Tuesday, 12 May 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Black Curse, "Endless Wound"

By: Josh McIntyre

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/04/2020
Label: Sepuchral Voice Records

“Endless Wound” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Charnel Rift
2). Crowned in (Floral) Vice
3). Enraptured by Decay
4). Seared Eyes
5). Lifeless Sanctum
6). Endless Wound
7). Finality I Behold

The Review:

As soon as the record begins the listener is immediately assaulted with thick guitars and hammer blasts. Shortly after we get deep bellows of a mad monster. It feels like being picked up by an enormous creature and tossed around all while being yelled at. Maybe this is what it feels like to be dragged into Hell.

Black Curse is yet another member of the ridiculously brilliant death metal scene in Denver (Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice). Of the three bands Black Curse is easily the most violent. While tempo shifts are aplenty and there are dynamic shifts, they never really relent on just kicking your ass the entire time. The difference is that sometimes it feels like a barade of fists and other times more like being picked up and slammed.

It might be true that I just finished watching Attack on Titan and that is undoubtedly influencing my thoughts on this but the idea of death metal sounding like the sonic equal to being tossed around like a tiny doll by giants should be intriguing enough. Beyond the violence though, Black Curse knows how to write a riff that demands physical action of anyone at a live show there to move and even those notorious arm crossers will be undoubtedly making the stank face (you know the one). In short, its death metal you can mosh to as the grooves push the adrenaline up in a way that most bands can only dream of.

Tonally, it is solid at how it accomplishes a thick atmosphere like a bursting fire and the smoke it emits. When the guitars and bass sync up it’s an unstoppable force, especially as the drums pound with an incredibly loud snare. They’ll come in waves, sometimes dropping down to just a bass or guitar line just to be ravaging again in a few seconds later. There are parts that could be called guitar solos but they end up sounding more like bursts of noise, a fact that I appreciate. As good as the riffs are though, it is the diversity in the vocal department that keeps songs from becoming stale as they range from high rasps to deep gutturals and are a high point in the band’s sound all around.

The only real flaw here is that the record is so violent that its near 40 minutes time feels a bit exhausting to endure by the end of it. It is sort of a natural thing for this kind of music, for me anyways. It’s why few of my favorite grindcore albums are longer than half an hour. That isn’t to say that Black Curse is grind at all, only that they share a similar sense of sheer aggression.

Still, I really enjoy Black Curse as they currently exist. The band being so punishing sets them apart from their more atmospheric, methodic, and moody peers in Colorado and they simply do it better than most aggressive death metal bands in general. The genre in 2020 is mostly made up of expressive bands, in the mind and/or the fretboards, and those who look back to the 90s (take your pick of Demilich, Incantation, or Entombed worship). In the middle of this stands “Endless Wound” as an album that just wants to punch you in the mouth.

“Endless Wound” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp