Last Century, the debut album from Italian extreme metallers Kruna may not be offering anything distinctly new but it is one hell of a towering confrontation with torrents of anger, passion, and intensive sounds to please any metal driven heart. The release unleashes a compelling fusion of viciously addictive rhythms, frighteningly carnivorous riffs, and scorching melodic fires for a result which is constantly compulsive listening and more often than not quite irresistible.
Having sparked strong attention with their 2007 demo Fragments Of Memories, the quintet from Vajont spent the past few years expanding and honing their songwriting and creative skills whilst consistently igniting live stages. Now they are set to enflames passions with their Riccardo Pasini (Ephel Duath, Slowmotion Apocalypse, Extrema) produced first full length confrontation. Their previous release is said to fuse their early influences such as Sepultura, Slayer, and Black Sabbath with the newer sounds of Black Dahlia Murder, Soilwork and Hatesphere at the time. That description still stands in regard to the album but the Bakerteam Records released Last Century shows the band has stretched and expanded their ferocity and invention even further to at times also offer loud whispers of bands such as Whitechapel, Napalm Death, and As I Lay Dying.
Opener Man God’s Temple immediately takes chunks out of the senses with ravenous riffs, crippling rhythms, and a fiery groove which twists around the ear whilst searing its flesh. As the caustic vocal squalls of Daniele De Piero bring their abrasion to bear upon the listener, the thrilling rhythms of drummer Aaron Sabadin cage and quell all resistance whilst the guitars of Irvin Sabadin and Enrico Clarin prey and torment with acutely crafted grooves and venomous sonic riffery. It is a wholly impressive first encounter with the bass of Riccardo Padoan bringing its own individual menace to the raging onslaught with malice and enterprise.
From the corrosive start the album continues its immense stance with Bloody Centuries and the excellent Confessor. The first gnaws and consumes with a furnace of intensity and abusive rhythmic violence speared by again finely tuned acidic grooves and breath-taking energy whilst the latter is a tsunami of rhythmic violence and exhausting intense malevolence. It is also highly contagious with an intermittent groove lashing the ear and an insatiable hornet like insistence and sonic spirals igniting the strongest passions before its stunning presence. Complete with eager melodically gaited guitar persuasion the track is easily the best on the album and impossibly infectious.
Phoenix comes next and features a guest appearance by Alberto Zannier of Italian melodic death metal band Slowmotion Apocalypse. Again it is an excellent fury with equally striking musicianship and melodic blistering to its tumultuous presence. After the brilliance of its predecessor it certainly has a battle on its hands to compete but nearly grabs the same heights and passion to compete with Confessor.
Songs like Death Without War, Back In Time, and the closing pair of Death By War and Armor impress but also underwhelm a little as arguably they of all the tracks, fail to deliver anything unheard before. They are still fully imposing and enthralling riots though and will continue to find an eager welcome for their feisty and merciless passion and sounds. Before those final songs though extra fires are ignited firstly with Ten Lies, its crushing energy and ruthless rhythms leaving feelings in bliss whilst a bass resonance complete with a throaty quarrel is possibly the finest moment on the album, Padoan finding a satanic menace and voice with his four stringed beast which is just stunning. Mob and Not For Me also leave a tortuous and deeply satisfying ardour in their wake to complete what is an arousing and impressive release.
Last Century may not have anything particularly new to bring to the storm on the surface but with things bubbling below and an insatiable intensity as well as skilled enterprise; the album shows Kruna to be a band extreme metal is destined to have a lot of time and greed for.
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