Thursday, January 7, 2016

Curse of the North – I

One of the things I like to do is watch a sporting event on TV, but turn the sound off and play music instead. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the music is going to be way better than the inane blathering of the sports commentators covering the game. I mean, I know who the networks want us to believe are the “great” commentators of our era, but they don't hold a candle to the guys from a generation ago that I grew up listening too. The added bonus to all of this is that once in a while you hear an album that makes you forget what you are watching and you focus on the music instead of the sports.

This album, “I”, by Curse of the North, is one of those kinds of albums. I was aware of this band and I own their debut EP on CD and oxblood vinyl, but this album takes things to about three whole new levels. This thing just rips right from the opening drum rhythm and keeps the listener fully entertained and engrossed through all eight tracks. Some of you will want me to describe what they sound like. They are simply good, solid, heavy rock. I know some might want to call them metal, but they really aren't, and there is definitely nothing wrong with that. There are some quieter moments, there are some thrashy moments, and even some things that sound like your favorite garage band in full rave up mode. They are a killer heavy rock band.

Album opener “Sleep While You Can”, could have been my motto when I became a single parent to four kids aged eight and younger. Seriously though, it starts with a crushing drum pattern and just grows on into a superb track. “Wheel of Swords” is next up and to my ears would be the perfect intro song to “Game of Thrones”, its way better than that crap music they play over the opening titles now. Fire up an episode and listen to this track and see if you don't agree.

The third track is “Into The Trees”, which starts out very softly and gently and shows that the band can dial it way back when they want or need to. It's only the first couple of minutes of the track, but I was very impressed by not only the music but the vocal approach of Christiaan Morris. You almost can't tell that it's the same guy who roared his way through the first couple tracks. Nice work sir! “Oceans Rise” has the aforementioned thrashiness going on and again shows a little different side of the band. It is always the mark of a good band when they can take different styles and incorporate them into what they organically do. They don't let the style define them, but rather they make the style their bitch and do the Curse of the North thing with it.

Those first four tracks are my favorites but I don't mean in any way that the last four tracks on the album are not worth listening to. The cool thing about this album is that each track has something to offer, and the more you listen the more you are drawn into some great heavy rock. Mr. Morris, along with Nick Cates and Burke Thomas, form a very solid trio and I can see some very good and very heavy things coming from these guys down the road. Pick this one up and enjoy!!


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