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Curse Of Denial - The 13th Sign

Curse Of Denial
The 13th Sign
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 June 2017, 3:29 PM

Cleveland, Ohio, USA, has been known to many Metal-heads as a hot-bed for Death/Black Death Metal for some time now. It’s a working class city with plenty of factory and industry, and made up of a lot of no-frills folks, providing one of the better places to spawn this kind of music. CURSE OF DENAIL arose there recently, with members from previous bands PAWNS IN CHESS, DESCEND, DECREPIT, and FROM THE DEPTHS. Don’t look for flowery interpretations, avant-garde arrangements, or songs that you can sing along to while you sip your chamomile tea through fine china. This is bare-knuckled, skull-thumping, boots stomping your face Death/Black Metal. “The 13th Sign” is the band’s debut album here, with thirteen tracks.

“Ophiuchus The Winding Serpent (Intro)” is a short scorcher, driven by one main riff, Black Metal vocals and the chanting of the words “The 13th Sign.” “Pawns In Chess” shifts back and forth from Death to Black, by using a combination of some of the techniques in each style. In either case, the down-tuned guitars and murky production ensure it remains a monster in the shadows. The Black Metal vocals seem more suited to the music at times, though the deep growls of Death do the job as well. Malthusianism is the idea stemming from Thomas Robert Malthus in 1798 that while population growth is infinite, food supply is not. Unfortunately his preferred method for population control was abstinence from sex, an idea that has failed miserably over and over. The pacing of the song “Malthusian Nightmare” allows this ominous event to soak in, and I always appreciate social commentary in music. It’s a perfect subject to be told in the medium of music, and Death Metal to boot.

“Night Terrors” has opening guitar notes/chords that sound like they are being played by a buzz-saw…shrieking, tremble strikes that ring unfavorably in your ear. From there, the deep Death vocals and guitar riff lead the song with a mid-tempo pace that is perfect for a slow head-bang. “Haven for the Dispossessed” rolls with a riff that could have been on an early BLACK SABBATH album, and the vocals embody what you could imagine would comprise a scene of wandering meat-suits, drained of life after being possessed by a demonic spirit. That bleakness is reflected in the droning horror of the music. Speaking of bleak, how much more can that be than what happens on “The Day That The Sun Failed To Rise,” effectively ending humanity as we know it. There’s a little more complexity in this song, with some riff, meter, and vocal changes here and there. This is probably my favorite on the album. It shows some more depth for me.

“My Final Words To You (Outro)” closes the album. Like a suicide note, the longer you listen to it the more depressed you get. CURSE OF DENIAL have done a pretty good job with their brand of bleak and despondent Death Metal on “The 13th Sign.” Reflective of their origins in a factory city with lots of industrial parks and working class neighborhoods, it’s a good soundtrack to hard-driving, desolate Death Metal. Though it’s nothing really new, I have no doubt that the band will continue to develop their personality with more time together.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Ophiuchus The Winding Serpent (Intro)
2. Pawns In Chess
3. Malthusian Nightmare
4. Curse Of Jezebel
5. Night Terrors
6. The Aphotic Zone
7. Haven for the Dispossessed
8. The Tower of Silence
9. The Day That the Sun Failed to Rise
10. Premonition
11. My Final Words To You (Outro)
Rob Molzan-Vocals
Jeremy McLellon - Guitar
Gary Heinrich-Guitar
Shawn Hapney - Drums
Michael Perez – Bass
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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