Up till Ageless Venomous, Krisiun played a furious, if slightly unmemorable, style of death metal consisting almost entirely of cyclical, tremolo-picked riffs. From Works of Carnage onwards, that came to be replaced with the preponderance of a staccato element in the songwriting, culmination of which was the surprisingly accessible Southern Storm. However, as Immolation have gradually discovered over the last fifteen years, overuse of staggered riffing can interrupt song flow and even open the door for other more undesirable elements like groove and melody as artifice to creep into a once-uncompromising music. Krisiun have not been immune to these failings either, so it is interesting that Scourge of the Enthroned arrives as possibly the third incarnation of the Krisiun sound.
At a high level, Krisiun have essentially combined the previous two aspects of their technique. The cyclical nature of riffs is back, but not always in the erstwhile near-black metal style; instead, now, the staccato is as likely to be incorporated into the actual body of the riff itself as it is to serve its traditional role as riff demarcator. A somewhat vague impression to explain, but to these ears this effect is achieved by chopping up the individual riff into discrete portions by way of overt trills and palm-mutes. In other words, these riffs repeat as much as anything on Black Force Domain, but in micro increments, at the interstitial level.
On the periphery of this new mode of attack also lie the by-now ubiquitous arpeggiated dissonant stylings of orthodox black metal. It is strange how these flourishes have come to be a part of the repertoire of even experienced bands; they add no individuality to songs that are already difficult to individuate, but like the flamboyant understrike so irresistible while signing a document, guitarists seem compelled with an involuntary reflex to emphasize their riffs with these addendums.
To their credit, and unlike a band like Adversarial, Krisiun don’t get entirely carried away with the new toys in their creche, and look in equal part to their own past for inspiration. Within the very specific niche of Brazilian death metal and bands like Raebelliun, Horned God, Ancestral Malediction, and Ravager, Scourge of the Enthroned occupies a no less violent spot. Krisiun‘s finest hour may have come and gone, and while they will never truly rise out of death metal’s second tier, this is still a refreshingly no-holds barred comeback from a veteran band.