War Curse – Confession Review

Ohio bruisers War Curse return after having unlocked their thrash shackles with something a bit more melodic. Don’t worry there is still the requisite amount of razor sharp riffage...

Metal

Metal Blade/Blacklight Media Records

Release Date – October 20th 2023

 

Line Up:

Blaine Gordon – Vocals

Justin Roth – Guitar

Joshua Murphy – Guitar

Johnnie Wallace – Bass

James Goetz – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – The Nothing (That Is Me)

2 – Fortress Of Agony

3 – Confession

4 – Miracle Broker

5 – Power Of The Powerless

6 – The Convoy

7 – Return To Dust

8 – Sowing Division

9 – Rusty Nail

10 – Illusion Of Choice

 

Ohio bruisers War Curse return after having unlocked their thrash shackles with something a bit more melodic. Don’t worry there is still the requisite amount of razor sharp riffage but they’ve expanded their sound to something darker and punchier. The band put this change down to the recruitment of singer Blaine Gordon who is more versatile than the fella before thus allowing the band to develop their songs.

Opener ‘The Nothing (That Is Me)’ starts with some dark melodic lines before a twin lead gets us to the grungy riff and Gordon shows us his masculine pipes. They ease back on the chorus before changing gears on the verses. ‘Fortress Of Agony’ starts slow and is crushingly heavy before they kick it up the butt and it drives along on Johnnie Wallace’s bass line then ‘Confession’ keeps the crush going. The subject matter is pretty heavy too, I won’t spoil it for you but suffice to say the band are saying what needs to be said! Wallace gives us another fine line as the guitars join him on the riff for ‘Miracle Broker’ and Gordon gives us his harsher voice to put the point across. It’s heavy as hell and the punches leave huge bruises everywhere and it continues on ‘Power Of The Powerless’ which gallops along into the modern groove metal of ‘The Convoy’ ain’t no ‘Rubber Duck’ (showing my age) on this – just huge down tuned guitars and a battering from drummer James Goetz. This is arena sized modern metal and another fine almost operatic vocal from Gordon. ‘Return To Dust’ has an epic feel as it grinds into your head and unceremoniously squats there. It’s huge, heavy and hard to shift. ‘Sowing Division’ is not about needlework! If it is, it’s heaviest song about tapestry and cross stitching I’ve ever heard. This stomps and crushes with cement boots. Things pick up a pace on the jagged ‘Rusty Nail’ before the final chug fest of ‘Illusion Of Choice’ shows the bands thrash roots.

I like heavy music, but I also like melodic music and when you add the best of both you get a wonderful mix. Guitarists Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy have given us some of the heaviest riffage and singer Blaine Gordon has added some fabulous melodies with his clean voice. Somehow it makes it heavier and more accessible for the listener. There are a few of these bands coming up like Pryma and King Herd and now War Curse are here. This is impressive with fine songcraft in evidence and a superb production. The band used their full live rigs in the studio so what you hear on the record is what you will hear on stage. They say it’s not perfect – hey it’s come close though. Thoroughly recommended you would be a fool not to get this!

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 9/10

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