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No Return - The Curse Within

No Return
The Curse Within
by Clarissa "Wulf" Wright at 20 November 2017, 7:43 AM

NO RETURN began in Germany in 1989. Having performed among ARCH ENEMY, NAPALM DEATH, MOTORHEAD and many others, this band has been active on the stage, and in the studio recording multiple albums. Their 10th studio album “The Curse within” was released on the 17th of November this year.

The initial track of this album titled “Inhale” sends us in with a climax building symphony of strings. After this slow intro, “The Will To Stand Up” is an unexpected dive straight into the music – with speedy guitar progressions, tight drum fills and blast beats. “The Crimson Rider” begins with a and a touch of synth smoothing the backdrop. Almost a minute into this, blast beats and harsh vocals step in. The chorus is memorable and catchy, especially when clean backing vocals come in and take it further. Ending with synth sounds, I am feeling a sci-fi vibe, which also continues into the next song – “Despise your Heroes”.

The tone changes with “To the Dark Side of the Sun” with a less harmonic guitar introducing the show, casting off a darker scene. After an aggressive unveiling of the vocals and blast beats, deeper guitars make their way, in a heavier end of the spectrum. Clean vocals take the limelight in the chorus that chants ‘dark side of the sun…’ NO RETURN makes waves in “Just Passing Through” with weighty bass tones. Although this seems like the heaviest track so far, I think it also has some of the slowest and more atmospheric interludes – creating contrast. For the finale, “Serpent’s Curse” is energetic and complex, with walls of sweep-picking guitars, and highly head-bang worthy moments.

“The Curse Within” was refreshing to listen to, with its mixed bucket of styles pouring out in musical synchronicity. I notice death metal influences in the bass and vocals, along with powerful thrashy touches in the guitars from their elaborate solos and sweep-picking. Guitar tones seem to contrast against each other - while one guitar line seems to follow darker sounds, the other follows higher-pitched elaborate solos.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Inhale
2. The Will to Stand Up
3. The Crimson Rider
4. Despise Your Heroes
5. To the Dark Side of the Sun
6. Just Passing Through
7. Memories Turns to Ashes
8. My Last Words
9. Stare at My Reflection
10. Serpent's Curse
Alain Clement - Former and Lead Guitars
David Barbosa - Bass
Joel Barbosa - Drums
Geoffroy Lebon - Guitars
Mick Caesare - Vocals
Record Label: Mighty Music


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