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Curimus – Garden of Eden Award winner

Curimus
Garden of Eden
by Max Elias at 03 November 2020, 11:02 AM

CURIMUS has put out another biting, no-nonsense riff barrage in Garden of Eden. This is their third full-length, but it shows no signs of stagnation either technically or creatively. The album rips through one’s eardrums from beginning to end, with the exception of the opener, “Eden Unveiled”, which is an instrumental intro—a very common move since certain pioneers of thrash did it in the ‘80s (looking at you, Testament).

After the intro wraps up, we charge headlong into the kind of precise and punishing yet also melodic riffing that characterizes the best example of the MELODIC DEATH METAL genre. “Ignite” greets the listener with frantic gallops and frenetic drum work. The guttural voice of Marko Silvennoien makes it clear that this is a DEATH METAL record, even while the riffs borrow at least as much from THRASH as they do from DEATH METAL. The use of more modern songwriting devices like chugging breakdowns help keep the music fresh and relevant as opposed to a simple rehashing of the past (not that there would be anything wrong with that either).

It is impossible to resist headbanging along at any given moment, but especially on anthemic tracks like “72”, which flourishes around a triplet groove that evokes a marching sensation. The album is very well-mixed too, which I mention because tragically great songwriters and creative riffs get buried under unintelligible mixes a lot in my experience, especially in extreme metal. But here you can hear every part making its mark; the beat is prominent of course, but so are the riffs, even at maximum intensity, and the vocals always manage to ring out without overpowering the rest. Tracks like “God Eater” showcase the impeccable production job.

Though slower and more reliant on modern-sounding chugs, “Eradication Manifest” is an incredibly fun, bombastic slab of sonic assault. The stop-start groove gives it a bouncy feel, which is an odd way to describe DEATH METAL, but it makes the whole thing feel more alive. It’s clear that CURIMUS was influenced a lot by similar-sounding forebears DECADENCE and NO RETURN, who are in my opinion two of the best in the THRASH/MELODIC DEATH METAL game. The combination of gruesome, tortured howls over venomous riffs infused with a healthy heaping of melody is a hallmark of those other bands, and is evident on “Catalyst” especially, which along with “God Eater” is a standout moment of the album. “Catalyst” is one of those songs where it’s a good thing no one took a solo, because that would mean disrupting the otherwise meticulous and perfect structure of the music. The main riff is all the best things about the style; energetic, aggressive, and invigorating.

This is not an album that will surprise you, but it doesn’t have to be. You know what you’re in for after the first 30 seconds (once “Eden Unveiled” is done of course); and if it’s your cup of tea, great. I happen to love the style, so I am very happy with this release. The band my have one approach, but the riffs are all distinct and individual songs boast defining characteristics, like the excellent section towards the end of “Hate the Progress”. The bottom line is if you like well-constructed, tight barrages of melodically charged riffing, you should check out this album. I do wish it were longer, but that just means album 4 has to come all the sooner.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Eden Unveiled
2. Ignite
3. 72
4. God Eater
5. Eradication Manifest
6. Victims
7. Catalyst
8. Hate the Progress
9. Eisegesis
10. Absence
Lineup:
Juho Manninen – Bass
Jari Nieminen – Drums
Marko Silvennoien – Vocals
Tommi Ahlroth – Guitars
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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Edited 27 September 2022
 

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