Cursed Earth are not fucking around. Following scorching hot on the heels of Volume I: Grief comes second EP in two months Cycles Of Grief, Volume II: Decay (UNFD). Like the album, instant and violent, it was announced and released on the same day; a feral, violent and spitting wild animal flailing out six songs in fourteen minutes, yet covering more ground than a jaguar in pursuit of its fleeing prey.
In essence splicing (in a manner most violent) Hardcore chug and dissonance with Death Metal tempos and sound (the dirty guitar tone pours as concrete into the ears, Like An Everflowing Stream), Volume II continues the angry discourse of “nature and nurture” from its predecessor. Jazmine Luders barks and patrols the frontline, while Kieran Molloy and Paul Cottrell punch out Hardcore most uncompromising. Pacy and rough with ‘Regression’ and ‘Regret’, kerb-stomping with ‘Rage (The Cost), nevertheless, it is the serial-killer-cold and brooding ‘Eternal’ that earns the most plaudits, expansive even within its sub-five minute shell, showcasing talents outside of brutality, and that darkened, bruised melody holds sway within the Cursed Earth camp.
Their sound is very much of the now, and the Australian scene is utterly knocking it out of the park at the moment, they owe Converge a backhander or two, and the influence of Code Orange’s Forever (Roadrunner) is starting to show its face in the outside world already, which can only be a good thing, but even allowing for its short running time, Volume II manages to be more expansive than its predecessor and more interesting, positioning Cursed Earth very much in the “ones to watch” bracket.