With the departure of vocalist Jazmine Luders, the future of Australia’s Cursed Earth looked to be in some doubt, but they’ve opted to soldier on and they’re back with a new EP, ‘The Deathbed Sessions’, which sees them taking a slightly unconventional approach.
Rather than go through the painstaking process of auditioning new vocalists, instead this release sees the band trying out different vocalists for each song, with the fronting members from bands such as Venom Prison and Kublai Khan helping to bring the fury.
To open up the record, the hulky groove of ‘Fear’ gets us going. While it may be easy to say how similar this is to Code Orange‘s ‘Forever’ (the band have been getting many Code Orange comparisons as well), Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan does a stellar job, with his commanding mid-range growls leading the way.
There’s more elements to their sound than it seems on the surface, though. ‘Deathbed’ has a sinister, brooding atmosphere with the help of some shimmering guitar lines in the verses, and furthermore assisted by Booka Nile‘s (Make Them Suffer) use of a cleaner vocal. This proves to be a very strong build-up before we reach the pummelling climax. Elsewhere, ‘Torch’ comes roaring out the traps with a double-time stomp, this time with Joel Birch of The Amity Affliction taking the lead, and is a short and sweet dollop of white-hot fury.
‘Tyranny Forever’ continues the band’s destructive but also tense brand of hardcore, and coupled with the unmistakeable possessed-sounding growls of Larissa Stupar (Venom Prison), this makes for a real highlight.
‘Operation’ is driven largely by a sludgy take on hardcore, complete with industrial shrieks to open the song, as well as samples, which help to further showcase the dexterity present. Guest vocal appearances in rock and metal are generally of varying quality, but it’s safe to say that every vocalist on each song has turned up out for blood.
Whether or not Cursed Earth will continue operating like this is anyone’s guess, and their next release has the potential to sound like a different beast altogether. But, for now, ‘The Deathbed Sessions’ serves as a solid reminder of their prowess, being a band who specialise in a bludgeoning, pissed off, straight-to-the-point assault.
Music graduate from City University, partial to almost anything with ‘post-‘ in the genre description.