypts of Holiness)
  5. March of the Black Hordes
  6. Vengeance's Revelation
  7. Rite of Defamation
  8. Meaning of Terror
  9. Rises from Black
Total Playtime: 38 minutes, 59 seconds







Rating: 7.0/10



Krisiun, the Brazilian death metal outfit comprised of three brothers, are understandably legends in their own right. Their 1995 debut full-length album, Black Force Domain, is widely regarded as one of the greatest death metal albums of all time for its incredible myriad of talent-laden tracks. The band's 1998 effort, Apocalyptic Revelation, is the sophomore follow-up; there's no doubt that it has big shoes to fill, but given the skill that each member of Krisiun possesses, it shouldn't be too tall of an order.

Right from the beginning, it's easy to hear that the album has a lot more bass presence this time around; this missing feature was one of the few downsides of the band's initial release, and it caused the drums to fall flat in many areas. Now the drums have a boosted sound that's a lot more impacting, with each snare and bass drum hit managing to work its way to your very core. It's the mixing that Max Kolesne's extraordinary command of his kit rightfully deserves.

Speaking of Max, "Apocalyptic Victory" is one of the many tracks on Apocalyptic Revelation that shows off just how expedited his work can become, with devastating raw aggression that's taken out on double bass kicks. His hand work is so fast that it's actually hard for the ear to keep up with at all times, as he flies around his kit with masterful precision and fluidity. There aren't a plethora of instances where the drumming on an album is the substantial highlight, but this is one such occasion.


The material focuses more on heavier chords and riffs this time around; there aren't as many solos, which is honestly a bit disappointing for the simple fact that they were so amazing in Black Force Domain. The thick-bodied riffs push the content in an entirely new direction for the band, and when coupled with the dryness of the production quality, it really draws in thoughts of early work from Nile. Though "Apocalyptic Victory" does house one of the better mind-melting solos of the album, as does the end of "Rises from Black". Additionally, the instrumental "March of the Black Hordes" is another track that stands out due to its flurry of memorable chords and light synthesizer additions.

At the end of the day, Apocalyptic Revelation is an album that doesn't necessarily stand out in Krisiun's discography. It's neither amazing or awful, and with all respect, it is a decent release; it's a good solid brick of fast and hard death metal. There's no problem with the skill of the members, but the songwriting is much less charismatic than in their other albums. If you're looking for a dose of rapid, sweaty death metal, then there's few better; if you crave some zest with it, you may want to look elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Krisiun


Genre: Death Metal
Country: Brazil
Locale: Ijuí, Rio Grande do Sul
Formed: 1990
Label: Century Media Records










Reviews:

Black Force Domain (1995)
Apocalyptic Revelation (1998)




















Review: Krisiun - Black Force Domain

There's no question about it, Brazillian death metal trio Krisiun is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. Formed in 1990, the band consists of three brothers; Alex Camargo on bass and vocals, Max Kolesne manning the drums, and Moyses Kolesne commanding the guitar. Almost every single one of their ten full-length offerings has struck gold with listeners, and with an upcoming eleventh release looming in the foreseeable future, what better way to prepare than by going back to 1995, at the heart of the band's roots.

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Dynamo Brazilie
Release Date: August 14, 1995
  1. Black Force Domain
  2. Messiah of the Double Cross
  3. Hunter of Souls
  4. Blind Procession
  5. Evil Mastermind
  6. Infamous Glory
  7. Rejected to Perish Below
  8. Meanest Evil
  9. Obsession by Evil Force
  10. Sacrifice of the Unborn
Total Playtime: 41 minutes, 28 seconds







Rating: 9.5/10



There's no question about it, Brazillian death metal trio Krisiun is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. Formed in 1990, the band consists of three brothers; Alex Camargo on bass and vocals, Max Kolesne manning the drums, and Moyses Kolesne commanding the guitar. Almost every single one of their ten full-length offerings has struck gold with listeners, and with an upcoming eleventh release looming in the foreseeable future, what better way to prepare than by going back to 1995, at the heart of the band's roots.

You may have seen the album cover a multitude of times over the years, and that's because Black Force Domain is one of the most prevalent debut albums ever released. It contains death metal that's clearly on the cusp of black metal, and the sound overall is exceedingly greasy and raw. The production values are high on treble and very light on bass; the bass drum doesn't have much of an impact unless it's featured in stand-alone areas, and the bass guitar is barely felt at all.

Of course, the opening title track is a shining beacon of Satanic force; it's an intense, instantly ear-catching way to kick off the material. The long ending solo will all but make your head explode with just how tight, fast, and high it climbs up the neck of the guitar. By the end, you'll be salivating for more, and Krisiun delivers just that... 40+ minutes of some of the fastest and most fluid guitar licks that death metal has ever seen.

It's hard to not base this review around the guitar alone, as it has a massive spotlight on it for the entire album. With solos that encompass everything from masterful sweeping, to light-speed tapping, and tremendously fast hammer-ons/pull-offs, Moyses' skill is immediately cemented as irrefutable. His scales are menacing, dark, and sharp as a machete. No track goes without a handful of solos, be them long or short, and they're changed up from being laid over heavy rhythm riffs to standing by themselves.


