Pick Your Rock and Metal

Friday, March 01, 2013

Cursed black hole sun premonitions of doom

WE'VE been toying about this album for a wee while here at Belfastmetalheadresunited, gradually finding more and more to commend in Cursed Sun's Premonitions.

Truth be told we have had a copy for several weeks now, but we've played it in the car, played it while walking the dog (who gave it a four paw review...) and listened in the serenity of a darkened room while sipping the Devil's Buttermilk.

Our first impression was of competency, our next - and final judgement - is that Cursed Sun have produced a début platter that stands up as an opening for what could be a promising future - how far that future can extend when operating from Northern Ireland remains to be seen.

Yes, there are parts of this album that sound derivative at times, but you inevitably have parts of the
'genre' when you are in the 'genre'. More of that later....

But, notwithstanding that point Premonitions stands up as a rounded album. After the opener, 'The Necrotic Gift' it kicks into a higher gear with 'White Horse'.

From there it is a helter-skelter ride through frenetic riffs and impassioned lyrics.

Cursed Sun have laid down a tight CD, with guitarist McCleery showing off a variety of solo styles, with nods to Nile, Arch Enemy, Dimebag and Adrian Smith.  But they are 'nods to' not copies of.

Singer, Andew Cassidy can pound out the songs as well as many a chanter, and in time he will find more firmly his own voice amidst the crowd. There is evidence here that it is coming through with a mix of intonations on 'The Vultures' emerging.

And it is on that track that Cursed Sun put forward a more choppy approach with the timing of the riff and rhythm just varying enough to keep it interesting.

Also standing out are 'Between These Walls' and closer 'Descension' both of which have an oppressive vibe suitable for this dystopian landscape we occupy in 2013.

Cursed Sun are unfortunate in that Premonitions is coming out at a time when labels and UK promoters are not really sure what is the 'next thing' in metal. Is it old school thrash? Is it progressive black metal?

We have always despised the labelling of bands into genres and sub-genres, and when it comes down to it, it is either good 'metal' or not good 'metal'. Cursed Sun's Premonitions falls into the former category.

That is not to say the album is not without flaws - no band has ever produced the perfect album (well Metallica have, but we're biased!).

At times Premonitions does suffer from a sameness between one track and another, but given a lot of metal suffers from that, it is a flaw easily rectified as they grow as recording artists. Also, at times the tempos seem locked in rather than loose in the groove - again something that can be translated from the live environment into the studio with more experience.

But these are just the reviewer being a nit-picker - listen to 'Cruelty Concept' about four minutes in and Cursed Sun show they have the ability to shift the tone before ennui can settle in; equally 'In Sufferance' showcases guitar and bass in a melodic mélange before the heads get banging again.

Overall Cursed Sun have delivered on Premonitions and if you have any doubts live with it a while and love the black hole of delicious metal that they can suck you down into!

No comments: