Born from the ashes of the instrumental trio, Pawns in Chess, Curse of Denial are yet another super group to come out of the infamous Cleveland metal scene. Curse of Denial features former members of Descend as well as famed Decrepit vocalist, Rob Molzen. Their debut, The Thirteenth Sign, which is due for release on February 3, is a thrashy and epic call to the old school death metal sound Cleveland is known for.
The album begins ominously with an intro entitled Ophiuchus the Winding Serpent, effortlessly setting the pace for the remainder of the album. The whispering chant in the intro is a bit cheesy but in an endearing way. Curse of Denial’s sound is an interesting mix of old school death metal, with hints of blackened melody, and even an injection of Iron Maiden like epic-ness. Tracks like Curse of Izebel, Premonition, and the aptly named Pawns in Chess, really set the tone for the overall feel of this release.
I was a bit disappointed in the lack of blast beats on this album, which I felt, took away from the aggression on this album. I think the band was attempting to produce a more mature, old school sound but it was somewhat lacking the violent ambiance signature of the old school death metal sound. Jeremy McLellon’s blistering solos scattered neatly throughout the album make up for any lack in brutality, however. Overall, I think this is a solid release from a promising band emerging from the Cleveland scene. I look forward to hearing more from Curse of Denial. Pre-order their CD on Redefining Darkness Records website.