This is the second album by England’s Wodensthrone, the follow-up to 2009’s Loss LP. This band also released a digital single of “The Storm” prior to this album, but since the song also appears here, I don’t consider that to be a separate release. Though they’ve been reduced to a five-piece due to the departure of vocalist Brunwulf, Wodensthrone hasn’t noticeably lost any momentum or ability. They’re still a force to be reckoned with in the English Heritage Black Metal scene. Though that particular scene is currently dominated by Winterfylleth, there is still plenty of room for a band like Wodensthrone to comfortably exist. Think of them as Dimmu Borgir compared to Winterfylleth’s more Falkenbach meets old Darkthrone/Satyricon sound and Forefather’s Viking-era Bathory style. The first thing that I noticed about this album was how much more in the foreground the guitars were. Where Loss was more keyboard-dominated, Curse is definitely more guitar-based. It almost reminded me of Weakling in style, where the guitars were backed by the keyboards, making everything more epic sounding. And this is a very epic album. Even with the guitars taking center stage, there is still a ton of atmosphere on every track. With the stronger emphasis on being more “Black Metal” in style, there are still strong Folk/Medieval elements present (which is almost a given when you consider the lyrical content), but these aren’t the bouncy Renaissance Faire riffs or “beer tent sing-along choruses” that dominate the Folk Metal style. This isn’t a record for the Ren Faire with electric guitars set. This is an album that stirs that dormant Pagan blood and fans the flames of Heathen pride. Wodensthrone may not get the attention from the Metal media that Winterfylleth gets, but they are definitely a band to check out.
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