Rating:
8.7
Wodensthrone - Curse
23 April 2012


01. The Remaining Few
02. Jormungandr
03. First Light
04. The Great Darkness
05. Battle Lines
06. Wyrgthu
07. The Storm
08. The Name Of The Wind


The wait is finally over - Wodensthrone are back and more epic than ever.

With the release of the critically acclaimed Loss back in 2009, fans were left waiting for more, with theories and possibilities sprouting from every corner of the Internet. With the current shoegaze trend and somewhat recent limelight being shed on more avant-garde and experimental black metal releases, the band members stuck to their guns and delivered exactly what we were hoping for: a direct continuation with elements of growth.

Curse doesn't take long to set up, skimming by a 39-second folk-infused instrumental intro and charging the field with the more bombastic "Jormungandr". From there, the curse spreads slowly, sculpting darkened shrines and heathen altars out of majestic melodies and mournful acoustic guitar passages. Violins make their appearance from time to time as well, which all adds to the grandiose feel of the album, as if the musicians were composing music to accompany the readings of Woden's own legacy.

Much like Loss, the pagan influences are obvious. That being said, these elements aren't given the same level of focus as seen on its predecessor, giving the music somewhat of a different feel - more dark, yet not any less uplifting. It helps when you can make an extreme metal genre sound graceful, which of course highlights how inspired and confident these guys were after realizing they would be following up one of the most renowned releases in the genre.

Vocally this is quite a step up as well, being that Branwulf's departure initially made it seem as though the band would cease to exist. Instead, the remaining members split vocal duties among themselves and delivered quite a passionate performance, ranging from haunting black metal chants and growls to scarce but ultimately befitting clean vocals.

In addition to the pagan-themed and folkloric songwriting, Wodensthrone seemed to take to the writing process with more anger in mind. Not that the aggression level is cranked up to 11 or anything, but there is a noticeable difference between Curse and Loss in terms of ferocity. With all the focus seemingly put into an enchanting atmosphere, the music itself actually sounds slightly more belligerent. Perhaps the subtle use of some more traditionally raw black metal riffs and blastbeats gives the album a "grim" vibe at times, but the band members' discipline prevents them from wandering off into early Darkthrone territory. Rather, comparisons to Drudkh and Negură Bunget are as appropriate as they've ever been.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Wodensthrone
Album: Curse


 



Written on 31.05.2012 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Sync - 31.05.2012 at 18:27  
Ohoh yes! Love the vocals on this album.
Troy Killjoy - 31.05.2012 at 18:29  
Written by Sync on 31.05.2012 at 18:27
Ohoh yes! Love the vocals on this album.

I was honestly taken back in surprise with how great a job they did replacing Branwulf.
Skyum - 31.05.2012 at 18:29  
It's definitely a good album, but at first I found it hard to forgive them for the slight change of style compared to Loss. I don't think it surpasses the debut, but it builds upon their sound and sounds more refined. We can expect several great albums from this band if they stay together in the future.
Troy Killjoy - 31.05.2012 at 18:31  
Written by Skyum on 31.05.2012 at 18:29
It's definitely a good album, but at first I found it hard to forgive them for the slight change of style compared to Loss. I don't think it surpasses the debut, but it builds upon their sound and sounds more refined. We can expect several great albums from this band if they stay together in the future.

My thoughts exactly. While initially I thought it was going to be a piece of shit after the first two tracks (and the intro) the rest of the album grew on me instantly. Even at the end, while I was more than impressed, I still personally prefer Loss, but this album on its own is definitely worth looking into. Hopefully they keep things interesting with future releases.
Oaken - 31.05.2012 at 18:33  
The Drudkh comparison is beyond me... Drudkh have that warm sound and those slow, meandering riffs, whereas I can't hear this on Curse. Dunno...
Sync - 31.05.2012 at 18:55  
Thinking about it now I can't really choose between their two albums, both are different and great in their own way. For me the stand out tracks are "The Great Darkness" and "The Storm".
Verdun_sc - 01.06.2012 at 05:11  
This album far surpasses the debut, for me. I didnt really like Loss at all, aside from the album cover, whereas I greatly enjoy this album. Everything about it is better.
Urs Blank - 01.06.2012 at 13:08  
This album is like an unexpected gift to me as I didn't know Wodensthrone before. And this much to my dismay I'd say! After a few listens I can say this is how I like my atmospheric Black Metal, and the comparisons drawn with Drudkh and Negură Bunget seems pretty accurate to me too.

So thank you Troy for reviewing this, now I have some serious material to dig with their two albums!
Draugen - 01.06.2012 at 16:35  
*Sigh*...so many albums, yet so little time (and money)...

Oh well, great review!
Troy Killjoy - 01.06.2012 at 20:43  
Written by Urs Blank on 01.06.2012 at 13:08
I didn't know Wodensthrone before. So thank you Troy for reviewing this, now I have some serious material to dig with their two albums!

My pleasure! Enjoy your new discovery.
Sync - 01.06.2012 at 20:58  
Written by Urs Blank on 01.06.2012 at 13:08

This album is like an unexpected gift to me as I didn't know Wodensthrone before. And this much to my dismay I'd say! After a few listens I can say this is how I like my atmospheric Black Metal, and the comparisons drawn with Drudkh and Negură Bunget seems pretty accurate to me too.

So thank you Troy for reviewing this, now I have some serious material to dig with their two albums!


Their Split EPs aren't half bad either.
Urs Blank - 01.06.2012 at 21:55  
Written by Sync on 01.06.2012 at 20:58


Their Split EPs aren't half bad either.


Thank you for the recs, if these Split EPs are even half as good as the albums then I'll definitely dig them too.
-DC-002- - 15.06.2012 at 22:29  
This is top notch, rich and full bodied. nice review, short and to the point.
.Nick - 27.06.2012 at 20:36  
Very beautiful and atmospheric album.
PowerThrash - 27.10.2012 at 01:39  
Written by Draugen on 01.06.2012 at 16:35

*Sigh*...so many albums, yet so little time (and money)...

Oh well, great review!


This is how I feel! .....all the time.

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