I have to say that I've been looking forward to getting some black metal to review, it feels like I've had a lot of death metal, progressive metal etc over the past few weeks but nothing that's like a kick to the face by a corpsepainted Scandinavian wearing obsidian boots. Luckily, Curse Upon A Prayer are more than willing to provide said kick with 'Rotten Tongues', their second full-length in two years, set for release on May 15th via Inverse Records.
Curse Upon A Prayer are a black metal band in the same vein as the likes of Gorgoroth, Marduk and 1349 with some subtle hints of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man's Child. The band mix things up a bit with some slow to mid paced sections but the album truly shines when they are speeding ahead in full on Gorgoroth mode. There are symphonic elements but instead of driving the music they are in the background of the mix, adding atmosphere to the quieter parts and an extra layer of sound to the more frenetic sections.
Highlights of the album are third track in 'Third Day of Creation' which starts with raspy vocals, blastbeats and tremolo guitars, a powerful example of some excellent modern black metal. 'Rotten Tongues' starts off slowly but quickly builds up into a track reminiscent of black metal masters Immortal. Ambient/symphonic track 'The Lost Symbol' acts as a nice gap between two fast paced tracks and feels like a track designed to build tension and give the listener some breathing space rather than being a contrived reason to appeal to Dimmu Borgir fans.
This is a fantastic album from a great black metal band. If, like me, you can't wait to get the new Gorgoroth up your face, down your throat and around your earballs then 'Rotten Tongues' is exactly what you need to keep you occupied until it comes out.
Check out the title track -