April 27, 2020

Black Curse - Endless Wound

By Bryan Camphire. Speaking about death metal, in an interview with MTV back in 1991, Morbid Angel front man David Vincent offered this opinion, "It's the extremity of it. Death metal is the the most extreme form of music there is. There are no boundaries." Some three decades later
By Bryan Camphire.

Artwork by Denis Forkas Kostromitin.

Speaking about death metal, in an interview with MTV back in 1991, Morbid Angel front man David Vincent offered this opinion, "It's the extremity of it. Death metal is the the most extreme form of music there is. There are no boundaries." Some three decades later, how bands can continue to push boundaries in a genre where there never were any to begin with... this is what keeps rabid fans coming back for more. With Endless Wound, Black Curse has made one of the more extreme new death metal records you are liable to hear this year. This quartet from Denver, Colorado achieves this by focusing on heaviness, atmosphere, and riffs.

The heaviness Black Curse brings to the table is thanks to ferocious playing and a monstrous production. This music is full throttle right out of the gate. Every instrument nearly in the red and yet somehow a level of clarity is maintained. Each voice is distinct in the whirling blackened din. The smoldering low end sounds almost completely untethered, making it the perfect vessel for the searing solos and wailing vocals the band scatters on top.

As far as ambiance goes, the band themselves put it like this: "to those who have drawn down the moon, joined in darkness in worlds without end, BLACK CURSE unfolds its evil." In this one sentence displayed on their site, the band name-checks three seminal records of extreme metal by Beherit, Demoncy and Katharsis respectively. Indeed, Endless Wound can be seen as carrying the torch along these lines and into the present. The harrowing use of delay on the vocals - made infamous by Katharsis - is the most overt homage that Black Curse deploys. The band's bio goes on to say, "The band rips open holy portals to times when Black and Death Metal shared the same principles, the same aesthetics, and the same diabolical wrath." The statement holds true. The atmosphere of Endless Wound is pure nocturnal evil, plain and simple. It's at once a hymn to the ancients and their own unique sacrificial offering.

All this might not amount to much if not for the riffs, and Endless Wound has them in no short supply. The record is as calculated as it is aggressive. The band weaponizes tempo. At a cursory listen, their unrelenting sound resembles bestial war metal along the lines of modern masters like Diocletian, Deiphago, and Teitanblood. However, after breakneck starts, as the tracks wage onward, tempos are often slowed to half-time, as can be seen two and a half minutes into track 1, and again two minutes into track 3 and track 6, and again five minutes into cut 7. It's a formula that doesn't get tired on repeated listens because the riffs are so catchy and massive. Other tracks stay fast or mid-paced throughout. It's this use of rhythmic dynamics that really makes these songs memorable and spell-binding.

This is music as a living raging force, threatening to jump off the rails around each hairpin turn it races past. On their debut full length, Black Curse bulldozes through any strictures of orthodoxy, laying waste to boundaries between black and death, old school and new. All this is done in the name of evil unfolded.

2 comments:
  1. Hmmmm. Since Angry Metal Guy agrees with you, I need to check this out. I love Demoncy!

    ReplyDelete