I entered the KRISIUN musical camp far too late for my own good, though not through any lack of interest on my end. As a result, I didn’t partake in their rise to Brazilian death metal prominence back at the dawn of the millennium and found myself getting a first-hand account of their approach with the previous outing, “The Great Execution”, and if that was any indication then I’m only missing so much. I did enjoy what the album had to offer, and as far as palette-cleansing metal goes I’ve definitely heard worse, but it still felt a bit flat and only as interesting as their craft could possibly be. That’s more on me than on the band, of course. Still, it had enough going on for me to see where they would continue to tread from there…
From where it stands, “Forged in Fury” reins in a good portion of the group’s original flare and frenzy in favor of a slower and more drawn own method of musical torment. From my own limited engagement with the material it feels like the Kolesne/Camargo clan are still opting for a more simpler take on their particular metal blend, which in itself is fine as this, in turn, leads to a few things to consider; for one, the more mid-paced and chunky “stop-start” segments allow the tracks to breathe better and the collective efforts of the band to be heard versus a blinding windstorm of fire and noise. Even the production isn’t half bad; despite having resident musical trash compactor Erik Rutan again at the helm and dials, everything is clear and able to be heard, if a bit thick with the guitar tone. As a result it’s not an unpleasant album to sit through by any means, though there are only so many moments where it demands your full focus and attention (the fervent immediacy off tracks like ? and “Burning of the Heretic” , for example, offer plenty of flames-clad fun). I mean, you can only run through low B minor scales for so long until it starts to fade into mere background white noise, even if you can’t help it.
But as I’ve said many times before, I’ve heard worse extreme metal out there, so if the worst you can do is be an effective yet inoffensive work of nastiness, then who am I to complain? And truly, I’ve not heard anything off “Forged…” that I would consider terrible by any stretch; at best, it’s quite good where it counts, and at worst it’s somewhat bland. But that said, the flatness and accessibility of the material is both a good and a bad thing, as while it prevents further listens from being such a blur that would leave you exhausted, it also starts to feel increasingly dull the more the album wears on. It’s not so much an overt lack of ideas as it is said provided ideas only fleshed out so much and so far; for my money, a bit more exploration of the material, a more deeper unearthing of it all at hand, would make for a more enveloping listen, and as it stands it only offers so much in that regard before dimming. You KNOW these guys can do better (I mean, look at everything up to “Ageless Venomous”, or even “Bloodshed”), and more often than not you’ll feel that twinge of expectation as this continues plodding on track-by-track and only slightly getting there. But hey, as I said, better to be vanilla than shit.
In the end, I wasn’t all that impressed with “Forged in Fury” but I didn’t dislike it either. I wouldn’t say this is meant to continue the grand tradition of KRISIUN’s obvious supremacy in their given style, but merely just a simple musical treading of the waters. Here’s hoping the next one down the line will do them/us the same amount of justice many have come to expect.