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Defy The Curse - Defy The Curse Award winner

Defy The Curse
Defy The Curse
by Sean McGuirk at 10 February 2019, 5:21 PM

From the Netherlands, DEFY THE CURSE, formed in 2016 from a group of guys who each had their own history playing a mixture of thrashing Death Metal with Hardcore Punk influences in Dutch bands like LEGION OF THE DAMNED and COLLISION. They’ve gathered together on this debut EP to worship a strict style of Death Metal with a dash of Crust, a sound popularized by Swedish stalwarts like DISMEMBER and ENTOMBED and American bands like REPULSION and AUTOPSY, characterized by a distinct Boss HM-2 chainsaw guitar sound, brutally low bass lines and an overactive ride cymbal. Rather than be a simple clone, however, DEFY THE CURSE successfully manages to transcend copycat status, using enough disparate influences to create a unique spin on the well-worn genre.

True to their Punk influences, at just thirteen minutes, the five-track EP is short and sweet and to the point. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Toneshed Studio who did an excellent job capturing the genre’s razor sharp tones while making it clear and dynamic enough for any analog or digital format. As soon as the opener, “Disdain”, hits we feel that booming bass from Harold Gielen that underlies this short trip back in time to ‘90s Stockholm. Wouter Wageman’s vocals have a distinct Hardcore bent to them, interacting with the chugging riffs on “The Messiah Complex” to add a violent energy to the proceedings.

“Oblivion” is a short 46-second grind, a nice wink-and-a-nod to influences like DISCHARGE and NAPALM DEATH“Progress To Nonetheless” continues the D-beat fury courtesy of Boris Janssen, who is superb throughout, with a beautiful transition about three quarters of the way into the two-and-a-half minute song that brings it back to a Swedish Death crawl. With such quick songs, and seamless transitions, it gives the effect of the EP being one long track.  “Obsolete”, closes it out, with a nice mid-tempo chug that transforms with a Post-Metal sounding interlude, then back into full dynamic range, as Wouter gives his last impassioned shouts over an escalating wall of Death.

It’s unclear whether this is a kind of one-off tribute act or if this is a fully committed band.  My hope is the latter.  Modern bands like PAGANIZER, BLOODBATH and FERAL come to mind, all similarly paying homage to Swedish Death with some tongue-in-cheek antics mixed in.  DEFY THE CURSE seems to be deathly serious about their mission, however, and the urgency and novelty with which they play shows that this is no casual affair.  I look forward to their first full, likely twenty-track, 30-minute release of mayhem.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Disdain
2. The Messiah Complex
3. Oblivion
4. Progress To Nonetheless
5. Obsolete
Wouter Wagemans - Vocals
Harold Gielen - Guitar, Vocals
Boris Janssen - Bass
Bjorn Surminski - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 16 June 2019

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