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Pijn & Conjurer - Curse These Metal Hands Award winner

Pijn & Conjurer
Curse These Metal Hands
by Gary Hernandez at 27 August 2019, 5:44 PM

PIJN is a three-piece Post Metal band out of Manchester, UK. “Pijn” does not refer to the ubiquitous bird and it is not a bastardized form of “pidgin,” as in the languages, rather it’s a Dutch word which translates to “pain.” CONJURER is a four-piece Doom Metal band out of Rugby, UK. “Conjurer” refers to a sorcerer, wizard type dude kind of like Gandalf or Merlin or Tim. PIJN & CONJURER is a collaboration of five of the seven members that make up these bands. The story goes that they were originally going to perform at ArcTanGent as a one-off set. Apparently the idea stuck, and the five decided to put together a four-track album, “Curse These Metal Hands” which Holy Roar Records released on August 26 this year.

The album is emotive and inspiring, centering on the theme of embracing the warmth in our experiences and giving hope that we can indeed rise above the darkness and gloom. There is a great contrast at work in the album, with the band alternating from soothing, acoustic melodies to crushing waves of melodic metal. Even the words, which are quite poetic and lyrical, are barked at us in guttural growls. Allow me to wax philosophical for a moment. Freud, in “Civilization and Its Discontents,” postulates that much of the joy we experience in life is a matter of contrasts as opposed to the state of things. For me, “Curse These Metal Hands” is an example of this principle. It’s the contrasts within these songs that I enjoy so much. They are jarring and soothing all at once, intense and relaxing. I wouldn’t say they’re in any way easy to digest. The album is more of a disassociate-and-think album, maybe the perfect album to get high to when and where that is legally acceptable. (And that is what we call ‘cya’ verbiage.)

So four tracks, here we go: “High Spirits” is an awesome track that pretty much captures the spirit of the whole album. The song alternates from soothing, peaceful quietude to exuberant blasts of triumphant riffage. “The Pall” is a prog-ish tune with some intriguing time signatures that will leave you guessing. I love Nic Watmough’s (drums) performance on this track, btw. “Endeavor” is the shortest track on the album, but probably the most intense. I love it for its conciseness. Somehow the brevity seems to amplify it. The final track, “Sunday,” is a stunning performance. If this was a comic book, I would draw a dialogue bubble and just write (. . .).

Summation: This album is every bit as good as everyone says it is. I can’t say that I am a CONJURER fan or a PIJN fan, but I certainly am a PIJN & CONJURER fan. You have to imagine these guys felt some sort of magic when they began this collaboration. Thankfully it was captured and recorded. Not sure if there will be another album later down the road. On one hand, you really hope there is; on the other hand, man, this would be a killer statement as a standalone effort.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. High Spirits
2. The Pall
3. Endeavor
4. Sunday
Joe Clayton - Guitar, vocals
Nic Watmough – Drums, piano
Luke Rees – Bass

Dan Nightingale
- Guitars, vocals
Brady Deeprose - Guitars, vocals
Record Label: Holy Roar Records


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