Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Solemn Curse - Gateways To Eternity

Mordgrimm 2012
1.The Suffering 2.The Grand Design 3.Visible Light
4.Fourth Dimension 5.Chaos Of The Normal 6.Voices
Debut offering form Birmingham’s ‘The Solemn Curse’ opens up with ‘The Suffering’ which is used as an ‘intro’ to set a very dark, foreboding atmosphere. Slow and mournful, this opening track is used to really set a morbid scene, sampled spoken passages are laced over extremely dark riffing that are death/black metal in nature, almost Dissection-esque in their delivery. It’s a very good way to set the tone for the remainder of the album, although the awkward pause between this and second track ‘The Grand Design’ detracts a little from the atmosphere created. The songs should have really flowed seamlessly into each other, giving this second track a grand introduction rather than stumbling open awkwardly from a two second silence. Musically the band blends several genres into one melting pot of blackened death metal. It’s a good pot to be mixed up in though, the song opening up with some great guitar riffs that really drip with a really dark sense of grief, being delivered perfectly. There’s a definite European sound to the music on offer, bands such as Necrophobic, Dissection and Lord Belial spring to mind, albeit a slightly more death metal version of the said bands. As the track matures, industrial samples are used sparingly to break the track up. They don’t last very long and actually detract from the music, not really fitting in too well and almost sounding a more of a nuisance than adding anything positive to the track. ‘Visible Light’ blasts forth furiously from the outset, a much more death metal affair with more influences on show, maybe not purposely, but there’s a definite hint of early Morbid Angel here, especially in the way the vocals are delivered. I’m sure the band won’t mind such comparisons! There is a greater sense of urgency to this track, the faster sections really going for the throat. The band does vary tempos well, returning to the slower, more morbid tempos and atmospheres heard earlier.
Following on is ‘Fourth Dimension’ which carries on the theme very well heard in the previous track. Once again tempos are varied well, moving seamlessly from the faster sections through to the darker, more brooding slower paces. The riffs used are particularly catchy here and begin to border on the epic. The track then cuts out completely, with a second or two or pure silence before the blackened guitar harmonies comes smashing back in brilliantly and sounding absolutely monstrous. This is by far the best track so far, really standing out both musically and in the emotional vocal delivery. The track ends with some sampled white noise that really slices through your head allowing ‘Chaos Of The Normal’ to blast open unmercifully and once again there is some really atmospheric blackened death metal on offer, the guitar harmonies once again standing out and played extremely well with that Swedish Death/Black metal delivery and sound to them. The death metal edge to the band’s sound has been dropped back slightly allowing the more black metal riffs to really punch out and providing the track with a very epic and catchy sound. Closing this 24 minute e.p. is ‘Voices’ which isn’t really a song as such, more an outro as its only 1:41 in length, with no vocals and only one main riff that is layered by some simple, but effective melodies and solos. This is an extremely solid debut release which shows a lot of potential indeed. The performance is solid, offering up some extremely catchy, dark and brooding black/death metal with a lot of influences on show, but what great influences they are to have, especially when you can pull it off, as The Solemn Curse have done. Dark and atmospheric blackened death metal that really packs a punch, this comes well recommended.
7.5 Out of 10
Band Page: Here
Buy It: Here

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