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Strychnos – A Mother’s Curse

A Mother’s Curse
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 December 2022, 6:43 AM

From Bandcamp, “Danish extreme metal veterans STRYCHNOS reveal their long-awaited debut “A Mother’s Curse” on Colorado Springs’ Dark Descent Records. The intricately sculpted compositions shift seamlessly between moods of terror, hope, and tragedy, building a momentous atmosphere rarely achieved in this day and age. Add to this the inventive riffing and bone-shattering vocals of the highest order and the result is “A Mother’s Curse.” The album has eight songs.

“Traumer” is the first cut. The opening tones are indeed harrowing. Guttural vocals combine with a slow moving riff and a heavy bottom end. The pacing begins to vary a bit, but the terroristic elements remain strong. “Blessed be the Bastard Reign” is much shorter. A grinding song with much power, the riff dominates the music here, heavy and brutal in its approach. The title track is another frightening affair, but so far through three songs, I have yet to hear any hope in the music. The riffs venture out and offer a bit of variation, and the chanting towards the end is evil.

“Horror Sacred Torture Divine” begins with spoken word that leads to a more aggressive sound, especially in the guitars and drums, which roll quickly with purpose. Spoken word comes in for a spell, then it’s a torturous ending. “Regiments of the Betrayed” opens with a very hopeless and depressing sound.  The scream leading to the vocals is long and harrowing, enough to send chills down your spine. When you think of how someone feels when they are betrayed, you understand the tones of vengeance in the song. “Manus Nigra” is another shorter offering with a similar sound. There is nothing that really stands out about this song except for the terror.

“Blind Eye Epiphany” builds another frightening sound combined with feelings of utter despair. The lead guitar work is also pretty impressive…you don’t often hear leads in this genre of music. As it moved along, the depressing feelings become heightened. “The Doppelganger Stare” closes the album. Opening with a crunchy riff oozing pure desolation, the song is and evil and depressing affair. Overall, I enjoyed the album, although again, I did not pick up on any elements of hope. Indeed, it’s a strong combination of terror, fear and nihilism. You would not want to face the end of the world with this album as the soundtrack.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Traumer
2. Blessed be the Bastard Reign
3. A Mother's Curse
4. Horror Sacred Torture Divine
5. Regiments of the Betrayed
6. Manus Nigra
7. Blind Eye Epiphany
8. The Doppelganger Stare
Martin Leth Andersen – Bass/Vocals
Andreas Lynge – Guitars
Nis Rode Larsen – Drums
Record Label: Dark Descent Records


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