Krisiun maintain their rank as Brazil's death metal OGs

So many metal bands today create music that while heavy in nature, is polished, edited and reliant on the use of technology to make it sound perfect. Such is not the case with veteran Brazilian brothers Alex Carmago (bass/vocals) Moyses Kolesne (guitar) and drummer Max Kolesne of the death metal horde of Krisiun. With a career spanning nearly three decades, the band has earned a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, hailed as champions of the sound and culture in their native country of Brazil and respected internationally as one of extreme music's purest practitioners.

Boasting a body of work 12 full length albums, and one live album deep, the band’s latest offering Mortem Solis, is a stone solid slab of brutality that is confrontational, loud and pure metallic mayhem; an assertion of artistic chaos that suggests how death metal should be executed. To celebrate the band’s latest release, the band is about to embark on a tour of North America with Revocation in September. Drummer Max Kolesne took time from his home in Brazil to speak with Knotfest about the sound of the Mortem Solis, the ups and downs of death metal, and how the pandemic changed his perspective in life to be more humble.

Speaking on the tradition the band embraces and their established method of operation, Kolesne shared how keeping it old school in Krisiun is part of the band's creative DNA. “On Motrem Solis, we didn’t really change our approach to how we record,” he said. “We have always done it this way with our music from our first album Black Force Domain in 1995. We record like when we play live; we don’t change things with computers, or use sampling. We don't even use the clicks for recording which is rare nowadays, since almost everyone does that especially in extreme metal."

Kolesne explains how the bands that established the foundation of the genre remains an important reference for them, "As a band we always do the opposite of what most other bands do. We are inspired by the old classics: albums like Reign in Blood by Slayer, Darkness Descends by Dark Angel and Seven Churches by Possessed. Those albums are pure and aggressive with no fillers. This is what makes our band different today. Our albums are the same as a live performance, nothing is touched up or edited with computers.”

Max said that he and his brothers in Krisiun are lucky and grateful to have been able to earn a living off of music and have the kind of longevity they still enjoy today. “We have been making a living since we put out our first album. We do so many tours. When we are not touring outside of Brazil we play a lot of shows here, so we are able to make things work and support ourselves by making music,” speaking to the quality of life that often times eludes many extreme music artists.

Max said that the dedication of the band’s fanbase is the reason for Krisuin’s continued relevance in the world of extreme metal. “The only reason we are here is because we have such a loyal fan base, that’s the only reason we’ve been able to survive playing extreme death metal,” he said. “When we started the band in the early 90s, a lot of bands were slowing down and trying to fit in to the latest trend, which at the time was down tuned jumpy music, mixing rap and metal or grunge or whatever. We decided to do the exact opposite of that. We wanted to play faster, more aggressive, more extreme music. Our music has always been inspired by the old classic death metal and thrash metal bands. No matter what, we just keep moving forward no matter what is popular. There will always be ups and downs especially for this type of metal. To play extreme death metal it’s not always easy, it can be tough, but we don’t let that stop us.”

Max told Knotfest that the band is currently on an upswing and he is noticing a resurgence within the subculture - seeing old school fans co-mingling with a younger, newer generation that are exploring the sound. “Right now is a good time for us, we are getting a lot of new fans and great reaction to the new album and we notice a lot of younger fans getting into this music.”

Though proudly Brazilian, Krisun have been able to hoist that flag as an international ambassador of time-tested death metal, having toured the world several times now. “We’ve played all over, in Asia, Australia, all over North and South America and Europe, from the US and Canada, Russia to Japan and everywhere in between,” Kolesne said. “What we have found is that metal heads are the same everywhere we have traveled. It’s like a huge family all around the world, everywhere we go, the fans treat us well and go off for the shows. Some places like in Germany and the Netherlands, the crowd is different; when we play they only like to raise their fists and bang their heads during our set, but in other places like in the US, like in New York, Texas or California, people like to slam, get into the mosh pit and even fight, they rage with the music and it can get pretty crazy. But still other than this true metal heads are the same everywhere we go, they just have a passion for this music.”

Reiterating that sense of community, Kolesne spoke to how the pandemic, the subsequent lockdowns, and the return to playing live shows again, has resulted in a noticeable change in the vibe fans have at the band’s shows. “People are more wild, for sure,” he said. “On our recent tour of South America it was nuts. People were starving for interaction, and live music. The energy was so high, at every single show. People got tired of virtual life just being on computers. They needed to hang out with actual people, get drinks, see a show and just enjoy life. We were excited, the fans raged, and it felt like the first shows we played 30 years ago.”

With lyrics dealing with war, bloodshed and evil in the world, Kolesne admitted that while he pays attention to the reality of the world, he doesn’t let it consume him and tries to keep music as his respite. “There’s definitely a lot of chaos and craziness but it’s hard to say if things will get better or worse,” he said. “ We hope for the best but so many people are crazy right now. The leaders and politicians in this world are mostly evil pieces of shit, and the people are like muppets that can be controlled easily, and manipulated. The elites who rule this world don’t care about human life, they just care about building their empires, making a profit and using power and control; we see it with all these wars and bloodshed, it’s a lot of bulshit, injustice and corruption."

Kolesne coupled that healthy distrust of government, Kolesne counters that with a sense of appreciation for the things that truly matter most. "We just try to enjoy what we have while we still have it. Things in life we appreciate are just being with family, being with friends, enjoying music and living our lives the best we can. We live in a crazy world and it’s probably gonna get crazier. You can get deeper into this but you’d go nuts.”

Among the silver linings of the pandemic era and the disruption of normalcy, there is wisdom and perspective that Kolesne gained from such a bleak stretch. “If I learned one thing during this pandemic it’s to appreciate the simple things in life, the things we have, like visiting friends, playing music, listening to music and seeing live bands. The past few years have made me more humble.”

As for the forecast for Brazils death metal OGs, Krisiun will set ablaze several festival stages in Europe before trekking to the States to decimate North America with Revocation. The band also has a handful of shows in Brazil and a couple of supporting plays along with the legendary Cannibal Corpse in Europe. Krisiun will spend the duration of the year doing what they do best - obliterating the stage. "Our plans are just to keep moving forward playing shows. We hope the fans love the new album, we can't wait to get back on the road and play for our loyal fans who have been supporting us all these years. We owe all those metal maniacs for our career!"

Mortem Solis from Krisiun is currently available via Century Media Records - HERE