Thx to Aaron & David at The Sludgelord for their great review of the MOON CURSE debut album:
This review is for the European only vinyl edition of Moon Curse’s self titled album, a Milwaukee based stoner/doom band, released via Kozmik-Artifactz records. As the press kit states this is kind of tried and true stoner-doom band with atmospheric/psyche styling’s. That being said there is nothing really new here, nothing groundbreaking or unearthing as it would seem. What we do have are 6 tracks of adept, well understood stoner-doom that is obvious the band care about making. Let’s go ahead and dig into the record and get more familiar.
‘Medicinecoma’ is first up and immediately we’re right into it, with a sort of Pentagram/Sabbath vibe, a super bouncy bass line (a theme that continues through most of the record) with vocals that are distant and atmospheric, think Red fang or a mellowed out Electric wizard. The guitar is definitely fuzzed out in a good way and combined with the bouncy nature of the bass is a good indication of where the band is takin ya. At the end of the track, we get a marching drum bridge with swelling guitar into the second track.
‘Northern High’ is reminiscent of sitting in the back of a bar having delved into the various effects of barbiturates and bourbon. Kicking off with an intro that sounds like a campfire, into a psych part that reminds me of ‘The Cure’ for some reason, effects laden vocals kick in leading to another bouncy riff ala Pentagram, I certainly dig it and most fans of this genre definitely will not be disappointed. The main riff of the song is definitely catchy but the distorted vocals take me away from the overall feel. The attack at about the 4 minutes mark is awesome and a nice change in the guitar work, followed by the odd ‘The Cure’ sounding guitar effect, but it definitely works.
‘Seminary woods’, is a European only vinyl Bonus track and one of the best songs on the record. We get another psyche-ish intro followed by some super rad heavy blues, flowing into a more straightforward doom sound, not a lot of vocal effects on this one, which is a definite plus point because the singer actually has a really good voice. The outro on this track is a cool end to the first side of the vinyl.
‘Brontis’ kicks off Side B and is my second favorite track on this album. Riff heavy, clean singing that will bring to mind Baroness and cool drum work. Nothing more to really know about this song, except Moon Curse should definitely use this as their single or to open their live sets. 3:25 into the track is an awesome guitar vs. drum trade off leading into a classic doom bridge.
‘Chandra’ is short organ heavy intro leading into the final track of the record Black Elk.
Strangely I feel like ‘Black Elk’ is what the whole album was trying to reach. By far the best track I’ve heard from this band thus far. Doomy, Heavy and dark with just enough atmosphere. Let’s hope this is the direction Moon Curse continue in! Heavy, no intro and just straight into the song, with stomping riffs. Nice stuff and it slows down just enough with a heavy bluesy guitar. There is a stand out vocal performance on this track too and more of that ‘The Cure’ sounding guitar and the final solo is awesome. If the band would focus on making a record full of songs of this caliber, they could definitely make a bigger impact and reach a larger audience.
Overall I did like this album, I just feel like the band could do more. If you are a fan of the heavy blues/stoner doom section of the universe, (and who the hell isn’t?) you will dig this album, just don’t expect something earth shattering. There is nothing new here but that’s what I think the band is going for, tried and tested. What they do is stoner doom with a touch of psychedelic rock and they are doing it proficiently albeit not very adventurously. And who am I to complain? This is not a release to bring new subjects into this type of music, more of something to throw on while you’re driving or cutting the lawn.
Words by: David Heaton (http://thesludgelord.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/moon-curse-st-vinyl-release-album-review.html?m=1)
The album is available on 180g vinyl here!