As genres continue to evolve, they also expand, eventually taking on new classifications and with it new meanings. While the alternative metalcore sub-genre may not be entirely new, it’s definitely not one that many bands or people tend to group bands under. After all, what really is alternative <any genre> compared to the genre it’s clearly derived from? While we will leave that discussion for another day, New Jersey alternative metalcore outfit This Curse are set to release their new EP, From The Darkest of Places this coming Friday (April 13th) and with it, bring forth an extremely fresh sound throughout the 7 track, 27 minute filled journey it takes listeners on.
This Curse set out to create a release that refined the typical approach of heavy instrumentation, raw, emotional screams and catchy choruses by working with Ricky Armellino (This or the Apocalypse) and Andreas Magnusson (Fit For A King, Haste The Day). Upon hitting play on the EP opener and title track, “From the Darkest of Places”, it’s very apparent that they successfully reached that goal as the bass heavy, chaotic song oozes the raw style and sound both have helped shape over the years. Interspersed between the double bass and breakdown-laden instrumentals is an incredibly catchy chorus that is delivered with the same level of raw intensity and heartache that comes from the screams. It’s rare for both vocal stylings to be so similar, yet different, but when it’s delivered upon correctly, it gives the music that much more continuity and flow.
While the stage was set with “From the Darkest of Places”, the remaining 6 tracks each deliver something impeccable yet at times, completely unexpected. “Trauma Bond”, which is about the vicious cycle of psychological harm that many of us fall into as we become more and more distant/detached from our significant other, delivers a rapid, punk-esque wall of sound while “Waiting” showcases much more singing while delivering the same grit and strong message on the level of every other track contained within. Lastly, the EP closes with the brilliant “Letting Go”, which starts off with a brief atmospheric driven synth line as the instrumentals enter the fray further followed up by impeccable singing that switches back and forth between softer and heavier moments. The biggest surprise of the song comes at the halfway point as the This Curse chose to switch gears and bring back the opening synth line, delivering some incredible musicianship and a song that is easily one of the best we’ve heard all year.
Whether it’s the stage setting opener “From the Darkest of Places” or the frantic, haphazardly sounding “Usurper”, the melodic “Waiting”, the catchy as hell “Whitecap” or the impeccable display of songwriting and musicianship of “Letting Go”, This Curse have clearly crafted something special. From the grooving basslines and searing riffs, crushing breakdowns and raw screams or catchy choruses and subtle electronics, there’s legitimately something for lovers of anything metal related. There’s no single element that is dry and overused and yet the EP flows with such ease and connectivity it truly feels like a journey. This just goes to show that every single song on From the Darkest of Places not only has an actual, deep connection to the band that listeners will relate to, but they also are written in such an extremely fresh, engaging way making this one of the most entertaining releases of the first 4 months of the year.