Southern Storm

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Over the years, the names Sepultura and Krisiun have often been used in the same sentence. Both are metal bands from Brazil, a country that is much better known for samba, bossa nova, choro, MPB (música popular brasileira), baião, and forró than it is for metal. But metal-wise, Sepultura and Krisiun have traveled along different paths. Sepultura started out with thrash metal but evolved into more of an alternative metal band; Krisiun have always had a death metal focus, and they maintain that focus with characteristically brutal results on 2008's Southern Storm. This 50-minute CD doesn't break any new ground for the trio, which continues to offer head-crushing death metal that is technical but not ultra-technical and never technical to the point of becoming math metal. After many years in the trenches, singer/bassist Alex Camargo, guitarist Moyses Kolesne, and drummer Max Kolesne have kept their chops in good, solid condition -- or even improved them -- and they sound like a well-oiled death metal machine. Southern Storm is predictable, but it is enjoyably predictable -- at least if one has a taste for nonstop brutality. This album doesn't offer a lot in the way of either variety or nuance, but in terms of sheer exhilaration, Southern Storm does the trick. And that is what tracks like "Origin of Terror," "Massacre Under the Sun," and "Contradictions of Decay" (as well as an inspired cover of Sepultura's "Refuse/Resist") are ultimately about: exhilaration -- loud, dense, pummeling exhilaration taken to a brutally heavy extreme. Southern Storm isn't quite essential, but longtime fans of Krisiun will find it to be a reliable demonstration of their skillful viciousness.

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