Reviewed: December 2015
Released: 2016, Static Tension Recordings
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
War Curse was formed in late 2013 by guitarists Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy, and drummer James Goetz. In 2014 the decision to pursue the project led to the recruitment of vocalist Tarek Puska, and a bassist named Death Metal Doug (who wasn’t to last long). Two bassists later, Eric Payne completes the line up and War Curse is melting faces around the Midwest, sharing the stage with notable bands like Raven, Viking, Unleash the Archers, and many more.
Listening to War Curse’s debut EP “Final Days” reveals influences from early thrash metal icons Exodus and Testament, heavy metal titans Metallica and Megadeth, and draws subtle inspiration from the band’s love of punk rock.
War Curse has been called thrash enough for the thrash heads and heavy metal enough for the guys who grew up listening to Iron Maiden. With no plans on slowing down, War Curse will be heading back into the studio in early 2016 to record a follow up to “Final Days”, hoping to showcase their evolution as a band and songwriters.
The début release comes out with flourishing first track “Dawn Patrol which really sets the precedence for the rest of the quite short album. Still the band are keen to keep their eyes on the prize with a high octane sound which flows from the initial gun blast into the next track.
“Blue line of injustice” which carries on this melodic in terms of offering a selection of classic power riffs or engaging mid-tempo hook sound. Carefully balanced with bombastic vocals that really make this album have that extra punch of magnitude. It’s within the third track “Severed crosses” were the band’s passion for the wicked sounds of the 1990’s transitional time signatures. That were popularised by acts like Megadeth, Grip Inc. and Iced Earth who like War Curse aren’t/weren’t afraid to inject some outside classic or exotic phrasing to the proceedings.
“Final Days” has more of that uppity jackhammer rhythm nature that is quintessential to the old Bay Area charge. War Curse’s strengths lie in the dual rhythm/lead skills of Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy which are fantastically shown off to true flight within this track and penultimate track; “New chemical warfare”.
As traditional to most thrash albums from the 80’s right up to this slice to add too history. Always have a stunning final track which pitches itself as a show-off of excellence and skill and “Drudge” is no different as it flares up with Death angel sounding pounding riffs with its heart out on the battlefield. It’s raw power is an excellent way to round off this powerhouse of an album.
Final Days is highly recommended for fans of old-school Kreator, Megadeth, Havok, Testament and Metallica.
Review by Ashlinn Nash
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