REVIEW: THIS GIFT IS A CURSE – “A Throne Of Ash”
The music of This Gift is a Curse comes from a space of extreme mental violence. The Swedish band started forging this venomous beast of a project in 2008 and have released two full-length releases so far. This Gift is a Curse creates a deadly concoction of visceral black metal, sludge, hardcore and crust to produce a misanthropic monolith in the form of their upcoming album ‘A Throne of Ash’.
‘A Throne of Ash’ is unrelenting brutality propped on a foundation of solid riffs. Atmospherically layered and suffocating, the production and the mixing elevates it to the next level. The vocals here are closest to the screams and vomits of a rabid animal than any human. Every track flows out of and into one another like the scales of a snake. The band delves into Satanic themes and the occult and perfectly sets up the ambiance for it.
The pace of this album is insane. Once we are past the black industrial intro track “Hæma”, there is no stopping the hate train. I cannot pick stand out tracks here because I have been almost equally bludgeoned by each one of the tracks. It is musically close to somewhere between Craft and Katharsis if they were influenced by sludge and hardcore. Tracks like “Monuments for Dead Gods” are cinematic in the sense that it provides the soundtrack to an apocalyptic or existential horror scene.
The track “In Your Black Halo” has influences from noise and dark ambient amidst the blistering black sludge. It features guest vocals of T. Ekelund from the legendary black noise band Trepaneringsritualen. The final track “Wormwood Star” dials down the pace for an intense atmospheric sludge track that reins the album to a controlled end. This track features guest vocals of J. Persson from the post-metal band Cult of Luna.
‘A Throne of Ash’ is something you put on when you are devastated and you, in turn, want to devastate. The album might be a time-traveling device because this is not how quickly 48 minutes should pass. There is no relent, and there is no remorse. I feel dirty after listening to this, in a good way. The album releases on June 14th, 2019 through Season of Mist.