Released: 2013, Carnal Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Having formed in 1998 as Cursed666, it has taken the band that is now known as Cursed 13 fifteen years to finally release their full length debut, with their 2007 EP MODERNIZE MESSIAH being the closest we have come to being able to truly hear what these nihilistic Swedes are truly made of. Here they present eleven tracks on this Carnal Records release, combining the vehemently anti-Christian aggressive energy of black metal with the melody and beefy riffs of Swedish death metal.
Unfortunately, “No Return” seems to be a poor choice for an opening track, with its mid-pace plod of mediocre riffing and generic vocal lines, projected with some overly manipulated growls. “Dead and Gone” is certainly a track designed to impress though, with its ultra-catchy chorus and old fashioned drumming that demands head banging from every listener; why they didn’t choose this as an opener is unknown to me. The discordant yet memorable riffing of “I Love Cyanide” is also a brilliant example of what greatness this band really can produce, with it’s brooding and malicious atmosphere that’s maintained throughout.
I’ve always found it pleasing when European bands avoiding conforming to the English language and sing in their native tongue, and that is exactly what Cursed 13 do with “Frälst Av Eld.” This is one of the most depressive black metal songs I’ve heard for a long time out of the SDBM genre, with its soul twisting guitar parts and dark key accompaniments. The pace is lifted with the skank beat attack of “När marorna kallar” that shows off the band’s punkier side, whilst also demonstrating some great melo-death riffing from guitarists Grim Vindkall and Heljarmad.
Album closer “Vrede” shows the band take on a more mainstream side, with the opening sounding even like something John5 would turn out for a Rob Zombie record, but I’m sorry to blaspheme guys! An industrial sounding yet atmospheric keyboard part layers in nicely, and such work on the keys will probably one of the things that people remember from this band. This isn’t UNDER A FUNERAL MOON all over again, which is certainly refreshing to hear in such an over saturated black metal scene. For those want more than what black metal could offer them 20 years ago, this is a band that may give you what you are looking for.