Written by Cody
- Black Curse
- Endless Wound
- Death Metal
- Colorado, USA
- Sepulchral Voice Records
- April 2, 2020
I’m usually skeptical when I hear the term supergroup, mostly because they get a lot of coverage solely based on their reputation and less because of the quality of their music. In my experience, the majority come off as half-hearted or as a conglomerate of ideas mashed together but without a definite direction. While one might argue if Black Curse falls under the term’s umbrella, I believe that every moderately knowledgeable metalhead heard about the main bands of each respective member and can’t deny that all of them had a considerable impact on the underground scene. It’s no wonder Black Curse turned some heads when we found out that people from Primitive man, Khemmis, Spectral Voice and Blood Incantation were involved. So how does Black Curse fare when put to the test?
From the get-go it’s obvious the the band is not blindly groping for an identity and that they knew exactly what they wanted to create: evil incarnate. To all that is unholy, this album is nasty. It’s like drinking black bile. To cite the Bandcamp page, “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.” and rest assured, this is not an overstatement.
I heard a lot of black/death metal hybrids along the years, but few as cohesive as Black Curse. They meticulously deconstructed each genre and then reassembled it into one unstoppable monster, with some doom glitter on top. Each member does his part gracefully. The guitars sound massive, with moments when they hit some shattering highs, the drums are nothing if not thundering and don’t even get me started on the vocals. Guttural lows change to piercing shrieks in the blink of an eye and without sacrificing momentum. Eli Wendler of Spectral Voice absolutely nails it. His voice is so twisted and demonic that I started wondering if his vocal cords developed abs. It’s true that Black Curse is not an envelope pushing group, but that can be forgiven considering the top-notch material that we’re offered.
Structurally speaking, the album is pretty straight forward. You get pummelled for almost 40 minutes with short breaks in which you are asphyxiated by slow, atmospheric passages, though not too often. There are 7 songs with lengths that go from just short of 3 minutes to almost 9 minutes, but none overstay their welcome. The opener “Charnel Rift” wastes no time in setting the tone of the album, with furious blast beats that are soon accompanied by Eli’s demented voice, and at the half point it breaks down in an almost psychedelic passage that shows the sound of the band is not one-note. “Enraptured by Decay” is a highlight of the album. It keeps things mostly slow but compensates by such a thick atmosphere, with the last part of it sounding like the soundtrack of a mental asylum. I can’t say there is a bad cut on this album, honestly. The production is outstanding. It complements the band with a sharp and cavernous sound, reminiscent of the old days, while still maintaining a decent quality without instruments overlapping each other.
Black Curse definitely does not reinvent the wheel, instead it adds a coat of blood and a fresh set of intimidating spikes. It’s not here for free rides, as “Endless Wound” is a beast well capable of proving its worth and then butchering everyone.