Curse of Denial was born in Cleveland, meant to be an instrumental album with the exception of two songs with the intention of having Jim Konya (Nunslaughter, The Spawn of Satan) as the vocalist on them. Tragically, Konya died of a stroke before Curse of Denial completed the album.
The band, however, carried on with a new vocalist, to unleash the blackened death assault known as The 13th Sign. Curse of Denial walk the line between black and death metal, but as they explain below, it’s just metal to them. Listen to the album below and keep reading for a Q&A with Curse of Denial vocalist Rob Molzan.
Jim Konya, who played with a number of bands, was supposed to be Curse of Denial’s singer but he sadly passed away prior to recording anything in 2015. How did his passing affect the band, and why did you decide to push forward?
Curse of Denial is but a speck when it comes to the to Jim’s passing. The city of Parma, the city of Cleveland, and the entire metal and non-metal world were and are devastated by his untimely passing. Jim had his hands in so many bands and this band was to be a resurrection of his alter ego, Malcolm Judas Anthony. We had two songs written for him that he was never able to complete. The rest of the album was most likely to be an instrumental release. Of course we were all terribly saddened his death. We still are. We pushed forward because that is what you have to do. The two songs, “Night Terrors” and “The Day That the Sun Failed to Rise” particularly, but the entire work of the album is dedicated to Jim and his legacy. We know that Jim never wants the metal to stop. Ever.
Rob Molzan (ex-Decrepit, ex-From the Depths) took the role of vocalist after Jim Konya’s passing. How did Rob come to be a member of the band?
We asked Rob to sing on the two songs written for Jim as a tribute to the king of Parma. We had the album recorded already at this point. He came into the studio and the songs sounded really good with his vocals. We asked him to sing on a different song and again we liked what we heard. After that, it just made sense to ask him to join the band and what started off as an instrumental album, aside from the two Jim songs, turned into The 13th Sign. (Answered by the entire band)
There’s a lot of black metal influence to be heard on The 13th Sign. How do you define Curse of Denial’s musical style, and is it a conscious effort to have influences from black and death metal in your songs?
There is honestly no effort into putting any of our influences into our music. Of course there is no way for our influences not to be heard, but we do not go out on a mission for a song to sound any certain way. I personally think it is unfortunate that midwinter depression and unbridled anger is labeled as black metal now. I think you can sing and play about your soul being torn out without that label being attached. Our music is more about the feel of the dismal side of life coupled with rage and riffs that we hope are memorable. We do not want to be pigeonholed as anything but metal. Be it death, black or thrash, it is up to the listener to decide. We just hope that is enjoyable to the metal masses in general.
There are a number of guest appearances on the album. How did you choose who would appear, and how did they impact the final sound?
It was just a word of mouth kind of thing. We invited all kinds of Cleveland metal heads to come in and join if they were able to. Some could not make it to the studio and were unfortunately left out. Don of Nunslaughter had to record long distance from a studio in Arizona. Anyone who is in a band from the Cleveland area has been impacted by Jim is some form or the other and always for the best. We think that having the people that were able to show up came out quite beautifully and we are in fact honored and thankful for their contribution. It was far more about Jim, and paying tribute to Jim then it was about our band. We are very lucky to have these guests on the album.
Does The 13th Sign refer to anything specifically? What is the 13th sign, and what are the 12 that presumably came before?
The obvious answer would be that is related to Ophiuchus and the mystery surrounding the nighttime constellation, also known as the 13th sign. But if you look at the lyrics and the cover art, there just might be more to be seen. We will leave that up to the listener to decide.
What’s next for Curse of Denial once the album is released?
We will be playing local and regional shows as our schedules allow us. We also realize that being a new band on the scene, we need to promote and prove ourselves. We hope that the music speaks for itself, but we know that there are a ton of new bands coming out every day and people don’t have the time to sort through them all. We are also in the process of releasing a series of four lyric videos for the album and that they will hopefully help spread the word as well.
Anything else you want to tell us about the band or the album?
Check out our lyric videos to get a taste of the album. We think that we created something special for the metal masses and we sincerely hope that you enjoy what you hear.
The 13th Sign is scheduled for release on February 3 through Redefining Darkness Records. Pick up a copy here.