Karhu gives Infernal Curse‘s sophomore album a spin.
I was unfamiliar with Infernal Curse when I received Apocalipsis. The attached notes informed me that the band creates black/thrash in the South American vein (which would make sense, since Infernal Curse is from Argentina). I expected something more along the lines of Vulcano than Abysmal Lord but, alas, things were not to be. Infernal Curse plays a cavernous kind of death metal that has been boosted ever so slightly by a touch of blackness. This was not the only thing questionable in the note; despite having marked Apocalipsis to be released on February 26th, it seems to have been out since sometime last month.
After a thirty-second intro, the album kicks off with “Litanies Unto Djinn” which brings vividly into mind Incantation. Soon, the band starts blasting and pretty much continues on the same path until the very end. Albums similar to Apocalipsis are often tedious as a result of uniform material and never-ending length, yet it dodges both of those pitfalls to a degree. While a few of the songs actually do feature slower tempos, more often than not recalling the aforementioned Incantation, only the seven-minute “Adharma” feels like a shift in the songwriting, spending a considerable amount of its length on slower tempos and doubly sinister atmosphere.
You’ll find plenty of distorted guitars on Apocalipsis, but you’ll also notice an odd lack of lower frequencies, especially in the drumming. The non-existent kick, or anything that isn’t a cymbal really, is somewhat disturbing. The vocals are short, sharp barks and snarls, drenched in echo and almost devoid of a rhythmic pattern, like an afterthought. Yet, in their own way, these faults also add to the album’s atmosphere. The atmosphere, as well as the band’s approach to their craft most closely recall Incantation, if not in the songwriting itself.
Although no song is short, Apocalipsis itself clocks in at a mere 33 minutes and thus avoids pestering the listener for too long. And when it comes to the uniformity of the material at hand, I find myself drawing lines to Bode Preto’s recent Mystic Massacre. The songs’ inter-textual resemblance is intended; the album is as much, if not more, about the feeling you get while you listen to it as it about individual moments or songs. Maybe something has changed in the way I perceive it, but maybe this newfound enjoyment of uniformity is taking the place once occupied by enjoyment of greatly extended albums.
With the vocals, the same-y songwriting, and lack of invention, the band has a lot to atone for, some would say. Others, like myself, just strap on and feel the G. It may not be the kind of album you’d still dig up somewhat regularly twenty years from now, but it is a good record, worthy of 3.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell.