The harmful impact of humankind’s influence on Earth is becoming ever more tragically apparent. As a species we have transformed the climate and landscape beyond recognition. Through industrialisation and intensive deforestation, we have simultaneously caused the mass extinction of many wild animals and their habitats whilst enslaving millions of others to be farmed and butchered to meet our tastes and needs. The inspiration behind Metamorphism, the third full length release from synthpunk duo Curse, comes from how this legacy will be seen many years in the future: how will our impact on the planet be remembered and how will it be recorded geologically?
Musically, many of the tracks on offer deliver unsettling and melancholic keyboard melodies and swelling synths as wide as time itself; the perfect music for such weighty subject matter. In addition to this is the echoing and subtle drum work from Logan Terkelsen, who lends the synths a solid foundation throughout without being overbearing. The haunting vocals of Jane Vincent shine, bringing to mind Alison Moyet, albeit backed by Trent Reznor and Jean Michel Jarre. These rich, vast soundscapes coupled with the plaintive lyrics create an incredibly striking atmosphere; one can easily envision the image of a dying earth as seen from space. As vocalist Vincent mournfully croons on the heartbreaking ‘Withered Rivers’, a song lamenting the loss of her home planet, “I wish you’d seen my planet as it used to be, before blue lakes went brown, before the rising sea”. It’s truly stirring stuff and a stark reminder of the state we are currently in. Other highlights include the relatively upbeat opener ‘Universe 25’, the industrial tinged epic ‘Aricebo on Deaf Ears’ and the sparse and stuttering ‘The Last Whole Earth’ where Vincent warns “Only a fool fights in a burning house”.
It goes without saying that Metamorphism is an album to reflect upon. It is in turns moving, prophetic and entrancing; a warning to our future selves of what we have to lose. It just also happens to be a gloriously dark and hypnotic work of synth laced bleakness that is hard to resist.
Metamorphism is out 25th October via Fake Crab Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg