Krisium / Krisiun

Assassination

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Because Krisiun's most recent release, 2004's Bloodshed, had been a combination mini-album/EP reissue, 2006's Assassination constitutes the Brazilian death metal institution's first all-new album in nearly three years -- one of the longest gestation periods afforded by their obsessively workaholic habits. And, whether it served to regenerate the band's creative juices, or, more likely, simply give their critics and fans some time to actually start missing them again, this break certainly enhances Assassination's arrival with a palpable feeling of excitement. A good thing, too, since bludgeoning opener "Bloodfire" seems almost stubbornly defiant in its unforgiving, remorseless death metal onslaught; as if Krisiun are literally staring down all those who in the past accused them of committing extremity for mere extremity's sake, with an insolent: "So what?" Next track "Natural Genocide" is noticeably more pliant with its harmonic staccato riffs, and its immediate follow-up, "Vicious Wrath," is decidedly more straightforward in the arranging (not to mention that old-school thrash metal title), but only barely so -- making it crystal clear that Krisiun are out to satisfy no one but themselves and their die-hard fans here. These will have no reasonable cause not to embrace subsequent eruptions like "Refusal," "Suicidal Savagery," and "Decimated," with their daunting displays of technical precision, and Max Kolesne's percussive hail of machine-gun fire standing out even more than usual (see also his out-of-the-blue bongo exercise "Summon"). Vocalist/bassist Alex Camargo and versatile guitarist Moyses Kolesne never drop the ball either, and the latter's one-minute showcase, "Doomed," recalls those ancient instrumental pieces that Alex Skolnick used to record for thrash metal titans Testament, and introduces one of the album's best numbers in "United in Deception," to boot. All of the above amounts to a very fine death metal outing which, though unlikely to thwart cynical pundits' negative opinions, should confirm Krisiun's standing atop the death metal heap for a few more years to come. [Assassination also features an entertaining cover of Motörhead's little-known album track, "Sweet Revenge," and a pair of live videos for "Hatred Inherit" and "Murderer" taken from Krisiun's Live Armageddon DVD.]

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