Ahh 2005, you were such a seminal year in my life of music. My supposed senior year in college (I ended up taking another semester and a winter semester to get a dual major, and another semester of required undergrad to take and receive my masters) and it is also the year I expanded my music. You see, there were these things called record stores ( a store that sold music, in various formats such as cassettes and CD’s) and I was looking about when I noticed a CD. It was black…very black with picture of a goat-man, gray in color and stark, cold, bleak. I had to see who and what it was.
When hardcore was going through its beat down macho shit, having the “FSU” guys run around, crews being tough, and straight edge people punching others for smoking a cigarette, Cursed was a breath of fresh air. Started in 2001, with Ottawa, Ontario, Canada being their native land, the band wrote and toured for roughly 7 years. Their first album “I” was put out by Deathwish, Inc., and had great production values. This album, “II,” was released by Goodfellow Records, and was way more feral, more visceral, more angry.
This album starts with the song “Intro/Fatalist,” and there could not be a better way to open as it shows what this band is about: extreme music, thought provoking and misanthropic lyrics, and a problem with any and all authority and their ilk: Head Of The Baptist about religion, Clocked In, Punched Out about working, and Model Home Invasion about society and the love of owning. This band was mad at society and what is perceived as “normal.” This is punk mentality without the punk music, but rather the metallic hardcore and sludge that would become staples of the genre now.
On top of all this anger and hatred of people, society and authority, the band had a style all its own as well. Look at that album cover. The entire booklet is flat black, while lettering is glossy black, and the only color is grey. The shirts and apparel they released were all black and stark white, using stock images from horror movies and crime scene photos, creating shocking and very contrasting imagery that stuck with you, like their music.
Now I know that most people will complain about the album being more hardcore than metalcore, and to that I say fuck that shit. Tomas Lindberg personally endorsed this band and said this band showed him how music should and could be done. Others will complain about the production, and the original is very good I feel, with enough grittiness to it to fucking destroy and clean enough be able to pull out the instruments individually: basically, better production than black metal albums. But if you’re a purist, there is a reissue through Deathwish, Inc., that has better production in it.
Really, this is a band that helped spearhead and brought forth a bleak view point. This wasn’t like hardcore where you can always overcome, or metal where it spoke of everything. This was a band where every view point was against authority, against people, and every view point was pessimistic, with no redeeming quality in anything. A genre breaking destroyer of senses. This album, II, should be in your collection, and should open your eyes to more bands.
Also, for being a bunch of Canadians, these guys wrote the perfect anti-war response to the second War in Iraq: