Cold Curse are not the first band to mash up early 90’s Swedish death metal and hardcore – Discharge were there long ago to push hardcore into extreme music territory, and modern groups like Black Breath, Mammoth Grinder and Nails have almost created a new sub-genre around this audio melting pot. This Californian-based act have been around since 2013, releasing a demo and debut EP that were both well-received in the underground. Their new EP, Violent Measure, looks to take them to a new level.
The four songs on offer here certainly marry the death metal and hardcore worlds seamlessly, but there is also a sludgy, Obituary addition that slows things down from time to time. This makes a refreshing change from the blasting speed and adds some tasty dynamics to the overall work, which sets them apart from their contemporaries. Obviously, the HM-2 distortion is thick and heavy and it grooves like a son of a bitch (Swedish death metal would be nowhere without it), but the standout here is the vocals. Other bands of this ilk tend to aim towards an Entombed-style vocal, but vocalist Cole Berber has found his own niche with a heavy Dismember vibe that is balanced out with a blood-curdling Converse scream – this fusion orders up a very impressive and impactful howl that carries the music to a different level altogether. The music itself arguably doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the party, but the songs are bursting with gusto and are as solid as a ten-ton hammer.
Everything hopeful, this EP will push Cold Curse towards a full-length where they can flesh out their influences and build on a concrete foundation, but Violent Measure is certainly worthy of its ten-minute running time and the terminal effect on your ears.
Violent Measure is available now and can be purchased here.
Words: John Morrow