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Decapitated and Krisiun…

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2006 @ 10:30am » permalink

Decapitated - Organic HallucinosisFrom the very minute I first heard Poland's Decapitated six years ago they secured a place as one of the best contemporary death metal bands out there, and I still feel the same way today. Much of the talk surrounding their latest Earache release, "Organic Hallucinosis", is around the fact that it's their first album with a new vocalist, but while the vocal performance is noticeably different this time around, I think the musical shift is of much greater importance. And that's not to suggest that things have taken a turn for the worse, as I'm not entirely sure, but I think this might be my favorite Decapitated record to date.

Decapitated's key strength has always been scorchingly badass riffs that benefit from perfectly churning guitar tones, and thankfully that strength dominates this effort as well – albeit the riffs, in general, are a touch more midpaced and dissonant. There's a little bit more of a Meshuggah-esque chug to a lot of the rhythm patterns, but rather than provide too much space the picking patterns still shred with that always chunky Decapitated swing that you should all know and love. Something I've noticed on the band's past records, however, is that there's generally one song per album that just totally crushes everything else – hooking you right from the start and tending to practically overshadow the rest of the album. While there's no such song on "Organic Hallucinosis", I'm pleased to report that the songwriting as a whole, while fairly consistent, is a little more dynamic and interesting all around, so there's more of a balance going on within all of the individual compositions in terms of tempo changes and lots of interesting chord phrasings that are really getting into some fucked up discordance (not quite at a Gorguts level or anything like that, but they're getting there – while still keeping things memorable). And never fear, there's still plenty of speed and a few blazing leads as well, so it's not like they're trying to completely progress out of the straight ahead death metal realm or anything.

Also, despite the rigidity of the drums initially concerning me (I was almost fearing another bout of insanely obnoxious "Nihility" production), I really enjoy the recording on this one. True, it takes a little getting used to since the thickness of the guitars lets the drums and vocals take over some added centrality, but overall I'm not sure where my initial concern stemmed from, because now everything sounds pretty damn tight to me. If they could take this approach and inch the guitars up a little more but still figure out how to make the basslines slightly clearer they'd be in a perfect spot. Good stuff.

This isn't one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion, but it is the one the label seems to have been providing as a sample track, and since Earache's all into selling mp3's at their Metal Tracks website now I don't want to piss anyone off by posting a stronger example of what the album has to offer, so… just know that there are a number of songs on the record that are even better than the example below:

Decapitated "Day 69"

There are only seven tracks on the record for some odd reason (totaling around 32 minutes), but trust me when I say that there are some real keepers on this thing. "Day 69" is a good song and all, but there are so many better examples of how increasingly awesome this band is becoming. So look into this one and definitely pick it up. Since these cats got started so young they should still have a long and prosperous run ahead of 'em:

@ Relapse Records
@ Very Distribution

Krisiun - AssassinationIn a similar, though certainly less drastic move, Krisiun, Brazil's most diehard death metal band, has also accelerated the gradual course of change that they've been undergoing for the last several years on their sixth full-length, "Assassination", of course released by Century Media. Now, if there's one thing you can count on from Krisiun, it's that they're going to stay true to what they do, and what they do is play fast death metal. But the thing that I've always loved about these guys is their complete and total sincere dedication to their music, so I've always been a huge fan of theirs even when some of their records didn't quite do it for me. Thankfully, "Assassination" does hit the spot, and from a production standpoint is the band's best sounding record to date. While you still won't pick out much of a bass presence, the guitars and drums are finally efficiently balanced, and for the first time in as long as I can remember I'm actually able to listen to Krisiun without letting my ears adjust to clinically rigid and unnaturally clicky drum tones… so, if nothing else, I hope they stick with this recording approach from now on!

As far as the actual songwriting goes, it's not a huge leap or anything, but the band is writing with more of a feel as opposed to strictly focusing on record-breaking (and endurance-testing) speeds, which definitely pays off for the listening experience. Yes, it's still quite fast, and yes, it's extremely tightly performed. It's still Krisiun through and through, but you'd be surprised what a difference a wider range of tempos can make. And the solos are really starting to sound more developed now (there's a great example of this in the brief instrumental "Doomed"), whereas in the earliest days of the band's work many of the leads came across more like blindingly fast scales and repetitious patterns. Since that's a part of the Krisiun sound you're still going to hear those wild sweeps and chaotic bursts, but like I said, it's more about feel now, not just speed. And that goes for the drumming too, which is awesome. Max Kolesne's an insane drummer, but now he's starting to get a little more creative with his fills and cymbal work, so rather than simply stupefying everyone with his seemingly effortless high-speed blasts, he's adding more color to the material as well.

Krisiun "United in Deception"
Krisiun "Vicious Wrath"

As always, pick it up if you dig it. I own everything Krisiun has done since "Black Force Domain" and I don't see myself stopping until they do! Get to it:

@ The End Records
@ Willowtip

5 Comments...

  1. Anonymous says:

    death grind= kick ass

  2. Anonymous says:

    awesome. haven't heard Krisiun before, but they sound pretty cool. I wasn't really a fan before this new decapitated album came out though, but since i really like this i'm gonna check out some of their older albums. any idea where to start first?

  3. AVERSIONLINE says:

    All the Decapitated stuff is great, but aside from the new one I'd rank them in this order:

    1. "Winds of Creation"
    2. "The Negation"
    3. "Nihility"

    It's a close match between them all, but the recording on "Nihility" annoyed the shit out of me to the point where I didn't even buy it until a couple years after it came out. Like I said, it's all great shit, though. So many awesome riffs…

  4. yellow swink says:

    i grabbed both of these albums a short time ago, and i love both! anyone ever hear visceral bleeding? fucking amazing songs.

  5. Adam says:

    That Decapitated song is pretty cool but the vocals are kinda weak. They sound like thrash vocals to me. I might pick this one up regardless. Krisiun doesn't do a whole lot for me though. It's enjoyable but nothing about it really grabs me. Personally, I'll take the new Akercocke over both of these. It's truly something special…dark, progressive, and brutal. I highly recommend it.

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