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Cursed Blood – Taker of Life

Cursed Blood
Taker of Life
by Brian Lowrie at 15 November 2020, 8:38 AM

One of my favorite aspects of reviewing bands is reading how bands describe themselves sonically, whether it be to the extent of “sick brutal hyperblasting parabolic xenomorph-vomit technical death metal”, or the other extreme of “death metal”. Cursed Blood are no exception, describing themselves as “Crusty, Filthy, Wormridden Death Metal”; while this may not sound as entertaining as the former hyperbole, I do have to agree with them that this is the best way to describe their sound. Their debut EP Taker Of Life is often a mile-a-minute, beat-your-brains-in-with-your-fist type of affair that takes influences from grind, hardcore and black metal.

“The World Of Madness” begins as in typical thrasher fashion, complete with mid-range vocals and meaty guitar riffs to sink your teeth into. The break in the halfway point of the song is a welcome addition, especially with the seamless transition to the original pacing to close out the track “Silent Era” is my favorite track from the album, leaning heavily into the black and grind influence mentioned earlier to bring a more dissonant and chaotic track. For this track specifically, the notion to use these influences sparingly instead of a complete directional switch was a good move, as the contrast really helps each section have it’s own emphasis. “Taker of Life”, however, is a conscience decision to slow things down to a stumble, and feels more like an empty gaze than the other tracks on the album. Ironically, compared to “Silent Era”, the title track feels more out of place as opposed having that nice contrast, and I spent more time wondering when the pace was going to pick back up. Luckily, this doesn’t last long, as “Nailed” doesn’t waste any time to, once again, kick your teeth in. One of my favorite aspects of this track in particular, is the guitar tone; it’s cutting, yet not overpowering, and this can be heard specifically in the chorded passages. The same can be said for the bass tone, as I feel as this is the first time it’s really made a more commanding presence on the album.

“Thorns and Nails” starts off in a similar fashion, but prefers to trade between death and grind influences, offering a breakdown midway through; this might seem out of place on paper, but it really helps the song come to a powerful close. “Backlash Rampage” could easily be second place, regarding which of the tracks I prefer. Normally, bands leave it to the last track on the album to blend all the ideas presented thus far into a sort of “mega track”, and this one of no exception. Everything is here, from the ass-beating riffs to the despairing sludgy sections (that are executed better here than on “Taker of Life”, but this could be due to the scarcity of it), all to come to a somewhat abrupt stop that left me wanting more.
Putting it simply, I am really looking forward to this band’s next EP. Even though one of the tracks was a dud (in my opinion), the other five tracks were overly saitisfying and a blast to listen to. This isn’t going to be my album of the year, but I am definitely more enticed to put this on again than some of the other albums I have heard so far, and I know it will sit comfortably in a lot of other people’s collections as well.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The World Of Madness
2. Silent Era
3. Taker of Life
4. Nailed
5. Thorn and Nails
6. Backlash Rampage
Lineup:
Tilemachos – Bass
Nikos – Drums
Costa – Guitars
Aris – Vocals
Record Label: Destructor Records
     


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Edited 05 December 2020
 

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