More often than not, reissues of very early material are more intriguing in prospect than they are in practice. The majority of bands are only starting to find their way with early EPs and the like; still wearing the hand-me downs of their influences, although beginning to put together a rudimentary aesthetic of their own.
Conceived to celebrate Krisiun’s 20th anniversary, Arise from Blackness is a perfect example of this rule. There’s nothing exactly wrong with the Brazilian death metal merchants’ first recordings, but it’s hard to see who the intended market is two decades on, beyond completists. The influence of early Slayer, Morbid Angel and similar thrash and DM legends runs through these tracks like the boiling blood that courses through the veins of brothers Alex Camargo (vocals/bass), Moyses Kolesne (guitar) and Max Kolesne (drums). This is by no means a wholly bad thing, and you can also discern some of the traits that would rise to the fore as the band shaped their own sound, but there’s little of note that you won’t find done better in their later output.
This collection features the band’s 1992 split EP Curse of the Evil One, and the hard-to-find Unmerciful Order mini-album from 1993. The latter is their only major recording to feature second guitarist Mauricio Nogueira, so Wikipedia informs (I am not proud of this, but am forced to rely on it due to a relative paucity of information on the band’s and label’s own websites).
Arise… opens with the second batch, which may mess with the chronology but means it kicks off with the furious ‘They Call Me Death’, complete with inhuman groans and wall-of-sound drum intro. By the standard of early 90s death metal demos, the sound quality is surprisingly good throughout, which means Moyses’ more expansive guitar solos shine on tracks like ‘Meaning of Terror’; bubbling, spitting and erupting in flurries. The original flourishes that punctuate some of these songs are revealed in stark contrast to the largely solid but unremarkable fare that dominates, as seen in ‘Evil Mastermind’ (from Curse…) that comes on like a scrapbook of Slayer riffs. Oddly, the 1992 EP also provides the most arresting track included here, the almost epic-feeling ‘Prophecies of the Plague’, replete with adept dynamics, some expansive guitar work, a nifty bass break, and some really awesome drumming.
Ultimately though, this really is a typical reissue –some interesting stuff for the connoisseur, but newcomers or less-than-devoted admirers would be better off sticking to the likes of Southern Storm or The Great Execution. For all that it’s interesting to see how things began, on a playlist you’d by-pass them all to get to something like ‘Under the Sun’.