Review by Chris Pratl on March 23, 2020.
After a pretty solid 3-track demo last year, Colorado's Black Curse issues its debut with a certain flair for the black-death dramatic. Entitled Endless Wound, the band's first offering is one of interesting carnality and some relatively dark charm, if such verbiage dare be laid upon such an offering.
The quintessential black-death sound that's universally established and accepted is most certainly thriving outside a vacuum in this CD, with songs that push the boundaries of ethereal landscapes and sonic fury cloaked in veritable black. There is simply nothing to dislike about this recording for its own sake; it's really a trip into another world, and I found it, personally, fascinatingly real.
What I did find most interesting (as I'm wont to do with death of this caliber) is the easy shifting of tone and direction in the songs, going from brooding, slow-ascending bleakness to quick, speedy assault and never seeming to miss a nook in the delivery. There truly is a meshing of emotions throughout, perfectly illustrated in the track 'Enraptured by Decay', a horrific jaunt along the crevices of a horror-filled nightmare. This song here is precisely what blackened death metal should encompass: fear, peaks and valleys, dread and respite, only to end up in the lap of whatever hell manifested in the entirety of the chasm with no real resolution to be had. When music tells a story in both lyrical and musical design, you have something special in your ears.
I've personally not heard death of this caliber since Dissection's "The Somberlain", and while I make no real stylistic comparisons there, the overall feel of building a true picture through an album is rife throughout. The tremendously volatile 'Seared Eyes', complete with vocal wails and grief-stricken tone, is a nice nestle between the aforementioned 'Enraptured by Decay' and 'Lifeless Sanctum'. This is yet another track able to illustrate agonies and hells unimaginable to the laymen or casual observer. An instrumental with hushed and almost imagined voices lingered beneath, the scope of the sounds is one of Jerry Goldsmith-esque orchestration had the man saw a metal album in his impressive and legendary arsenal. I'm sure when Mr. Goldsmith fashioned The Omen score way back in 1976, he never imagined horror-like scores being created in such a manner as they did some ten years later when metal music found its niche served far beyond the base. And, keep in mind, these three tracks are the tip of dismal iceberg – not a weak track to be heard.
Black Curse has seven tracks here that, in my humble opining, are quite an addition to any black-death fan's personal arsenal. The band manages to erect vibrant and horrific sentinels of terror, all the while retaining and disseminating style and form to a very credible plateau. Grab this up, support them, and tread ye carefully, lest you find yourself abandoning hope before entry....
Rating: 9.5 out of 10193