Taking formation as a side project from a band known as Inanna, Coffin Curse have stepped forward to push out their debut full-length Cease To Be. The Santiago, Chile-based band have dropped three EPs, a split, and a demo since their formation in 2012. After all of this time, we’re rewarded with a malignant and straight-to-the-point death metal release that stays true to the roots while injecting its own tastes.
Cease To Be is crafted on intricate guitar advancements and smart solo placement. Never do the rhythms dull out, which isn’t only due to the constant changes of pace and energy, but how muscular they are. Tremolo-driven riffs that oscillate up and down the fretboard without jumping around in ridiculous spurts are the most vital ingredient. To coincide with that, we’re also given a healthy serving of steadier rhythmic patterns that tie everything together. The short and sweet solos do wonders, as they add some spice but aren’t the forefront. The guitar wails on “Descending Into Abhorrence” are a good example, taking little precedence but enough to make a difference.
But the best part of this is how smoothly such a harsh release flows. “Chopped Clean Off” is one of my favorites, thanks to its hookiness and stellar delivery. It’s obvious that death, gore, and pain are common themes here, with multiple vocal styles bringing them to full fruition. Death growls that aren’t too guttural for their own good and don’t rely on throatiness are the best, and Coffin Curse pull that off. To add even more flavor, you’ll find higher shrieks that often times compliment drum blasts of heavy artillery.
Placing things correctly can be everything. Although Cease To Be is mostly built on OSDM aesthetics, you’ll find more than enough doom/death here as well. The final track “Deep In Streams Of Purifying Dirt” is a nine-minute epic surrounded by slower and thicker riffing, before morphing into a rapid acceleration of riffs and drum-taps. Preceding this song is “Extinct,” a marching slow-burner that acts as foreshadowing for what’s to come. Breaking up the two is a really quick smack to the skull in between known as “Grave Offender,” likely the most abrasive track on the disc. That makes up the entire second half of the album, and the arrangement is brilliant.
I’m not sure what it is about death metal bands with the word “coffin” in their name being so memorable, but I’m certainly not complaining. Nothing shy of intricate riffing, steady leads, grueling vocals, and a dash of doom make up what is before us. Anyone into the earliest acts of the style that don’t overstay their welcome, nor bolt on unfathomable technicality should love every bit of this.
Cease To Be will be released on January 27th, 2020 through Memento Mori.