Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cursed Scrolls - "Dunkel Hexenkunst" (2012)

Album (As Kult As Hell Records, 21 December 2012)

Line – up (2012):    Magus Aion – vocals/guitars/drum – machine.

Location:                 Madrid (Spain)

Better song of the album:

“Sacrificial Psychopompos”, that saves it literally.

Better feature of the production:

Mmmh… maybe the vocals.
                                                Cursed Scrolls - Dunkel Hexenkunst
It’s the second time that I review in English, and also this review is focused on a black metal band. Hence, here you are the first assault of Cursed Scrolls, a wicked creature that started its own path with an album, refusing the usual routine made of demos, splits and similar. But I confess to prefer this one for two reasons: 1) in this way, the band can builds gradually an own sound; 2) I consider the album as the following step after those “small” efforts called demos. So, records already an album is always a great risk, hence, there is need to appreciate the move of Magus Aion for his courage. Even if the music is a bit questionable, but it’s still soon to draw some conclusions, so we start to talk about “Dunkel Hexenkunst” and its positive aspects.

The vocals are one of them. Magus Aion sings in a particular way that reminds me Dagon of Inquisition, creating a perverse atmosphere. This vocal style consist of a guttural scream, helped sometimes by a light reverb. Besides, there are even clean vocals that gives to the music a ritualistic mood. But, unfortunately, they are presents in the only “Five Morbid Candles”, so I hope that this experiment will be used in the future more than now.

The drum – machine has been programmed in a dynamic way, the variations to the discourse aren’t few, so it seems almost to be played really by a human being. But don’ forget this: the black metal of Cursed Scrolls is raw, minimalistic and also merciless. In fact, the outbursts full of blast – beats are frequent (for example, listen “Morbidity Dwells in the Mud”). The drumwork is divided between the ultra – fast moments and the mid – tempos, except “Five Morbid Candles”, characterised sometimes by a doomish atmosphere a là Beherit of “Drawing Down the Moon” – era. In brief, “Five Morbid Candles” is very particular and unique.

But, for the truth, each track possess’ a good personality, especially in the second half of the album. Specifically:

1)      “Morbidity Dwells in the Mud” is the only one to have acoustic passages, that are very simple;

2)      “Unholy Black Metal” is a cover of the black metal masters par excellence called Darkthrone. This song is very fuckin’ obsessive and it contains the only solos of the entire release, remaining faithful to the original episode, as it is obvious;

3)      “Morbidus Idolatria”, except the start, is an instrumental, and this is an odd fact for an act like Cursed Scrolls;

4)      Finally, “Sacrificial Psychopompos” is particular both to be THE melodic song of the album and to have some good lines of soloist guitar that add to the music a real tempestuous feeling. I think that the closing track could be an interesting starting point for the future productions to come, as well because it combines crepuscular melodies with a lot of blast – beats.

Anyway, the second part of “Dunkel Hexenkunst” doesn’t appear as well – made as the first one. There are some problems that strikes songs like “Morbidity Dwells in the Mud” (its acoustic moments haven’t a real continuation) and “Morbidus Idolatria” (that becomes static and poor of ideas after a bit time). All this means that any musical solutions aren’t developed in the right way and without a good fluidity. Then, some drum – machine patterns are muddler, also because it is less powerful in the last songs. Is this only my impression or is it true?
                                                    Cursed Scrolls - Photo
Finally, I’d mention the ambient moments that are presents here and there in the album, all the more that “Meditation in the Hall of Eternity” (or, according to Metal – Archives, ”…of Eternal Eclipse”) is a (repetitive…) dark ambient song of 4 minutes long (what a nice rhyme!); and the tracks’ structure, considering that Magus Aion use frequently the pauses to spit out often a simple but effective climax.

Rating: 61

Flavio “Claustrofobia” Adducci


1 – Call to the Faceless One (intro)/ 2 – Black Spell to Enter the Realms of Dark Forces/ 3 – Five Morbid Candles/ 4 – Meditation in the Hall of Eternity/ 5 – Morbidity Dwells in the Mud/ 6 – Unholy Black Metal/ 7 – Morbidus Idolatria/ 8 – Sacrificial Psychopompos


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