Will anyone be surprise that “Cursing Your Will To Live” is another Black Metal release by a one man band? Probably not. DODSFERD is the creation of Greek musician Wrath (Nikos Spanakis), who is more than competent with all the jobs he undertook to put out the album, which is a stripped down, raw homage to the days of the likes of early SATYRICON. No avant-garde, nature loving, progressive BM here; just all out shredding.
Perhaps a bit more repetitive in its sound than the releases from BM bands I really like such as NAGLFAR, “Cursing Your Will To Live” still packs a punch with its ability to create the dark tone of the genre by sticking to the time tested aesthetic of tremulous picking of minor key notes, layered one over another until you’d think there were 5 or more people in the band. I recently had a conversation with a guy at a concert who was bemoaning the sort of unrefined BM DODSFERD play as opposed to the far fuller sounding bands like DIMMU BORGIR. We agreed to disagree, myself taking the position that the unadulterated nakedness of this kind of BM touches you at a visceral level, whereas the more complex, Symphonic style that has become popular is often a mix of sounds that seem incongruent to me and at times the equivalent to Power Metal wankery. There is no such intent with such a release as “Cursing Your Will To Live”; it just grabs you at the most basic level and slashes you to bits. As I wrote the last line I was again listening to “I Was Challenged To Enter The Gates Of Blasphemy”, a simply cut-throat Black Metal song that could easily have been produced in the early ‘90s; its lack of a low end in concert with such grating vocals that one feels an almost primordial force at work.
Something must be mentioned about the sixth track, “Under A Broken Cross, I Buried Your World”. I’m not sure what Wrath was going for here, but it is nothing more than screaming and shouting, spoken word in a graveled voice with some very minimalist feedback underneath. It is the low point of the album, taking you out of the flow he had going, and by the end of whatever the rant is his voice sounds a bit pathetic. The title track is an absolute cracker; opening with a scintillating riff then going on to crush with a wall of suffocating power one usually thinks of with Death Metal. I’m not sure if with “Cursing Your Will To Live” Wrath uses a drum machine, but I very much doubt it as the percussion sounds way to organic and full. Without being sensational, this album came along just when I needed a good throttling and it did the trick.
(Online November 10, 2007)