Not to be confused with a melodic, Doors-influenced New York City goth rock outfit called Curse, Cursed is a Canadian hardcore band that is fronted by singer/lyricist Chris Colohan (who is well-known on Canada's hardcore scene and is a former member of three different bands: Left for Dead, the Swarm, and Ruination). Cursed isn't quite metalcore -- not in the way that Hatebreed and Every Time I Die are metalcore -- but their loud, raucous, harsh, generally fast material does pack a very metallic punch. Hardcore (in a pre-metalcore sense) is their orientation, but Cursed have their share of death metal, alternative metal, and thrash inspirations (the Canadians' headbanger influences range from Entombed to Neurosis to the infamous Slayer). And while Cursed is not a radical departure from Colohan's previous bands, it's not a carbon copy of any of them either.
Cursed was formed in late 2001, when Colohan joined forces with guitarist Christian McMaster (who has also been with the band Haymaker), bassist Radwan Moumneh (an ex-member of the Black Hand and Ire), and drummer Mike Maxymuik (whose résumé of Canadian affiliations has included Sinclaire and the Meligrove Band, as well as Left for Dead). At the time, Cursed was spread across different parts of Canada -- some members were living in Montreal, Quebec, while others were based in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario. But despite the geographical challenges they faced, the members of Cursed were able to get together for gigs in different cities and create a buzz on the Canadian hardcore scene in 2002. They received their share of attention in both Toronto and the largely French-speaking Montreal, and Colohan's presence as lead vocalist certainly didn't hurt. When Moumneh temporarily left Cursed, he was replaced by Tom Piraino (formerly of Grayline) on bass, and when Moumneh returned in 2003, he came back as a second guitarist instead of as a bassist. (In other hardcore bands, Moumneh has worked as a lead vocalist/frontman, whereas in Cursed, he leaves the lead singing to Colohan). By having two guitar players instead of one, Cursed hoped to increase the heaviness factor, and, to be sure, the two-guitar attack only adds to the band's metallic appeal. The first Cursed album, titled One, was released by Deathwish Records in 2003; the following year, they recorded their sophomore album, Two. By the time Goodfellow Records (a small indie label based in Hamilton, Ontario) released Two in early 2005, Piraino was no longer a member of Cursed, and Dan Dunham (of Shallow North Dakota fame) had taken over as the hardcore agitators' new bassist. ~ Alex Henderson