Curimus- Artificial Revolution (Svart Records)

Not the most promising example of what modern thrash has to offer.

Seeing as it is Metal Thrashing May here at Metal as Fuck it seems rather prudent to take a moment from our fond reminiscing and examine just where the genre is at in 2014. Sure, everyone knows the multitudes of throwback bands crowding for our attention, but I’m talking about thrash post-Pantera, modern thrash. Of course, to some people there’s no such thing. Any attempt to play thrash that incorporates any influences after 1992 is just metalcore dressing in its big brother’s battle jacket and trying to play with the big boys. 

Nevertheless, there are some bands walking that tightrope and the band we’re looking at today is strangely a very fitting sample for the state post 90s’ thrash. That is to say, it’s a bit of a confused mess that lacks a distinct identity of its own.

Let’s back up a bit, shall we? Curimus is a self proclaimed thrash band that hails from Finland and Artificial Revolution is their second full length album. Finland is most well known for producing melodic death metal and this home soil influence is worn proudly on the band’s sleeve. In fact, most of the material on this album sounds more like something you’d hear from Scandinavian acts such as At The Gates, Arch Enemy or even American bands like Shadows Fall.

Therein lays the problem with this album. Does modern thrash even exist? Is this just mislabelled melodeath? The tepid attempts at melodic harmonies on No Feast For the Vultures certainly have me thinking so. But then the band will pull something else out of their sleeve, like a 4/4 breakdown complete with gang chants or a clean sung section complete with “moving” orchestration, that has you screaming metalcore while you indignantly cover your ears. Again, there’s not enough of the metalcore influence to comfortably slide it into that category either.

Not to say the whole album is worthless, the midsection of songs have their moments such as the shockingly titled Love Song that does a decent job getting my head bobbing with its Exodus inflected chugging. However, the few good moments are outweighed by the tedious, the tired and the stale.

I think that this is a problem with “modern” metal as whole. A lot of ingredients have been thrown into the pot, but all that has come out is this grey mushy gruel, it doesn’t taste of anything, it just sits there on your plate coagulating. You can look elsewhere for interesting and unique flavours, or you can shut up and eat your gruel.

The choice is yours.