Album Review: Ceased to Be – Coffin Curse

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South American death metal is often an adjective to all things relentless and trend-ignoring. Bands from that end of the world are never out for rock stardom or hype. Their expression is rather an unstoppable rampage, crafted out of sheer respect for the musical genre at hand. Unapologetic love for death metal comes across and this is why we love the bands from there so much. This is the case with Coffin Curse from Chile as well. Their debut storms out in the beginning of the new decade and is bound to give a flying start to all things death metal.   

Whereas the North American scene has embraced the muddy, simplified and obscene forms of death recently, the sound the scene was originally known for – that sharp, intense and well-played death storm – has gone unfortunately missing. In the light of current events I personally greet the debut album of Coffin Curse with the uttermost delight. Now, here we have a band that has done their home work well. The riffs are well written, well rehearsed and executed in sharp, no-nonsense fashion. Yet, this is definitely not a case of technical fretboard wankery, or hyperblast bursts one would expect as the opposite of caveman slugging. This is rather the musical equivalent of a buzzaw blade gone mad and out of control on the main street during rush hour. Not exactly surgical in delivery, but damn effective in every sense. 

“Ceased to Be”, the first full album from Coffin Curse, feels above anything, authentic. While listening to it, it is sometimes easy to forget that it is 2020 already here and that you are NOT listening the early albums of Deicide, for instance. Blast beats takes turns with a murderous thrash metal rampage, and it is the latter that lifts “Ceased to Be” above the average, already on their first album. When they lock into that sweet Slayer-groove, Coffin Curse give the most potent of storm warnings and one is in an instant tempted to stage dive from the sofa. Cats – watch out! The end of “Where Sickness Thrives being probably the finest example of this type of battery. Apart from Slayer and Deicide, one cannot really ignore the influence of Sodom, or even very early Metallica here either. These elements really spice up the traditional Florida sound of theirs and remind us of the fact that early death metal and the most aggressive end of thrash were never really too far away from each other. Especially in the early USA scene.

“Ceased to Be” is an excellent debut album and a great start to the year 2020. Even if it looses a bit of it’s appeal towards the end and the vocal delivery is a bit monotonous in places, the record is a rewarding collection of death metal mayhem that is not out to lick butts, or ride the tides of whatever hype might be going on out there. Strongly recommended to anybody who is into early 90’s USA death metal, or either into the violent thrashing of Sadus, Possessed, or Infernäl Mäjesty for example. Just listen to “Grave Offender” as a tune, for example! It is a well displayed statement of the fact that Coffin Curse really do understand what the original idea of extreme metal was all about, but instead of weeping over the bygone times, they just take the thing, and force it into the modern day and smirk. We, the eye and ear witnesses of the phenomenon, pop open a new beer, sit back and put the album on for another well deserved spin. Despite the few minor complaints toward the end of the review, I at least enjoyed this album a great deal and am waiting for the second album of Coffin Curse already. A much welcomed debut, from start to finish!     

Rating – 4/5

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