Originally written by Drew Ailes
Imagine my surprise when one of my more highly regarded and anticipated albums of 2005 happens to float through the Metalreview.com doors and right into my greasy fingers. You know that feeling, when you find out a band you adore has a new album out? For me at least, there’s always a nervous feeling that what upon hearing it, it’s going to be the most disappointing thing I’ve ever heard. Toronto’s Cursed, featuring members of Left For Dead, The Swarm, Ruination, and Acrid, left the entire hardcore world drooling on themselves after 2003’s One. Gratefully, they’ve decided to grace us with another dose of thick, livid, and brilliantly crafted material.
Merging the more easily grasped attributes of Converge with His Hero Is Gone and slight influences from even Entombed, Cursed are as devastating and powerful as ever. The vocals are a little higher and have a few more production effects on them every so often, and there’s no longer that real raw feel the production had on their prior full-length. While there isn’t too much of a deviation from their debut album, things are a little darker this time around, and there’s quite a bit of creative expansion. Right from the moody introduction, Two begins on a hardened and veracious note. Picking up where the intro leaves off, “Fatality” drifts onward with Chris Colohan’s desperate yelling before launching right into their familiar dense and up-tempo guitar parts. “The Void” stands out among the rest of the record, which is anything but typical, with it’s extremely effective and heavy chorus working in conjunction with the dissonant single ringing notes. Sounding slightly like newer Mastodon, “Clocked In Punched Out” starts with a bending riff that flawlessly blends into Cursed’s trademark burly rhythm guitarwork. In spite of the fact that the band usually appealed to hardcore fans of the members previous outfits, they’re now forging ahead and taking a few chances. “Model Home Invasion” could be likened to a slow and southern act like Cable with it’s whispered verses and immense disharmonic riffing during the chorus.
Two is written not as a collection of songs, but truly as an album. As lame as I consider it when people describe something as “an experience”, this is about as close as it comes. Everything’s laid out intelligently, leaving a lasting impact on whatever blessed individual stumbles across it. I’m so angry every time this album ends, yet I’m still left with a great satisfaction that one of my current favorite bands is only continuing to get better and better. It’s a definitive step forward.