Infernal Curse - Apocalipsis - (8/10)
Published on February 7, 2016
Channeling a sense of dread that few can conjure, Infernal Curse unleash their sophomore full length album, Apocalipsis. While the band brings a similar approach to primitive, necromantic death metal that was brought on their last few releases, this latest offering reveals a more patient and nuanced beast than before. Oftentimes barbaric black/death metal bands tend to overstay their welcome when it comes to full length albums, as the muddy rhythms and pulsing aggression have a tendency to take its toll on a listener, but with Apocalipsis Infernal Curse manages to avoid overloading the senses with a subtle flow.
Those familiar with the band’s previous output aren’t facing any surprises, as Apocalipsis follows a similar formula of chaotic black/death metal that combines frenzied surges of blasting percussion and razor sharp riffing with slower moving passages of dissonant and miasmic trudging. Thick power chords, backed by an ominously rumbling low end, and blasting, frenetic percussion conjure visions of a blackened, swirling abyss, seemingly offering no escape. But these sustained bursts of violence are tempered with moments of slower movements that sound haunting and eerie, offering a slight respite before the band attacks again.
Despite the band’s pummeling ferocity channeled through varying layers of primitive darkness, the album’s production hold things back, which is the same issue the band had with their devastating The End Upon Us EP in 2014. It’s clear that Infernal Curse has all of the elements to make one hell of an infernal good time, but the production is overly thick and muddy in places. While the thick layer of grime helps the rattling, deep growls that serve as vocals and the unrepentant, nail-driving riffing, the percussion is lost in the fog. Under it all is a pretty damn fantastic performance, as the drummer moves from double bass runs to first wave tinged stomps at the drop of a hat, but most of the handwork and lightning-paced fills are lost in the murk. When combined with an extremely loud cymbal sound, it ends up hindering the production rather than reveling in the apparent darkness like it should.
While the mix was off, Infernal Curse more than makes up for it with their serpentine movements of chaotic, swirling black/death metal. Taking nods from the first wave of black metal and combining it with surges of blasting, heavy handed chaos and pulsing, frenetic darkness, Infernal Curse are really beginning to step up their game. Apocalipsis is not an easy listen, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to twist your subconscious into a waking nightmare, constantly trying to escape the black void that is close behind. It’s a more nuanced album than their earlier work and one that should please fans of the genre.