WODENSTHRONE — Curse (review)

WODENSTHRONE — Curse album cover Album · 2012 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Wilytank
(Originally posted by me to Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives; http://www.metal-archives.com/)

Following my enthusiasm for their album 'Loss', I was eager to see what Wodensthrone would do for their followup effort 'Curse'. 'Loss' was a great album, though there clearly was room for improvement in some areas. 'Curse' is the next logical step of progression for the band with the few flaws that were present in 'Loss' remedied and the qualities that made the album good improved even more.

The intro piece "The Remaining Few" may not be as epic as "Fyrgenstréam" on 'Loss', but it nevertheless serves as a fitting calm before the storm of atmospheric black metal which comes in 40 seconds into the album. I've talked about the purifying rainstorm atmosphere on 'Loss'. That atmosphere is present here on 'Curse', but I feel that it's an even more violent storm as well as a more purifying one. Some of the things that build this effect include the improved guitar and drum production to help even out the layering of instruments. With these parts a little louder in the mix, the rain in the atmospheric imagery falls harder and the wind blowing stronger. As a welcome side effect, whenever the music does reach a calmer sounding break, these calm parts feel a lot more epic.

Take for instance the first real song after the intro piece. The first third of "Jormungandr" consists of this raging storm of furious tremolo riffs, blast beats, and a lower volume keyboard in the background. Then everything just slows down at that third way point with this awesome sounding flute leading to a buildup riff that releases itself onto a slow tempo climax. Almost all the songs have this sort of break, buildup, climax combo in them though none of them follow the same exact style. "First Light" for instance has the big break later in the song and the climax is a faster storm of riffs and blast beats. The only song that follows the pattern in a noticeably more awkward fashion is "The Storm", which has its break and buildup right at the end which plays right into "The Name of the Wind".

With the keyboards toned down a bit, it's much easier to appreciate the guitar work on this album compared to 'Loss'. The melodic guitar work is excellent at driving this rainstorm atmosphere and the riffs are well written and well played; I've found myself doing my fair share of air guitaring to many of the passages on this album. The drums are also praiseworthy with Ian "Hréowsian" Finley's playing definitely being memorable while maintaining a great amount of fluidity on slower sections like the buildup on "Jormungandr" as well as having great precision while blast beating.

'Curse' is definitely a superior storm to me than 'Loss' and is an obvious recommendation for those into Wolves in the Throne Room styled atmospheric black metal. But, much more than a run of the mill release, Wodensthrone have definitely put their own personal touch on this album. And yet, there's still room left for them to progress further and make more great music; and so, I await what storm they bring next.

(97/100)
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Nice review. I´m definitely interested now!

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