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The Black Curse

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Album Review

Lord Belial favored a blend of black metal and death metal (more black metal than death metal) in the 1990s and early 2000s, but their 2006 recording Revelation: The 7th Seal was black metal all the way. Instead of being mostly black metal, Revelation: The 7th Seal was totally black metal — and the Swedish band continues in that direction on its 2008 release, The Black Curse. Like Revelation: The 7th Seal, The Black Curse is an album that is obviously aimed at people who like their black metal with a lot of nuance. No one will accuse Black Curse of sounding like adult contemporary; this is intense, hard-hitting, occult-obsessed music that rocks forcefully and aggressively. And you certainly won't find song titles like "Antichrist Reborn," "Trumpets of Doom," and "Primordial Incantation" on a Celine Dion album. But at the same time, The Black Curse is not an exercise in loudness for the sake of loudness. On this 52-minute CD, melody, nuance, musicality, and songcraft are as important as brutality and bombast; in fact, they complement one another. Black Curse isn't quite lavish enough to be placed in the symphonic black metal category, but even so, this is the type of album that could appeal to a headbanger who has a casual interest in black metal — perhaps a Ronnie James Dio or Iced Earth fan who appreciates Dimmu Borgir but resists Gorgoroth and Marduk. Revelation: The 7th Seal is slightly stronger than The Black Curse, but even so, this CD is a respectable demonstration of Lord Belial's ability to combine nuance and brutality.


Formed: 1992 in Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Swedish black metal band Lord Belial was formed in 1992 by singer/guitarist Dark, guitarist Vassago, bassist Bloodlord and drummer Sin. The band soon recorded its first demo, The Art of Dying; its 1994 sequel, Into the Frozen Shadows, landed Lord Belial a contract with the No Fashion label, and a year later they issued their proper debut LP, Kiss the Goat. The long-delayed Enter the Moonlight Gate followed in mid-1997, by which time Lord Belial had toured their...
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