• Emil

FATAL CURSE "Breaking the Trance"

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

"Why is this new wave of heavy metal relatively ignored by the metal masses?" - a question that I recently asked and was discussed, with fellow distinguished metal enthusiasts on social media, to a certain extent. The question drew two distinctive main responses. K, my brother in metal, made the valid point that most of the seasoned audience have transitioned to more extreme metal realms, therefore, regarding the more traditional, or classic, if you wish, side of metal as "not extreme enough". The other logical theory argues that fans of this particular style analyze the new(er) releases thru the prism of the legendary materials released between 30 and 50 years ago, swiftly concluding that the "new" will likely not reach the milestones of the "old". One would think that heavy metal would have a broader audience than most extreme metal styles, yet despite the high level of musicianship and quality of material, this new wave somewhat fails to make the proper impact. I am personally convinced that this situation is mainly a combination of the two above-mentioned factors. Only time will tell.

Back to the first order of business ...

Band: Fatal Curse

Title: Breaking the Trance

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records

Country: USA

Release date: April 19, 2019

Format reviewed: vinyl LP

Released just a bit over two months ago, "Breaking the Trance" marks the debut album for FATAL CURSE, a heavy metal power trio formed in Monrovia, New York, in 2016. The band signed with Shadow Kingdom Records at the end of August 2018. Comprised of Cris Bowen on drums, Dave Gruver on guitars and backing vocals, and Mike Bowen on bass and lead vocals, the trio delivers seven tracks, summing to roughly about thirty minutes in length, deeply rooted into the traditional heavy metal of the mid/late 1970s and early/mid 1980s. With its strong affiliation to the early days of speed metal and NWOBHM traits, properly qualifies "Breaking the Trance" as a New Wave Of Underground Heavy Metal album. The power trio covers that period in time rather flawlessly, cleverly intertwining influences from bands such as Thin Lizzy, Tokyo Blade, Virgin Steele, Jag Panzer, Diamond Head, Witch Cross, Liege Lord, Omen, and even Helstar, in an original and exciting fashion. The rather raw production and sound further relates to this bygone era of traditional metal. However, the potential listener should not perceive the "raw" factor as low-fidelity, quite the contrary: the album's sound is vivid, with distinctively audible instruments and vocals, carefully mixed and mastered to showcase every guitar riff, bass gallop, drum beat and vocal passage.

I wholeheartedly welcome the addition of FATAL CURSE to the ever growing roster of New Wave Of Underground Heavy Metal bands! Their debut, "Breaking the Trance", is a must for any traditional heavy metal collection, and beyond. Solid 9/10

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© 2019 by Emil Chiru

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