Cyclone Empire (2012)
Formerly known as Devastator, this three piece thrash act is now called Blessed Curse and here we have their debut album literally 10 years in the making. They toured the US with Rattlehead for 40 dates during the summer of 2009, and have released a series of potent EP’s to whet your metal appetite. For bassist Patrick Hamby, drummer Derek Bean, and vocalist/guitarist Tyler Satterlee, Blessed Curse takes the best of early thrash and speed metal from all sides of the globe and creates a sound that will flatten all takers- much like Megadeth, Exodus, or early Heathen did back in their formative years.
The slight galloping riffs, the caustic, sandpaper-ish vocals, song titles like “Demon Dance” and “Feasting Witch” and a surprisingly decent production for an independent band add up to something most ardent thrash heads love. Considering half of this material already appears on previous EP’s, the newer material like opener “Bleeding Cross” and “Eternal Hate/ Blessed Curse” catches my attention the most- the former maze-like in its mid-tempo Kreator meets Exodus pacing while the latter has a lot of the riff hallmarks and chord changes that re-live “The Legacy” album from Testament.
The pit parts are obvious and yet not forced within the songwriting- but I wonder if Tyler’s monotonous, distant Hetfield-like delivery will be a deal breaker for some fully getting into Blessed Curse. You can’t deny his shred-tastic soloing throughout the 12 songs, so maybe most will forgive his vocal approach in the long run.
Overall, Blessed Curse as a band is adequate to get the job done, but really aren’t pushing anything out there you’ve heard performed better from their array of influences. In terms of their contemporaries, Savage Messiah and Suicidal Angels are leap years ahead in terms of sound, songwriting and total performances.
Rating: 3.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe