So I am listening to Blood Ceremony’s S/T debut,* and mulling over some big-name death metal.
Origin's latest, Antithesis, is a nitro-blast downpour of tech-metal. Make no mistake about it; Origin has the goods, Topeka, KA born to kill. This is the technical death metal album to fall for this year, and what makes these songs stand out, more than newcomers like Braindrill, is that the band has begun to master songwriting in parallel with their obscene instrumental prowess. I wish that there were more prominent guitar leads on the album, and I have some problems with the production (blurred guitars and heavily triggered drums are standard detractions), yet there are some great songs on this Antithesis. “Wrath of Vishnu” tears you in half then releases a melodic guitar lead, opener “The Aftermath” showcases the bands love of sweeping guitars, and the drum on licks on “Algorithm” reveal John Longstrengths skill in overdrive. After careening through most of the album, on the title track Origin rides a groove before putting Antithesis to rest.
Krisiun just keeps on barreling ahead through the years. While the three bothers are heralded as a pure, straightforward death metal band, I think what makes them special is a grasp of subtleties within the genre. Morbid Angel was essential for early death metal, but also for their influence on black metal through overtly implementing classical themes in their music (Mozart), as an addition to their religious imagery. The titles for the first LP’s are an obvious sign; Alters of Madness and Blessed are the Sick, but also reveal a fascination with classical aesthetics, to create an ugly combination of blood in baroque.
Krisiun is undoubtedly a part of this tradition, old school style and cultural devotion. While Krisiun’s Bazilian aesthetic is more militant in comparison Morbid Angel, a relationship to an ancestral identity has played a pivotal role in establishing them as a force over the years. One could point to the acoustic interludes, but they are nothing new to Metal; and Max’s tribal drum fills are a highlight every time around, but never the silver bullet. It’s Moyses’s penchant for unique melody and Alex's diminished vocals residing in the background of every album that ties Krisiun to their predecessors . His solos can be wild, but it’s the intangible “less is more” guitar work during the lulls that deserve notice in a genre that prides its self on excess.
Their newest offering, Southern Storm, improves on Assassination by taking their time around each base. On Storm they labor longer , instead of pouring all of their technicality into over-blown breakdowns. The solos have improved and are more prominent, and it should be stated that Max Kolesne is still, one of the best Metal drummers period. I have said enough.
*Blood Ceremony: coolest album of 08'.