SULPHUR — Cursed Madness (review)

SULPHUR — Cursed Madness album cover Album · 2007 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Cursed Madness" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian black/death metal act Sulphur. The album was released through Osmose Productions in January 2007. Sulphur were formed in 1999 out of the ashes of the Bergen based black metal act Taakeriket. An act who existed from 1996 to 1999. Sulphur released the "A Relic for the Damned" demo in 2000, but then disappeared for a while before returning in 2005 with the "Outburst of Desecration" demo, which earned them a label deal with Osmose Productions for the release of "Cursed Madness".

The 9 tracks on the 37:23 minutes long album are a combination of freshly written material and re-recorded demo tracks. "A Relic For The Damned" also appeared on the "A Relic for the Damned (2000)" demo, and "The Summoning", "Realms Of Darkness", and "Great Shadow Rising" also appeared on the "Outburst of Desecration (2005)" demo.

The relatively long timespan between writing the tracks is heard in the stylistic diversity of the music. While the overall sound is a technical (even progressive at times) black/death metal style, some tracks are more black metal oriented while others are more death metal oriented. The vocals are raspy black metal styled vocals though. Although there is some variation between tracks, I still think "Cursed Madness" is fairly consistent in quality and there is a decent flow to the proceedings too. If I have to mention references I´d mention artists like Enslaved and maybe a bit of Satyricon.

"Cursed Madness" is well performed by skilled musicians (tempo changes, stylistic changes, and other musical features are handled with ease), and the sound production is raw, powerful, and detailed too, which suits the music perfectly. So upon conclusion "Cursed Madness" is a good quality debut album by Sulphur. It maybe lacks that last piece of originality and musical red thread to reach the excellent mark, but it´s still an enjoyable listen and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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