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Curse Upon A Prayer – Infidel

Curse Upon A Prayer
by Cherie Wong at 08 April 2020, 9:42 PM

On April 10th, 2020, CURSE UPON A PRAYER will release “Infidel.” CURSE UPON A PRAYER is a black metal band from Finland that formed in 2010. This blasphemous band is one of many anti-religion black metal bands. However, CURSE UPON A PRAYER is relatively uniquely one that is anti-Islam. Their first two full-length releases, “From the Lands of Demise” and “Rotten Tongues,” were released in quick succession in 2014 and 2015. Recently, they also released a well-received EP titled “The Three Woes” in 2018.

This latest album deals heavily with religion. The incorporation of Middle Eastern tones is light-handed, which I appreciate. It would have been easy to heavily lean on religious prayers and melodies to convey their message. The vocals are a strong element of this album. The vocalist can convey a great deal of enmity towards Islam with both his screams and his quieter spoken passages. The other instruments are equally good, though the riffs themselves are not very unique within the black metal genre.

Call to Prayer” begins the album with an Islamic call to prayer. A solemn guitar melody slowly builds in volume over the duration of the quick track. On the second track “Infidel” is where the meat of the album begins. The song is at a mid-tempo pace throughout, and relatively melodic. The next track, “Taste Ye the Penalty of Burning,” has a more traditional searing black metal backing riff. On “Haram,” the vitriol is incredibly evident. The vocals and guitar riffs convey a true sense of hate.  “The Portrait of Iblis” is a nice break set right in the middle of the album. The vocals are quiet and whispered, though just as full of anger. The instruments are sparse, but somber.

Al-Masih ad-Dajjal” brings back the has a more groove-oriented backing riff, which sets it apart from the rest of the album. “Prophetic Poison” is another melodic black metal track, though the quick rhythmic drumming outro is a nice callback to the theme. “Fitna” has a grave and bleak tone that echoes the sentiment surrounding the topic. The closing track “Jahannam” is a short and acoustic one, with spoken, almost whispered, vocals that match the tone.

Overall, I recommend giving this album a listen. The subject matter is a bit controversial, so the band deserves some kudos. Though the music is not very original, it still is as suitably blisteringly bleak as black metal ought to be.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Call to Prayer
2. Infidel
3. Taste Ye the Penalty of Burning
4. Haram
5. The Portrait of Iblis
6. Al-Masih ad-Dajjal
7. Prophetic Poison
8. Fitna
9. Jahannam
Record Label: Saturnal Records


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