Surprised by Blood, Impatient as the Wind
Just so everybody knows: the new Krisiun album, Bloodshed, is surprisingly excellent. The going line on Krisiun is that they're not very interesting once you get past their Paganini-esque technical abilities. The Yngwie Malsteens of death metal, maybe. And, sure enough, their last album dazzled with chops but left the listener starving for substance.
Bloodshed, on the other hand, made up of half new tracks and half really really old demos, is completely fucking awesome. The new stuff is blazing analog fury, drums dumbly plosive like firecrackers exploding in paper bags, boggy guitars sizzling through amps whose ill-gotten lease on life is about to run out. The old stuff sounds like it was recorded in a crypt. I'm sorry, recorded in a crypt underneath the surface of the earth, by the undead, who perhaps not surprisingly aren't the most exacting sound engineers in the world. Metal demos, back when the death metal was young, had a certain joie de vivre: they sounded like they'd been recorded hastily because they were anxious just to pop out of the casket, frightening to dinner guests with a throaty I'm here!
That's how these are. They're killer, every one of them. They ooze coolness. And they mix up the attack so nicely that the experience of the whole album is brisk, refreshing, bracing. In all likelihood there's some aesthetically unsatisfying explanation for the half-new half-demos nature of Bloodshed: the band isn't getting along, maybe, or they were under the gun to deliver a new album and didn't have enough new material, or this is the last album on their contract. But who knows, and who cares? The end result is a thing of surprising and vicious beauty, and I wanted to tell somebody, and you guys were here, and so now I'm done.
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