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Defy the Curse - Horrors of Human Sacrifice Award winner

Defy the Curse
Horrors of Human Sacrifice
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 08 February 2023, 2:32 PM

It’s common to talk about the USA and Sweden Death Metal Schools when the genre comes to be the core of a discussion. But it’s almost a sin to forget the Death Metal scene of Netherlands, the same one that gave birth to acts as GOREFEST, GOD DETHRONED, PESTILENCE and others. But all these acts have a common point: all of them created different forms of expressing Death Metal features. But no one can forget names that follow the traditional Death Metal ways as SINISTER and ASPHYX. And another good name arises on Dutch Death Metal scene: DEFY THE CURSE, as can be heard on the band’s first album, “Horrors of Human Sacrifice”. It’s a form of classic Death Metal mixed with Crustcore/Hardcore influences, sounding in an ‘updated’ Old School Death Metal way sometimes. It means that the band isn’t reinventing Death Metal, but doing things on a classic way, but according with their own ideas (what means that they’re not copying anyone).

Sometimes their music sounds fast, on others they use slow tempos and oppressive ambiences (as can be heard on “The Opressor”), but always in a catchy and tasteful way, and with a fresh and nasty energy flowing from the album’s songs. Yes, it’s really a surprise to deal with such release. The quartet hired Erwin Hermsen (recording, mixing, mastering) to work with them at Toneshed Studio. The result is a brutal and oppressive sonority, aggressive and that enables their music to have an Old School appeal, but in a form that everything can be heard. And the cover created by Rafał Wechterowicz states clear the fans will deal with a classic Death Metal act.

The songs are short in lengths of time, so “Horrors of Human Sacrifice” is an album easy to be heard, and the Old School feeling is a consequence of the Hardcore/Crustcore influences (there are some similarities to Swedish Death Metal from the 90’s in many moments). And to begin the ride into this savage role coaster, the best ones are “Leading into the Realm of Torment” (a massive Death Metal/Crustcore song, with many hooks inherited from Hardcore/Punk Rock presented by the simple and hooking guitar riffs), “Existence Consumed” (this one is nearer Crustcore, but brutal and heavy as Hell, based on a simple and solid playing of bass guitar and drums), “The Tower of Suffering” (some groove inherited of Stoner Metal can be heard in the middle of the slow ‘sabbathic’ tempos), “Endless Curse” (beware of the ears, because it’s a brutal Old School Death Metal with a better shaped technical appeal on the rhythms), “The Oppressor” (the slower appeal with a bitter set of ambiences created the right feeling for the expressive grunts of the vocals), “Horrors of Human Sacrifice” (that is filled with contrasts between fast and slow moments, based on a very good set of guitar’s arrangements), “Desolate Void” (the shortest song of the album, another moment where Hardcore touches of the genre are clear), and “Dreameater”. But it’s just to begin, because on the second listen, this album becomes and addiction. Oh, by the way: the second CD is the band’s first EP, “Defy the Curse”, released originally on 2018.

One can expect great things of a band that has members (and former members) of acts as COLLISION, CAUTERIZE, INHUME, MANGLED, LEGION OF THE DAMNED and others, but DEFY THE CURSE has its own life and value. If you don’t believe me, listen to “Horrors of Human Sacrifice” and check it for yourself.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Leading into the Realm of Torment
2. Existence Consumed
3. The Tower of Suffering
4. Endless Curse
5. Swarms
6. The Oppressor
7. Horrors of Human Sacrifice
8. Eidolon of the Blind
9. Desolate Void
10. Serpent Cult
11. Panopticon
12. Dreameater
Wouter Wagemans - Vocals
Harold Gielen - Guitars, Vocals
Boris Janssen - Bass
Bjorn Surminski - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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