London based Bright Curse came as a result of singer Row (ex-Soul Manifest) relocating from the North of France to the capital and hooking up with bassist Sammy – their common goal was to make great heavy music. Following the usual lineup changes, the core of Bright Curse split off to write deeper, darker and fatter tunes that draw their influences from the like of Witch, Sleep, Graveyard, Colour Haze and more recently, Mars Red Sky.
Settling as a three piece, the band recorded and released their debut EP last year. Produced by friend JB Pilon and mastered by Brad Boatright who worked on the reissue of Sleep’s ‘Dopesmoker’, their self-titled debut is an assured piece of rock music that is a writer’s worst nightmare in the sense that it doesn’t fit neatly into a pigeon hole. Part Stoner, part psychedelic, part fuzz, part doom and all rock, these five songs manage to straddle moods and genres without sounding forced or contrived and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
‘A Sonic Wave’ starts things off with a slow, heavy, ringing doom atmosphere. Sinister guitar creeps into the subconscious as deep bass rumbles. The introduction is reminiscent of the opening to a sludge metal album, the music waiting for the gargled screaming vocals to kick in so it comes as a complete surprise when first track proper ‘The Hermit’ emerges from the build up with a mellow (and melodic) Grungy, Stoner, Alt Rock type vocal. As the song grows it is clear the band know how to pen a muscular, space rock kind of tune. I was honestly expecting something a lot heavier and darker; however I was pleasantly surprised by the laid back track that felt like it had been born in a meandering jam session, taken and honed to perfection where the music washes over and carries you off whilst vocalist Row holds centre court.
‘Unknown Mistress’ has to be the standout track on the EP; Nearly eight minutes long this track starts out with a fuzzy Kyuss stoner style riff that owes its debt to the Sons of Sabbath before mutating into a classic rock feel which continues the space rock psychedelia and gives room in the dynamics that again the vocalist can almost steal the show with his acrobatics.
That is not to say that the rest of the band rest on their laurels; whilst handling lead vocal duties Row also plays the sublime leads and riffs on guitar and his erstwhile band members execute the rhythm with a deft precision, not to mention also putting in shifts singing. All of which makes for a great piece of ear candy as they morph into the tripped out mellow ending. This track encapsulates everything the band is trying to achieve on this EP; heavy verses light deft touches, hard rocking verses mellow triply passages.
Of the remaining two tracks, ‘What’s Beyond The Sun?’ is another epic that continues the theme with hypnotic, gentle rock and some infectious bass work, whilst ‘Mind Traveller’ comes in a close second to track 3. This time slow doom fuzz gives way to a tender break out, before stop/start dynamics and the heads down rock romp that begins roughly in the middle of the EP’s longest track. As a complete listening experience it is an incredibly captivating piece of music.
Bright Curse are looking to record a full length album and on the strength of this EP they are brimming with ideas and talent to back them up. Check this out and keep an eye on them.
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden