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Fatal Curse - Breaking the Trance

Fatal Curse
Breaking the Trance
by Louise Brown at 02 April 2019, 1:09 PM

FATAL CURSE is a traditional Heavy Metal band which formed during 2016 in Moravia, New York. The trio has one album to date, "Breaking The Trance," that was recorded in 2016.

The title song, "Breaking The Trance," opens the seven-track release. It starts out strong with a sound very similar to Canadian bands TRIUMPH and MOXY which makes me pretty happy. Really nice guitar riffs, great beat, all the elements are present. Then the vocals begin. At first they aren't too bad; good strong tone, the right level of volume, and a touch of attitude that all metal front-men should have. As the break in the song approaches I notice a distinct change, however. Suddenly the vocals sound off-key and no longer balance with the backing music. I want believe it's an issue with the way the track was mixed because it's otherwise not a bad song. Moving on to "Blade In The Dark," I am pleased with the way the song begins again. This time the sound is really retro, reminding me more the sound that 1970s Heavy Metal bands had towards the end of that decade. Unfortunately, the same issue arises again; the vocals stand out from the rest of the music, but not in the way that anyone would want. The pitch is off, the tone isn't right at all; either the mix is terrible or the vocalist is not comfortable with the style he's attempting to emulate. I don't hear any authority or conviction as I'm listening, and it ultimately robs the track of any power that it might have possessed otherwise. So now I'm checking out the third song, hoping that maybe the others weren't necessarily the best that the band had to offer; it happens sometimes.

Sadly, both tracks that follow, "Gang Life," and "Can't Stop The Thunder," aren't any better. "Gang Life" has a promising intro which is thrashy and has an excellent beat as well. With regard to the music itself I like it; the vocal performance, however, is worse than the previous tracks. At times the singer sounds really solid, but at others he is seriously off-key. It's the lack of consistency that is hard to forgive. If it was simply another karaoke singer at a bar on drunken Saturday night it would be fine. However, since this is on an album intended for sale to the public I find it difficult to be understanding about the matter. "Can't Stop The Thunder" is equally frustrating; another intro that makes me think it might not be too bad, even the vocal performance sounds a bit better. Cool, maybe there's something to enjoy after all… until the chorus happens. You shouldn't sing about not being able to stop the thunder unless you sound like you believe it yourself and the conviction isn't here, at all. The music is terrific, no problems there. The singer, however, needs to make some changes if he expects anyone to take him seriously. I hate being this harsh, but it annoys the hell out of me when I see potential wasted.

The remaining three songs are also essentially weak because of the same issues. "Chains of Eternity," is irritating from the start; even the music suffers on that track since it lacks the spark that made the previous tracks at least a little better. The vocal performance is painful to listen to; out-of-tune, uninspired and completely lacking in confidence or any sort of attitude. Heavy Metal MUST have both of those elements or it becomes a parody of itself. I won't even go into detail about the other two songs because it's a continuation of my prior laments.

If this was a bar band with no ambition beyond playing each weekend at the local watering hole I could believe that they simply didn't know any better; and maybe they honestly didn't when they recorded the album, who's to say? But when you are taking the time to make an album with the purpose of generating some cash as well as getting your name out there then you should put much more thought into how you SOUND. I'm not sure what happened while "Breaking The Trance" was being recorded; I simply wish more attention to detail had been heeded. They could've done far better than this. I won't recommend the album because it fails to meet certain standards that are expected from a Heavy Metal band.

Songwriting: 2
Originality: 2
Memorability: 2
Production: 1




1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Breaking The Trance
  2. Blade In The Dark
  3. Gang Life
  4. Can't Stop The Thunder
  5. Chains Of Eternity
  6. Priestess Of Fire
  7. Eyes Of The Demon

Lineup:
Mike Bowen - Vocals
Dave Gruver -  Guitar
Chris Bowen -  Drums

Record Label: Independent
     


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