Demo:listen: Northern Curse

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy,  progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we bear the marks of New Hampshire’s Northern Curse.

Hailing from the tiny New England village of New Hampshire, Northern Curse are a trio of inveterate heavy noise-dealers who no doubt some of our readers will recognize. But if you’re having trouble placing those bearded mugs perhaps the opening moments of “Spiritual Famine” will knock something loose in your memory. That unhinged blasting assault sound familiar at all? Matt Serven, Northern Curse’s guitarist and vocalist, admits: “[A]ll 3 of us play in Backstabbers Inc. We didn’t really want to broadcast that, or tie the two together, because they are such very different entities. I guess it doesn’t really matter. . . . We just expect that people be open and not judge the sound based on who’s behind the instruments.”

We here at Demo:listen find the BSI connection to be awesome–as some of us are still on Kamikaze Missions. Plus if the drummer of Torche can play in a bestial war metal band, why shouldn’t the dudes from one of the harshest hardcore bands of all time form a black metal band? And, despite exposing their identities just now, we respect Northern Curse’s wish to separate themselves from their successful hardcore selves. Although we must disagree with Serven when he says that BSI and Northern Curse are “such very different entities.” Because what kills most about Northern Curse’s black metal is its gnarly, grindy hardcore roots. This sounds like Backstabbers Inc. getting their Groza on. And while these three northerners obviously aren’t the first band to approach black metal out of step and from the left hand path, they may be the most honest to do so in recent memory. Says Serven: “We view this band as a raw and simple Black Metal band. No frills but a little hint of melody here and there. But obviously we all play in Hardcore bands. So I’m sure that sort of framework is worked in there. My brother and I grew up listening to Thrash and Death Metal so you might hear some of that shining through as well: Morbid Angel, Unleashed, Disincarnate, on the Death side of things and Sepultura, Slayer, Sarcofogo and probably Metallica on the Thrash side, and whatever else we’ve picked up along the way.”

(The above song showcases what Northern Curse is currently up to with their new drummer. )What’s most exciting about Northern Curse’s demo is how palpably inspired it sounds. Regardless of their unwavering dedication to concocting and pushing aural punishment, these seasoned extreme metal musicians seem at times barely able to restrain the beast which they’ve created with Northern Curse. 

For now Northern Curse’s self-titled four song demo is just sitting there on their Bandcamp, waiting for you and all your friends to download it for “name your price,” AKA free AKA don’t be a mooch and throw these stalwarts a few bucks if you’re going to assuage your misanthropic rage with the fruits of their labor.

You heard it here first on Demo:listen. Check this space next and every Friday for promising new metal.