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'Final Days'
(Static Tension Recordings)
Out now

Johnny Main

johnny main

war curse

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, War Curse was originally formed in late 2013 and are very much in the Thrash Metal genre, and being a fan of that type of music I'm surprised that I hadn't heard of the band or this release at all.

It's been out for a couple of months now, but we're always interested in newer bands here at MetalTalk Towers, and my only regret is not discovering the band sooner.

The band deliver an school thrash sound but with a hint of new school aggression, so if you're into the likes of US Thrash legends like Megadeth, Metallica, Exodus or Slayer while at the same time open to newer bands like Evile and Havok, then War Curse really are a band that you should consider listening to – and at just over half an hour in length, the band have created the ideal pocket sized album for new listeners, like me, to explore the band's sound.

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Things kick off with 'Dawn Patrol' and its faux "siren" intro as the main guitar riff blasts out before drummer James Goetz takes the song to the next level. He provides a solid foundation for the song from start to finish, over which the clean and audible vocals from front man Tarek Puska are placed - not what I was expecting at all to be honest!

With the razor sharp guitar riff driving the song towards the inevitable guitar solo (which is fast, furious and well executed), for me, it's a great start to the album.

Next up is 'Blue Line Of Injustice' which has Goetz showing his skill from the off as he punches out the complex beat. It's reinforced by the guitar intro before the main riff really kicks in and the songs tempo accelerates rapidly.

The vocals and the guitar track are placed slightly further back in the mix during the choruses compared to some of the other tracks, which gives the number a slightly different feel, but overall, it's another great number. There's a short soaring guitar solo section from guitarists Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy which acts as a prelude to a longer instrumental but it clearly demonstrates the musical power of the band.

'Severed Crosses' on the other hand, has a slow guitar driven intro that wouldn't look out of place on a Slayer album and, like Slayer, it's not long before the tempo picks up with the main guitar riff and drums coming in after thirty seconds or so, meaning you're nearly a minute into the song before the vocals actually begin.

It's a faster paced number with some subtler vocals from Puska during the verses which become more aggressive during the choruses, while all the time the main guitar riff and drums keep the track moving forwards.

war curse

Title track 'Final Days' has another classic riff to open the song as Goetz pounds out the tempo on the bass drum before the track really comes alive. A faster paced number, the relentless guitar riff embeds itself in your brain before the tour de force guitar solo blows your mind as both Roth and Murphy share the spotlight in what sounds like a great duel.

For me, however, 'New Chemical Warfare' is without a doubt the best track here. It's another fast paced number which has the guitar punctuating some of the verses as Puska puts in another solid vocal performance while Goetz keeps the beat going at the back before he gets a wee showcase towards the end, pumping out the almost metronomic beat.

The final number is 'Drudge', with its long instrumental intro on what becomes something of a more mid-paced number and allows Roth and Murphy space and time to show exactly what they are capable of before the first of the sparse vocal sections come in. Puska uses the lack of lyrics to his advantage as he gives the track extra texture with his intonation on the lyrics. All in all, though, it's a great finish to a great album.

War Curse have certainly made themselves visible on my radar and I look forward to hearing more from the band sooner rather than later, and with them planning to re-enter the studio later this year, it looks like I won't have to wait too long to hear some new material.

'Final Days' Track Listing:
Dawn Patrol
Blue Line of Injustice
Severed Crosses
Final Days
New Chemical Warfare

War Curse are:
Tarek Puska – Vocals/Guitar
Justin Roth – Guitar
Joshua Murphy – Guitar
Eric Payne – Bass Guitar
James Goetz – Drums

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