KRISIUN
"AssassiNation"

(Century Media)

01. Bloodcraft
02. Natural Genocide
03. Vicious Wrath
04. Refusal
05. H.O.G. (House of God)
06. Father's Perversion
07. Suicidal Savagery
08. Doomed
09. United In Deception
10. Decimated
11. Summon
12. Sweet Revenge

RATING: 8.5/10

First of all, if you haven't liked KRISIUN's virtuoso hyperspeed attack before, nothing on "AssassiNation" is going to change your mind. And if you do like them, don't be an idiot and worry when you hear about progression, or the occasional slow moment on this album. "Slow" is a relative term, folks — and KRISIUN throttling back on the blast beats for a few minutes here and there still leaves them more furiously intense than any ten bands you'd care to stack up against them.

Check out "Natural Genocide" to hear how, despite the asphyxiating density of the KRISIUN sound, this Brazilian trio still manages to stuff more complex soloing, clattering time changes, and astonishing sweep picking into these audio clusterbombs. There's even melody, of the screaming, razorwired variety, laced into the guitar lines like sharpened piano wire (check out the chorus to "Father's Perversion" for some particularly frantic hooks).

But first and foremost, the order of the day with KRISIUN is, as it has always been, lethal doses of speed and the most efficient audio murder achievable by mortals. The vocals are savage, the drums whirr like heavy machinery illegally amped with too much power, and the rhythm guitar and bass are tandem friggin' bulldozers. And yes, once in a while, the blast beats cease, either in favor of some start-stop syncopation that would make a drill team weep, or a "laid back" moment during which drummer Max Kolesne still hammers on his double-kick drums with impossible fervor. It's exhausting — listening to a full KRISIUN album is almost a physical workout — but their sense of dynamics and melody avoid monotony even at the most breakneck speeds.

Production is always an issue with music this dense. KRISIUN took a bit of a drubbing for 2001's "Ageless Venomous", particularly its clicky, overprocessed drums, and since then they seem to have found the perfect balance between barbarity and clarity. There'll always be an element of the digital in their sound — I don't think this sound could be captured in any sort of usable form without the clarity that it provides. But their precision at heart-stopping speeds is their main drawing card anyway, and KRISIUN's surgical efficiency will always set them apart from more dirt-caked and slovenly forms of guttural, indecipherable death metal blosh. They've done something nearly impossible amid such a chaotic sonic space — they've created their own sound, with an instantly identifiable personality, and have perfected it still further with "AssassiNation".

To be honest, and it may sound shitty, but I keep watching and waiting for these guys to hit a wall like I was at a NASCAR race. Every time they release an album, it seems impossible that they could top it next time around. Yet somehow, with equal parts Third World alchemy and utter death metal conviction, KRISIUN push the envelope still further each trip to the studio. "AssassiNation" may just be their crowning achievement to date.

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