Cursed - the movie or the band? Well considering one is likely a story lifted from a Goosebumps book and transferred to the filmscreen, I don't really think there's much up for debate. I can guarantee you that Cursed, the band, will not just entertain you but will knock you to the floor with their intense hybrid of hardcore, punk and metal. On top of that, chances are this band is scarier than that hypocrisy of a horror-flick.
Cursed begin their second full-length effort, appropriately entitled with the Roman numerals II, with a deceiving intro. Rather than the Cursed that we fell in love with, we are introduced to their latest offering with fairly straight forward guitar grooves not unlike that of Neurosis. As the pace quickens, things begin to morph as sludgy Discharge-inspired guitars and pummeling drums enter the equation. A short pause, and Cursed is back by means of searing guitars, pounding drums, and Chris Colohan's throaty screams. Colohan's vocal delivery is slightly different from that found on I. Where as before his abrasive screaming was comparable to Corey Taylor (yes, of Slipknot), now his voice contains more shrieking yells that fall in line with Jacob Bannon, minus all the deepening effects. Colohan's lyrics primarily act as a personal commentary of the current political situations of the world.
For those still a little cloudy on Cursed, try and imagine a mix of caustic hardcore and chaotic metal with slight hints of stoner metal buried deep within the core and you have a general impression of the end result. "Reparations" is a perfect example of this, especially after the midpoint when a mind-boggling arrangement of riffs that would embarrass Mastodon kick in. Cursed chug through a few more tunes in similar fashion before hitting the segue "Two." This brief interlude contains eerie pianos teamed up with an acoustic guitar passage.
As you've probably noticed by now, Cursed have sprinkled II with their many and varied influences. "Model Home Invasion" reaches back to the 70's and borrows from the kings of the riff, Black Sabbath. Even though the pace is slowed down substantially compared to the rest of the album, the song still fits perfectly. After the smoke clears, Cursed jump right back into what they do best - fast driving and chaotic hardcore. "Hell Come Home" shreds like the band has never done before and is easily the band's finest song to date.
There is no doubt in my mind that II is an extremely impressive album. Even though Cursed incorporates a diverse selection of influences, the songwriting never suffers. In fact, the album flows relatively seamlessly. Cursed has risen to the task of the sophomore release and with the greatest of ease delivered a remarkable outing.
9.0 / 10
Finally, I seriously have been waiting for this album since Cursed released last year's furious EP, Blackout at Sunrise. No, scratch that because the wait has been going since I ...
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