Void Above, Abyss Below

Written by: PP on 06/07/2011 20:40:16

The whole black 'n' roll style is enjoying a resurgence in Norway for the time being, spearheaded by the critically acclaimed Kvelertak. They're far from the only ones doing this style in the country, however, with a number of well-known bands mixing together groovy rock'n'roll riffs with brooding black metal atmospheres to reasonable success. Curse, who have been on a lengthy hiatus for the better part of the last decade, are one of them, at least to some extent. "Void Above, Abyss Below" is their third album, half of which is apparently improvised while recording in studio. Interesting.

Though a number of tracks contain inspiration from punk and rock'n'roll, make no mistake that this is a black metal album at heart. Because for every high tempo rock'n'roller, there is a slower and more grating black metal track with harsh shrieks and growls to complete the picture. The idea has been to take Darkthrone as key influence and combine their style with that of Satyricon, Hellhammer and why not also the older Celtic Frost material. The result is a reasonably varied black metal album that has hints of melody, groovy and punishing conventional black metal embedded within the overall sound.

That's all well and good, but unfortunately Curse aren't the first ones to do this. Nor the tenth ones. And given how easy it is to contrast them to a band like fellow Norwegians in Kvelertak, or why not even Black River from Poland, they irretrievably sound inferior and less interesting in comparison. That's not to say that Curse's take on black metal and roll is necessarily awful, it's just rather uninteresting and fails to grip onto the listener even after prolonged repeat listening sessions.


Download: Desecrating The Divine Trinity, Infernal Visions
For the fans of: Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Darkthrone, Satyricon
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.03.2011
Schwarzdorn Production

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