The best EPs are the ones that leave you unfulfilled. They tease you with greatness and as they finish all you can do is howl for more. With its five songs coming in at under ten minutes, Cycles of Grief, Volume 1: Growth from Australian metallic hardcore band Cursed Earth does exactly that. Although after it has punished you for its entire running time, there’s a chance you’ll be curled in a ball on the floor while you do the begging.
‘War March’ lumbers into life to start proceedings sounding like it has risen from the sea to deliver its slow, pounding groove into your head. It’s a bit of a shock to realise that it’s the calm before the storm as ‘Broken’ bursts out of it to say hello like a friendly little chest-burster. It’s all complicated time signatures and hulking riffs and the best you can do is hold on, bang your head and hope for the best.
Because Cursed Earth don’t piss about. Sounding like Code Orange at their heaviest this EP has no issue with bludgeoning you into submission and yet you can’t help but come back for more. By the time that ‘Sanctioned Violence’ finishes roaring into your face with its razor sharp vocals, you can’t quite believe that it’s the penultimate track and before you know it, it’s going to be over. You feel like you’ve been beaten up but you’re slightly worried to discover you’ve enjoyed it. Thankfully, you can go straight back to the start and work through these feelings.
Cursed Earth are entering a scene with more than its share of great bands. Already this year we’ve had the already mentioned Code Orange and an equally abrasive EP from Vein both of which are outstanding releases. However, when you can create noise this brutally fucked up, you shouldn’t have to worry. It’s all breakdowns and anger and you can’t say fairer than that.