The Solemn Curse – Gateways to Eternity EP

Solemn_CurseThe skilled drummer behind Binah (a personal favorite) has brought forth The Solemn Curse, and new band in which all music springs from his mind alone. The latter band’s six-song EP Gateways to Eternity eschews the wall-of-noise aesthetic of the former, opting instead for a wind-swept, polished sound that still has that sought-after cold embrace. Extreme Metal of a Blackened Death Metal ilk is the order of the day, but with the BM-chording rolling in and out of the Death Metal along each track, the approach most often strives for an epic affectation in place of brute force. Not that the brick-laying isn’t there; the onslaught of ‘Visible Light’ will certainly inspire a dashboard pound or three. Amongst the carnage and dissonance, interesting layers of guitars lines arrive with tremolo-picked fifths and thirds – Anil Carrier clearly doesn’t just dabble in his riffmaker; his six-string is played with the same adherence to detail as his drums. Overall, the sound could benefit from a murkier-style production to roughen things up, with perhaps an employment of the sonic equivalent of extra course sandpaper, though I sense the opposite choice was made to further distance the band from Anil’s other commitments and/or allow exploration of a different aural path. No matter; the sheen lessens a little with subsequent spins by way of the album’s thick riffery. As for vocals, Shadie Carrier’s barks are of the Karl Willett’s variety with some high-screech embellishments, adequately leading the charge of each track, but generally staying out of the way of the music. And that music is one of of both rage and reservation, as the Carriers have built an album of musicianship and effect suggesting skill, but more importantly, a desire for that skill to be the foundation and not the focus of the album.

Gateways to Eternity is exactly that; a gateway to the duo’s future in Extreme Metal, allowing a glimpse of what will follow from them, but letting enough of their development and originality escape outward to be enjoyed in the now. Step on through. -Jim

Mordgrimm Records

~ by cliftonium on January 8, 2013.

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