Pray For Armageddon
Review by Felix on October 18, 2023.
I actually only listen to metal in two phases of my life. One phase is when I'm in trouble with my lady of the heart. The other phase is when I'm not arguing with her. Situations are a bit tricky when I don't know exactly whether we are in a good or bad mood. But then I just choose a side so that I can listen to metal again with a clear conscience. Life is beautiful that way.
Okay, this intro has not much in common with the new album of Blessed Curse, but at least they play metal and so I can listen to them. I have seen that they already released an album eleven years ago and under normal circumstances I would be grumbling about the long break right now. But since I didn't know anything about their debut until today, the long period of silence was quite bearable… Nevertheless, now I am happy to consume ten songs of the Californian trio. First spectacular detail: the promo for Pray For Armageddon has been written by a grandmaster of name-dropping. “For fans of: Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, Fueled For Fire, Havok” and so on. How fortunate that the unknown author only was familiar with eight thrash bands, otherwise he would have blown up every frame with the enumeration of all other popular combos. From my point of view, Blessed Curse (their name reminds me pleasantly of Blessed Death, greetings to the knights of Old Bridge!) do definitely not sound like a fun thrash formation and they also do not perform this pretty light form of thrash that Havok offer. The band has a pleasant weakness for pretty harsh guitars and their rasping sound brings back the very old days when Metallica defined this trademark of thrash while they fought fire with fire. The lead vocalist also tries to add a hostile component and yes, he is pretty successful in doing so, but his constantly unfriendly barking is a bit monotonous too.
If the songs were monkeys, which are supposed to swing elegantly through the jungle on vines, every now and then one of the animals would bounce rudely on the ground. 'Subspecies', for example, would not reach the next tree in this metaphor. Honestly speaking, I do not remember any detail of the song one second after its last tones have vanished. On the other hand, the centre of the album scores with really cool songs. 'Lock Me Up' and the mid-tempo roller 'Skinned Alive' have the potential to bring the band a lot of new supporters. Speaking of mid-tempo, this is the preferred level of velocity here. Do not think of high-speed orgies, but expect the pissed mood and aggressive attitude of a formation like Pro-Pain. Yet there is one thing that Mr. Meskil and his henchmen make better than the guys of Blessed Curse. Pro-Pain’s instinct for catchy choruses does not find an equivalent here and that’s a pity, because most songs of Pray For Armageddon would deserve a memorable section that would enhance the song as a whole.
The production, good news, is definitely not done by a monkey or a representative of any kind of subspecies. The album sounds aggressive and straight in your face. The single components are well staged. And so we get nine (extreme) power / thrash metal tracks and a surprisingly good atmospheric intermezzo which leave a solid impression, no more no less. I am sure that Blessed Curse are familiar with a lot of Overkill albums and that’s no bad thing, even though Blitz and D.D. did not always deliver highest quality. So what? The reanimated trio reflects Overkill’s ups (the strong and merciless closer 'Throne Of Bones') and downs (the vapid 'Street Freaks') in only one album. Why not delivering a compact configuration of the role models? All in all, Pray For Armageddon, which is kicked off by its vital, intense and thundering title track deserves 7 out of 10 points. And now excuse me, I have to check whether I have trouble or not with my girlfriend, because I want to listen to more metal.
Rating: 7 out of 10462