I've had my hands on the pre-release of Final Curse's upcoming CD release entitled Way of the Accursed for a bit now. It's one of the luxuries of being friends with the members of the band. Hailing from Charlotte, NC, they have been tearing up the local North Carolina metal scene since 2006. I've been tasked with writing a review of the new album which, if it gets into the right hands, could turn these guys into metal superstars. And I'm really not saying this simply because I like them on a personal level. Simply put they have been playing some intense music since their inception, but with the release of their second album, there is a definite growth and maturity, and they have compiled 9 blistering new tracks that kick the old school thrash metal vibe, yet add a whole new level of anger and brutality no other band is doing right now. Especially a new, up and coming band. I'm going to dissect it track by track now.
Christiansanity: This is a the album opener, and it is an unrelenting assault on the hypocrisy of religious figures that preach one thing, but lead a false life. Mike Plowman's blistering indictment pulsates with anger. The music sets an almost Slayer-esque brutality, but holds a ferocity that would make even Kerry King step back and take it all in. Definitely a strong opener.
Dethsemane: A superb mixture of blazing guitar work, hypnotic drums, and a musical conglomeration of Slayer and Exodus create one of my favorite tracks from the album. The lyrics paint an image of someone at the end wondering what impact he has left on the world. Will he be remembered or does the world even care. This idea speaks to me.
Reaper of Justice: Opens with a instant classic thrash riff. Final Curse definitely take their influences very seriously, paying homage to them in such a way that you know the bands they're fans of, yet give it their own spin. This is what sets Final Curse apart from most of the new guard of the thrash world. Blistering solo's, powerful lyrics, and a powerhouse rhythm make this song yet another outstanding track for the album.
Consume: This track seems to shine the light on the excess' of fame and how some people get caught up in the party world losing sight of why they started their careers as entertainers to begin with. Brutally heavy riffs truly set the tone for this track. Another unique aspect of the Final Curse sound are Mike's vocals. Unlike a lot of bands in the metal genre, you can actually understand what he's saying, with a vocal style more reminiscent of old school Exodus with dashes of James Hetfield when he was still metal.
Ghost Bones: This is another highlight track for me. I've always been a fan of instrumental's, and this ranks right up there with the best of them. Haunting and beautiful, dark and foreboding. Love it!
Replace God: This song definitely gets the head banging. Ironically enough, one expects metal to be Satanic, but for the most part, the lyrics of Way of the Accursed have a more pro-faith message, though a definite disdain for organized religion. I certainly could be reading way more into it than I should, but I find the lyrics to be a welcome departure from the norm of most metal bands.
Rage Around Your Neck: Outstanding! When I want to hear thrash metal, this song sums it up perfectly. Brilliant lyrics, sing-along chorus, blistering drums and bass, and brilliant guitar solos. Madison Stegall and Mike Plowman compliment each others playing so well. Their twin guitar attack ranks up their for me.
Biltmore: From the brilliant clean intro into the main riff, this song puts me in mind of Slayer meets Mercyful Fate minus King Diamond's vocals, yet it's pure Final Curse. Yet again, another track that hits it out of the park for me. As I sit here and listen, I get excited for metal again. This is the same feeling I got back in the day when I was first discovering this genre. It's like hearing all those classic thrash bands all over again, but taking it to a whole new realm. Periodically I have to stop and remind myself that it's 2012 and I actually am friends with these guys.
Corruptor of Innocence: The perfect album closer. This song is brutal in topic as well as musicality (it's about child molestation.) Again, powerful lyrics, brilliant guitar work, not to mention the solid backbone set down by Stephen Moore and Brendon Blackwelder make Final Curse the perfect collection of musicians.
I realize I gush a lot about these guys, but enough can't be said about how incredibly talented they are, friendship's aside. Final Curse truly are on the verge of big things if they can catch on the right wave. I'm honored to have been entrusted with an early copy of the album and allowed the chance to speak on it. I really hate doing track by track reviews. They tend to come off as hokey and I fear I have done just that. Simply put, Way of the Accursed looks to be Album of the Year for me for 2012. I really hope that people hear this album the same way I do. If I were a regular album reviewer and had a standard of rating I would give it \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/, the highest rating I would give.
If you would like to take a listen, go over to www.revebrnation.com and search Final Curse. They have the album streaming. Enjoy and if ya have comments about it, feel free to leave them here for me. I'll be sure to pass on to the guys what the word is about it.
Review by Chris Martin
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