Danish blackened metal band Strychnos devastate the seen and unseen worlds on their first full-length album, A Mother’s Curse.
Lurking in the dark corners of Denmark, Strychnos animated in 1997. Over the past two and a half decades, they have released a couple of demos and the EP Undead Unsouls Unbound (2011). The new full-length album is absolutely incredible, and, listening to it, I tried not to think ahead but I was overcome by greed, wanting to hear even more. The music is a kind of active doom metal that is deeply tinge with blackening and is usually described as blackened death metal. The band is Martin Leth Andersen (bass, vocals), Nis Rode Larsen (drums), and Andreas Lynge (guitars).
“Traumer” wakes the slumbering demons with grinding mysticism from the opening notes. It is like being ground down under a rolling granite sequoia. Genuinely monstrous riffs and rugged rhythm insist on your devastation. The vocals sound like they are coming from a hopeless and hateful carnival barker at the gates of hell. “Blessed Be The Bastard Reign” is a steady-on heavy metal killer that has a catch that will leave none behind. These two songs set up the early placement of the title track, which carries on the depredation and adds exceptional lead guitar work to accelerate the blood letting.
The sound in my ears is doom – that is only one of the elements present, but it is the one I naturally gravitate toward and pull out. Black metal fans will perhaps hear the darkened lines first, and the old-school metallers will be entranced by the structure and the riff. There is a broad range here that the musicians pull together to forge their own sound. Every band would like to claim they do this, but most really don’t – Strychnos is the authentic outlier in this regard.
There are so many outstanding tracks on this record that you might as well pick them at random if you are sampling to see what is there. Whatever you do, don’t miss “Horror Sacred Torture Divine” to go along with the first three and, on the second side, “Regiments of the Betrayed” is the doom lever that will deliver your darkest dreams. I am glad I heard this record now because I am making out my year-end top twenty list at the moment and this album has made the cut. Highly recommended.
A Mother’s Curse is out on Friday, November 4th through Dark Descent Records in the usual forms. Press the links below for more info and access.
Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/
© Wayne Edwards