Infernal Curse is no stranger to fans of underground barbaric black/death metal. Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the trio has released two full-length albums and many EPs throughout its career. The band’s second full-length album, Apocalipsis, was released earlier this year by vaunted label Iron Bonehead Productions.
Infernal Curse is comprised of scene veterans from bands like Xenotaph and Nocturnal Evil. The music on Apocalipsis can be compared to what sounds like a dense swarm of locusts about to devour crops across thousands of miles of indigenous farmland, the little wings on their backs fluttering rapidly as they descend like a dark cloud on small towns across the world. Helpless to stop them, humanity can only watch in horror as miles and miles of vegetation are wasted. The tremolo riffs are dark and razor sharp even as the drums barely resonate. The cymbal crashes and hi-hat patterns are audible, even as the bass and guitars drown out all other sound. The vocals are unintelligible and the echoing effect is used well to bolster it. The vocals sound like something evil roaring out of a dark canyon. Infernal Curse is extreme in every sense of the word.
This is my second go-around with Infernal Curse, having reviewed their EP, The End Upon Us, which was released in 2014. The band come roaring back with Apocalipsis, as this latest salvo of extreme metal is the most intense material I’ve heard them record thus far.
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
They use the blast and stop technique quite often on Apocalipsis. Showing some humanity for the feeble of heart, they intermittently stop the blast sections so drummer Bestial Offensor can recover. But not long after they slow things down, Infernal Curse returns to play at blistering tempos. Only a couple of songs are comprised of mostly slower sections. Infernal Curse wastes no time building much atmosphere on Apocalipsis. Their music is savage and suffocating. I imagine that this band must send the pits moving when playing live. Apocalipsis reminds me of Antediluvian’s album Logos somewhat. It’s a somewhat different approach taken by the band from 2014’s The End Upon Us.
The band may stumble out of the gates with a needless ambient intro, but the band clearly displays the intent to destroy pre-conceived notions on track two, entitled Litanies Unto Djinn. The vocal roars complement the music well, and the build-up to each song’s conclusion shows the band at its creative peak. The lead sections don’t sound like obvious attempts at guitar wizardry, in spite of the notes slicing and splicing with the speed of a funnel cloud carrying millions of little disposable razors.
Thankfully, the band eschews use of slower, catchier chugging riffs on Apocalipsis. The slower sections echo with so much reverb, the band sounds no less intense on the blast sections. The production is raw, but the wall of sound created by the tremolo-riffing and bass shredding is especially noteworthy here. It’s sometimes hard to tell what tempo the music is playing to without the cymbal crashing, but the necro approach works in spades in spite of the drums sounding somewhat muted.
In fact, while the pace may slow down on occasion, such as in the opening sections of track seven, “Adharma,” the band returns to all-out ferocious blasting and tremolo riffing within moments of the song’s inception. The guitar tone is so heavy on reverb, that attaching a subwoofer to your sound system will send treble and bass filling the room. Noise ordinances must be kept in mind when playing this at loud volume.
The riffs sometimes sound heavy on death metal downpicks and the tremolo riffs often follow with deadly precision. If you loved the band’s The End Upon Us EP, Apocalipsis will titillate you with its all-out barbarity and intensity. The songwriting isn’t catchy in the way most progressive, thrash, heavy metal, melodic metal bands sound like, nor is it absolutely devoid of songwriting dynamics. Apocalipsis is the beast that will please metal fans who collect the most intense black/death releases on record. Infernal Curse may present Apocalipsis to fans of their ilk as the best music they’ve done so far. If Apocalipsis barely nudges you off your seat, you may have devoured a ship anchor for breakfast. Black/death fans needn’t turn up the volume all the way to the max to sustain the effort of slamming into the furniture and fixtures. Iron Bonehead Productions deserves credit for releasing this. Apocalipsis is some of the best material to come out of the South American scene this year.