Sound — 8
Canadian hardcore band Cursed doesn't get much exposure, but most hardcore vets respect these guys for a reason. They're intense, seething DIY approach has garnered them underground support from many heavy music lovers. Cursed's "III" was their last album and fortunately it is a great album to go out with. It's sludgy, dark and rapid-fire, so don't expect an easy ride. How about some track highlights. 01. "Architects Of Troubled Sleep: Album kicks in with noisy staticy ambience mixed with voice samples discussing disturbing psychology. 02. "Night Terrors": Chris Colohan's growl start this track with a kick in the face, non-stop beat, crazy fast drum hits. 03. "Magic Fingers": good dark intro riff mixed with excellent drumwork, accentuated with droning guitars at 0:29 and heavy riffing. 04. "Antihero Resuscitator: Starts with a pounding drum beat, joined by the pulse of guitars, great lyrics, pretty constant beat, transitions to... 05. "Friends In The Music Business": intro'd with a wail, then a punishingly heavy beat drops in, driving guitar riffs, one of my favorites, should have you bobbing your head. 06. "Into The Hive": Awesome intro riff, detuned dark licks throughout the song. 07. "III": Slower instrumental, dirty guitar tone mixed with some cool slow riffs and bends. 08. "Unnecessary Person": Similar mood to last song, slower tempo than rest of album, love the riff at 1:20 and outro riff. 09. "Hegel's Bastards": vocal sample intro goes into a heavy, rapid hardcore beat, fairly constant, awesome yell and cool leads at 1:58. 10. "Dead Air At The Pulpit": Unrelenting, constant tempo mixed with good riff variation, nice cutout at 1:11. 11. "Gutter": A long track by comparison with the others, atmospherically heavy guitar line, started and concluded with vocal samples, lone guitars with gritty tone. The sound of this album is uniquely dark and of especially heavy ambiance for a hardcore band, but that makes it stick out. The guitar lines weave around each other to form a very solid dissonance at points, the bass is dirty as hell, and the drums are manic at points, but the cohesion and energy is always strong. Pretty solid, but some riffs get a mite repetitive here and there. Short songs help to offset that.
Lyrics — 7
Chris Colohan's distinct gravelly voice is a perfect match in this album to both the dirty sound and to the oppressively heavy lyrical content. Or maybe lyrical discontent is a better term. The lyrics touch on various things: the twisted state of the music industry, religious contempt, and even the fact that we weren't meant to live forever. Not quite easy listening, but all of the commentary does reveal a lot of interesting views that might get passed by. Lyrics are forgone for a handful of quality howls for Colohan to emphasize the music's impact.
Overall Impression — 8
They are often tough to compare with other sounds because they have such a mix of sludge and hardcore that is hard to come by. My favorite of their full-lengths (some will definitely disagree there. I really like the middle songs on the album like "Friends In The Music Business" and "Into The Hive". I love its ability to sound DIY and tight at the same time. The only thing I didn't like was that a riff got stale here and there. I would definitely get this again. If you want some dirty hardcore, don't miss it.