Records and CD’s are often provided with a promotional sticker on the cover. This gives you a short and catchy description of the record and its content. Sometimes in combination with excellent figures from various media. These stickers are placed because it is not always possible to listen to the music instore, or it must convince the hasty person. But in the end, you will be the final judge. For example, Excruciation, the new record from Curse the Son, also has a sticker stating: The sound of dinosaurs walking the earth. Nothing more and that is not necessary. From the first to the last song you will be hit in your face with heavy riffs.
Curse the Son, founded in 2008 by Ron Vanacore, started as a studio project and in the same year, the EP Globus Hystericus was released. This EP was actually meant to recruit band members so that Curse the Son could perform for a life audience. Twelve years later, Curse the Son comes with their fourth record called Excruciation. (their first EP not included).
Between their very well received previous album Isolator and this one, the band had some bad luck. For example, drummer Michael Petrucci quit and a new one had to be recruited. They soon found Robert Ives as replacement. Bassist Brendan Keefe then had a serious motorcycle accident. All this made that Excruciation was released later than planned. Secondly the sound of the album is a lot darker than their previous releases.
Curse the Son will be the last to deny that they have been heavily influenced by a band from Birmingham founded in the late 1960s. Listening to the first song, Suicide by Drummer, you feel the unwieldy riffs crawling through your spine. It sounds heavy as a concrete wall. You’ll also hear that the new drummer was not a wrong choice. Btw: the song has nothing to do with the departure of the previous one.
The heavy and unwieldy riffs continue in the second song, Disaster in Denial. Only a bit slower than in the previous song. Again, you hear where Curse the Son got inspired by. It starts with black and ends with …. Unfortunately, the record collapses a bit after these two tracks.
The songs Novembre, Worry Garden and Black Box Warning are solid and according to the Stoner handbook, but they are not the best: the development is not very exciting and therefore they feel long-winded.
The title track, Excruciation, is the ballad of the record. Singer Ron Vanacore puts on a heavy baritone here, which sounds almost hypnotic. The music itself ripples back and forth. I am not a fan of ballads myself so for me the next song, Infinite Regression, makes it up for me. It is the shortest and most intense song on the record. It sounds like the men are busy cutting their gnarled boards in half with blunt saws.
Emerging from the untimely demise of stoner rockers Sufferghost, Curse the Son is a plodding distorted sonic wall of Sabbathian riffage.
The second to last Devil Doctor Blues sounds as the title suggests. A blues song with a slide guitar. I see it as a last breath for the last track of the record: Phoenix Risin ‘. A genius number and completely different from the rest. Traditional heavy metal riffs, combined with a guitar solo and long, clean vocal strokes of the singer. My favorite of this album together with Infinite Regression.
If you like heavy, angular riffs, where it is clear where Curse the Son got their inspiration from, you can buy this record blindly. The sticker on the cover hits the nail on its head. The dinosaurs have been extinct for a while, but luckily bands like Curse the Son let you relive that sound.