Skaldic Curse

World Suicide Machine

Written by: EW on 04/05/2009 18:08:54

"Misanthropy, Hate, War, Disease". These are the lyrical themes listed on the Metal Archives page for British black metallers Skaldic Curse. It's enough to fill you with spring-time optimism and joy isn't it? It goes without saying that on the whole, the Mayhem inspired BM hammered out by the SC boys is a musical representation of these unsightly themes, high on misanthropy and darkness in a style that follows the classic Norwegian second wave template more closely than other recent BM albums I have had to review. "World Suicide Machine", the bands' second album, has its foundations in the produce of Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Immortal et al rather than the ambient leanings of many of today's BM crop, which depending on how you look at it is just how Euronymous would've liked it, or merely another one for the pile.

Whereas the recent Taake album had a Norwegian-based sound from which the band rarely left, Skaldic Curse do at least mix up the recipe to include the varying feats of DHG, Watain and Secrets of the Moon in their sound, evidenced in opening track "Pest Against Pest". This track, like others, skips between speeds, at times a blastbeat-free simple chord riffing and then suddenly, momentary reprisal to allow your thoughts to gather and a slower, dissonant Skaldic Curse to appear from the darkness. The sense of negativity is best touched upon in the title track where in it's slower moments a strong feeling of Shining arises, surrounded by chunkier riffing in it's first half resulting in the song being as much an 80's sounding death metal piece than contemporary black metal.

Five of "World Suicide Machine"'s six songs top 7 minutes and as such it is only expected that this time is used to allow each song to expand and grow into different chapters, but by the time "Carcinogen" and "Invoking Malbeing" roll round the early promise has slowly drifted away as these two feel prosaic and less involving than earlier numbers. One must applaud the band's decision to feel confident enough to maintain a menial pace for relatively large periods at a time when most in the modern BM field know nothing less than full-speed but after repeated listens I still haven't found myself desperate to repeat the whole affair once its 43 minutes are up, instead relying on the tried and tested method of coming back to it some days later to check on proceedings. Accordingly so, "World Suicide Machine" has the potential to become a favourite for some deep in the know of underground BM as Skaldic Curse have the correct boxes ticked for a number of the genres ideals, but all in all it ends up a touch difficult to love and is relegated to a mere worthy representor of what solid good black metal can still do without ever reaching the genre's true heights.

6

Download: Pest Against Pest, World Suicide Machine
For The Fans Of: Mayhem, Watain, Shining
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 23.02.09
Dark Essence Records

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