Thursday 20 April 2017

TRACK PREMIERE: San Antonio doom duo Cursus unleash devastating dirge "The Guardian" and pick their Top Five Doom influences

Artificial Head Records is pleased to announce the signing of psychedelic sludge band Cursus and with it the album will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017. Pre-order album here

Taken from the Latin word meaning “course” – specifically the mournful paths our ancestors once took to bury their dead – the San Antonio-based paring of guitarist/vocalist CJ Duron and drummer Sarah Roork first came into being in the winter of 2013 with the release of theirSummer Solstice Sessions” demo. Influenced by the likes of Om, Neurosis, YOB and Ufomammut, and deep in experimentation with different sounds, instruments and drone frequencies, the demo slowly unfurled colossal riff driven soundscapes that permeated and punched in equal measure.

Released through independently it quickly caught the ear of label boss and fellow Texan, Walter Carlos, who signed Cursus on the spot to his Houston-based label Artificial Head Records.

“I had toured with Cursus a few times over the years and I’ve always admired their massive sound. Their ability to crush bodies in the room with their songs is uncanny,” explains Carlos. “Initially, we were going to release a live cassette by the band from recordings they made while on tour. But as the project kept going, we decided that a full-length studio album would be better and we’re proud to have Cursus as part of our family.”

Three years on from the release of “Summer Solstice Sessions” and Duron and Roork have their debut album loaded. Produced in a basement-recording studio by close friend Chris Dillard, over six devastating songs Cursus summon personal and spiritual pains and turns each into amplified dirges packed with riffs, hypnotic string arrangements and spellbinding percussion. With the power of cosmic doom burning brightly, distortion slams hard into 6/8 rhythms as the Duron and Roork charter a longboat through a magnificent storm of ethereal destruction.

Cursus’ self-titled debut album will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017 via Artificial Head Records and you can stream a new track “The Guardian” ahead of the release next week.  

In addition to the stream, we have a double helping of Cursus, as we welcome CJ Duron to take us through their top 5 doom influences s.  So prepare to worship at the altar of volume, as we take our weekly trip into the extreme and turn the volume all the way up to 11.  Why do we go to 11,  because “It’s one louder, isn’t it?”

Winter – ‘Servants of the Warsmen’ 


Winter first came to our attention when we heard them in their early days back in the 90s.  Although I listened to stuff on the faster side, their drudging, intense low-end awakened me to a slower spectrum of heavy music. The video is a mix of rare live footage with an aged, torn film reel aesthetic, which we are fans of.

Acid Bath – ‘Toubabo Koomi’

Acid Bath had to be among the few influences I would mention.  Their approach went from beautifully darkened ballads, to wretched screams of pain. The way they weaved harmonies to capture the poetic nature of music itself, within the heaviest of riffs, left a deep mark on the way we saw possibilities of writing. The featured video captures them in their apex of their refined sound.

Eyehategod – ‘Anxiety Hangover’

Eyehategod has a black place in our heart as one of the first sludge/doom bands I came across. Their start and stop, manic sound, made me realize how a song can take you into very different directions within that short experience. I really like the stock footage they use in ‘Anxiety Hangover’.  The juxtaposition of the perfect American family portrayal, with scenes of destruction, opens your eyes to what can lie behind facades.

Godflesh – ‘Slavestate’

I came across Godflesh in the early 90s. The fact that they came out with this pummeling sound created by two people and a drum machine at the time, blew my mind. That tone and aggressiveness sounded like a ten ton hammer slamming into a metal door. The video they created looks a little primitive at this point, as it came out when digital graphics were really fresh at the time. I liked the bleeding of colors, and the electro-nightmare trip feel that permeates the video.  

Neurosis – ‘Stones from the Sky’

Neurosis is a band that took me a while to understand. I would throw them on while I was working on artwork and it became very cathartic. It started to become a sound that was consoling in a way. Their music seemed more like movements than actual songs. The ability to let a riff breathe and take on different textures always followed me. The video ‘Stones from the Sky’ showcases their steady, expanding sound and features layered images which tell a story behind the scenes. All of these bands had a huge influence on the way CURSUS approaches song writing. They provided a soundtrack to our lives when we were finding out who we were, now I feel that they paved the way for who we have become.

Band info: Bandcamp || Facebook