Curse Of The North: Curse Of The North - 1

Traditional metal trio get a contemporary grip

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Debuting in 2010 with a thick basement jam sound equidistant between Metallica and Kyuss – perhaps resulting in the Danzig comparisons that come as soon as singer/guitarist Christiaan Morris opens his mouth on swashbuckling opener Sleep While You Can – this Seattle power trio have one album and an EP of galloping, crunchy HM under their belts, showcasing some quirky guitar ideas as well as a slew of compulsive meathead riffs and an irresistible ambience of sweaty, heads-down, adolescent joie de vivre.

This second album focuses more on melodies, contrasts and arrangements, with some winsome acoustic guitar and eerie Mellotron, but there’s still that element of crackling spontaneity and economical simplicity that’ll have you nodding along.

The label calls them “the American Grand Magus”, but they’re way off that kind of obsessive, elemental true metal; there’s a grungy pub-rock accessibility to songs like Into The Trees and The Electric Wall, but they’re heavy and edgy enough to suck in fans of High On Fire or Baroness.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.