albums in the past. In recent years, it seems like the modern, hardcore inspired version of the genre is the most dominant. At least, it's the harsh wall-of-sound creating bands that reach me the most. So I was a bit surprised when I listened to Curse Upon A Prayer for the first time. Here is a band that says 'to hell with trends' and goes way back to the melodic yet chaotic nineties.
Curse Upon A Prayer saw the darkness of life in 2010 when the band was founded by two brothers. They wrote songs by themselves until they decided to expand in 2014. Now, being a four piece they were ready to record their debut and perform live. Appearantly this was all pretty succesful because now these Fins are back with a stunning new album, loaded with dark, melodic metal that reminds me of bands like Hecate Enthroned, Cradle Of Filth or Dimmu Borgir.
For a black metal band, there's very few blastbeats but that doesn't make the music less powerful. The album opens with a high energy rocker 'The Distant Chaos', which drives on typical black metal riffs but incorporates a dark (gothic) metal tempo and atmosphere. This song is the perfect opener for this album. Follower 'Death Sentence' is a lot slower and reminds me of old Tiamat. In merely two songs this album clearly grabbed my attention, and there was even more variation and surprises to come.
On 'Third Day Of Creation', the blastbeats suddenly appear, placing Curse Upon A Prayer directly in line with acts like Old Man's Child and several other melodic, apocalyptical black metal bands. Perhaps this sounds as if Curse Upon A Prayer is not a very original band but: 1. Actually they are and 2. Does that matter? In this age of hardcore inspired black metal, this nineties sound is extremely refreshing and indeed somewhat original. Besides, it doesn't matter whether it's original or not, this is simply a brilliant album.
'Red Room' brings back the 'ancient' type of this genre, making this one of the most varied black
metal albums I've ever heard not even being even halfway through this thing. Besides, I haven't
mentioned the vocals yet. These, too, vary from harsh whispers over dark growls to frightening
screams and fit perfectly with the music. In 'Devil On The Churchyard', another awesome downtempo song, these vocals often sound like they belong to the demonic creature in the title.
The rest of the songs are up to you, if you're interested. All I'm going to say is that you can
expect the same high quality and the same amount of variation as the previously mentioned songs. I am going to finish this review by mentioning that I've found one of my favorite black metal albums today and I'm extremely enthousiastic about it. Curse Upon A Prayer, my respect, you made a dark heart jump with joy...