Even though the mixing and sound quality doesn't allow for Max's drums to stand out as much as they could, songs such as "Hunter of Souls" are overtaken by his rapid fire. The patterns are fueled by more than just blast beats, taking in rounds on the tom-toms, flavorful stopped hi-hat crashes, and producing solid beats that accent the guitars as well. Max gets his own chance to pummel the ears off of listeners during the start of "Evil Mastermind", which kicks off with a 40-second drum solo that utilizes every single part of his kit in a tempo that's nearly sub-human.

While a lot of death metal bands in the 90's, such as Grave and Autopsy, were implementing slow riffs and acidic, doom-like structures to their songs, Krisiun ensured that Black Force Domain is nothing short of non-stop skull crushing brutality at a pace that even Satan would have a hard time keeping up with. It's sweaty, it's fevered, and it's filled with such a high level of musicianship that one might be led to wonder if the then 20-something-year-olds actually did sell their souls to acquire it.

In reality, the instrumental track "Infamous Glory" is the only offering that could be considered even slightly slow, and that's only really due to its lack of drums; it starts out with sinister keyboard backings as a slick two-minute guitar solo takes over the listener's ears. Things intensify around the middle for a while, as creepy organs make their way into the fray. There's no drums, bass, or vocals here, just pure face-melting shredding backed by haunting synthesizers.

The majority of Black Force Domain is an awe-inspiring masterpiece, but with that said it does carry on a bit too long. The material could've benefitted from stopping at "Obsession by Evil Force", though that's definitely not to say that "Sacrifice of the Unborn" isn't a good track. Additionally, the vocals are good and powerful, but they're also dry; they don't stand out amongst the crowd of death metal vocalists. You can't point them out in a crowd and go "Oh yeah! That's Krisiun alright", but you can with the rest of the instruments. This is one of the death metal albums that you need to listen to before you die.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Akerbeltz


Genre: Black Metal
Country: Spain
Locale: Lloret de Mar, Girona, Catalonia
Formed: 1996
Label: BlackSeed Productions
















Reviews:

Satànic (2017)





















Review: Akerbeltz - Satànic

Though the name isn't entirely common in the underground, Akerbeltz has been active since 1996. In its early incarnation, it was a husband and wife duo; Akerbeltz himself and Lilith. However, sometime after 2001's full-length, Tabellae Defixionum, Akerbeltz decided to go at the endeavor alone. Believe it or not, Satànic is the seventh fully fleshed out offering that the solo project has produced, but it's the first one that has come about through BlackSeed Productions.

Genre: Black Metal
Label: BlackSeed Productions
Release Date: April 15, 2017
  1. The Red Dragon
  2. A Deed Without a Name
  3. Ye Olde Hag
  4. The Crypt
  5. Beyond the Reflections
  6. Witchery
  7. Ludum Mortis
  8. Opus Satanic
  9. Chaos
Total Playtime: 33 minutes, 08 seconds







Rating: 8.5/10



Though the name isn't entirely common in the underground, Akerbeltz has been active since 1996. In its early incarnation, it was a husband and wife duo; Akerbeltz himself and Lilith. However, sometime after 2001's full-length, Tabellae Defixionum, Akerbeltz decided to go at the endeavor alone. Believe it or not, Satànic is the seventh fully fleshed out offering that the solo project has produced, but it's the first one that has come about through BlackSeed Productions.

The majority of the songs on Satànic rely heavily on chaotic compositions that are in the vain of true old school black metal. "Red Dragon", "A Deed Without a Name", and "Ye Olde Hag" all scratch and claw their way inside your cranium with their seemingly helter-skelter style. On the other hand, there is also a lot of Countess-reminiscent orthodoxy at play; "The Crypt" and "Ludum Mortis" being the heavy hitters of this style. These two tracks feature riffs and tremolo picking that's reliant on distinctive catchy hooks, ear-pleasing solos, and drum patterns that compliment it all and bring it together.


Akerbeltz's strong, shrill black metal vocal style rings through the tracks with an overwhelming presence. It's deeply committed to a considerable amount of reverb, which further pushes the raw, occult vibes of the material. There are clearly different production values that separate the vocals from the instruments, the latter of which comes across a lot more straightforward and without any effects aside from standard treble-heavy distortion tones.

Where the guitar comes in with tons of treble, the bass and drums keep the material grounded with constant bassline assaults that stand out prominently. The drumming, in particular, is masterful, and it's filled with tons of double bass kicks and speedy hi-hat taps. Most of the blast beat goodness is saved for the end of Satànic, "Chaos" is just as its namesake describes; it's filled with anarchic blast beats and tremolo riffs, while still being sprinkled with small spurts of orthodoxy throughout it for good measure.

Truly, Satànic is one of the more unique and thoughtful black metal releases to come about in a number of years. Rather than attempting to resurrect the gods of old, Akerbeltz has managed to infuse his music with two types of traditional black metal and still maintain his own personal presence amongst the chaos. Simply put, it's a true black metal release with no bullshit attached; no synthesizers, no faux downgraded production, and no unnecessary features. If you were to tell me this was released in the 80's, I'd believe you, and I'd wonder why Akerbeltz wasn't more popular than Mayhem.

Digital Download Provided by: BlackSeed Productions