Certain folks out there deride newer thrash bands and say that thrash has been stale for a long time. When I hear that, I often cite those bands that are actually taking the genre in exciting directions (see: Vektor) or bands that, while not revolutionizing the formula, are making high quality, exciting, riff-oriented metal that is exciting without a need to re-invent the wheel. War Curse definitely falls in to that second category.
While there is nothing in Final Days that hasn’t been heard before in some form or another, what is here is compelling, engrossing, well-constructed thrash that reminds me, more than anything, of Evile. In fact, while that British unit is a great band with some great material, I can’t say that I’ve ever been as engrossed in one of their records as I am in Final Days. The reason behind that, I think, comes down to the rawness of the recording. Some of the best thrash in history has really benefitted from the influence of punk and hardcore, especially when it comes to production. Great thrash is generally not something that does well when it has been polished to perfection in the studio, and the no-bullshit approach that War Curse have to this recording is clearly straight out of their professed love of punk.
Lyrically they cover familiar ground, demonstrating another of their strengths in vocalist Tarek Puska’s delivery. He has a melodic sense that makes certain line very catchy and almost headbangable. It’s almost as if his voice is a third guitar in the band. Speaking of guitars, Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy have classy, punchy riffs for days, and while their solos were good, it is seriously the rhythm work that makes the album shine.
I’m very excited to see what this band will do next. Apparently, a new release will come sometime this year. Get in on the ground floor and check this shit out!