'The Wasteland' EP
(Turkey Vulture Records/Bungalo Records/Universal Music Group Distribution)
It's interesting the way that creating music under potentially dangerous circumstances seems to bring out the best in musicians, defiance seemingly aiding their creativity. The EP 'The Wasteland', the debut release from Iranian death Metal outfit Cursed Kingdom is another one of those examples.
Cursed Kingdom were formed by Saman Alimadadi, guitarist/bassist and Amir Hosein Amiri, guitarist, in 2011, then later joined by Keyvan Mousavi on drums and Ali Esfahani, vocalist, to record their single 'Gerdab' in 2011, with Persian lyrics.
This EP, with English lyrics, takes them musically to the next level. It's a decent length for an EP, seven tracks and almost twenty five minutes and the musicianship across the tracks is very good. There are some great solos, good vocals and I like how the tracks are constructed.
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Opening with 'To The Wasteland', a beautiful piano led instrumental with a haunting, reflective feel to it. The beginning of 'Black Rider' has that epic, building feel to it, like a battle march, a good forerunner to the powerful and harsh vocals that follow. The track ends on a great guitar solo, the first of many on this EP.
On 'Claw Of Death' blasting drum work complements the guitars and the track ends, interestingly with a sound bite if a guillotine; nice!
Don't get caught out by the simple, haunting guitar opener on 'Chain Of Foolishness', because next minute the sound rushes at you like a tidal wave. A couple of good tempo and direction changes on this, the longest track, keeping things interesting.
My absolute favourite track of the EP is 'Hatred Hell Within'. Here the vocals are at their very best, the intonation on this particular track I thought were reminiscent of Randy Blythe, a fabulous repeat riff that is simple but so catchy and effective, then brought to a close with another excellent guitar segment, a very exciting track.
'Touch The End' has a galloping, epic feel to the riffs and another sweet solo to the close, a good track.
The final track, 'Reflection Of An Exanimate Sound', a beautiful, reflective and atmospheric guitar led instrumental, overlaid with a sound bite of thunder, a great track and a great finale.