Drifting by CursebinderRelease date: April 7, 2023
Label: Avantgarde Music
One of the most encouraging things to hear from new bands is improvement, a desire to mature as they try to hone every aspect of their music with each new release. On debut full-length Drifting, Polish black metal outfit Cursebinder do exactly this as they show huge leaps forward from their eponymous EP of three years ago.
Most immediate of these steps is the quality of the production. In a genre not renowned for its excellence in sound engineering, the full, meaty tone has given the riffs a punch that was sorely lacking previously. They now come thundering out of the speakers, brutal and precise in landing every blow.
Drifting has also seen the song writing develop immeasurably. Passages of furious fretwork over machine gun blast beats are interspersed with shades of doom or psychedelia, adding a touch of pale to contrast the darkness. The natural flow of these swings is impressive, adding to the vibrancy of the experience. Whether it is the swirling ambience of an interlude, or a menacing drone to underpin a moment of malice, it never sounds contrived.
However, Cursebinder have yet to make it to the hallowed realms of “great”. As good as Drifting is, there remains a lack of true identity here, their influences shining a little too brightly: not enough originality is coming to the fore, no unmistakable stamp that screams “this is us”. Between the chainsaw guitars and inhuman howls, the calibre of the black metal is apparent, but the protagonist far less so.
It is merely the beginning though, and given the evolution already demonstrated, there must be hope that a more unique version of the band will begin to form in time. After all, there are enough pieces here to suggest that bigger and better things are to come. Certainly, Cursebinder will be ones to keep an ear on.