Icon Of Curse released their three track demo about a month ago through Bandcamp. Titled Emanation of Hex, this demo is a clamorous journey down blind corridors whose portals reveal themselves only to those who submit to and can withstand the droning death-call that is Icon Of Curse.
Speaking on how he stumbled upon this truly accursed sound, Skulviscerator, the project’s lone practitioner, explains:
“The sound came about somewhat organically. I initially attempted to make something in the vein of Cripta Oculta, really long almost epic raw black metal just for my own amusement but, through the recording and mixing process, I ended up with this highly ritualistic and droning sound that I thought was quite unique and so here we are.”
Skulviscerator says Icon Of Curse was “always meant to be a solo project.”
“My recording process is quite unconventional (more on that later) and I don’t think it would be conducive to being done with multiple players. I am open minded about finding others who would play with but for now solo is best.”
He goes on to describe the recording process that brought Emanation of Hex into being. Which, it’s worth noting, a lot of bands these days are loath to do. Skulviscerator has no issue, apparently, as he must realize that the noxious effect of this demo won’t be dispelled by a little explanation.
“I spend a couple days beforehand just trying different rhythms and styles on the drums and then I record, then after that things come quite quickly,” says Skulviscerator. “The three tracks of the demo were each recorded in three successive days.
“Unlike many musicians, I start with the drums. It is the instrument I’m most comfortable with and so I guide the entire structure of songs from the drums. Improvisation plays a major role in my music. Aside from having a general idea for the rhythms before I begin and how long I want the track to be, everything comes naturally. I start drumming and find the changes in the song naturally.
“After the drums I play the guitar parts. Similar to the drums, I spend a moment trying different tuning, chords, rhythms, amp adjustments and then rip. The result is a droning churning madness so precision is not important to me. The intensity and hypnotism is what I’m working towards.
After I have that part complete I spend some time writing the lyrics. The three pieces all tell a story when read in order, so I spend some time composing the proper chapter and then it’s right back to recording. I decide when/how to perform to vocals as they are happening, almost like automatic writing.”
According to Skulviscerator, a lot inspiration for Icon Of Curse material comes from “the current crop of Australian/NZ maniacs” such as Grave Upheaval, Vassafor, and Temple Nightside. But his influences lie beyond the metal realm as well.
“True to the spirit of improvisation, a major influence is spiritual/avant-garde jazz, particularly Pharoah Sanders. Those are obviously large ensembles as opposed to one man band but the ebbing and flowing in and out of frenzy and controlled chaos of his music really speaks to me.”
Soon the Emanation of Hex demo will be available on cassette.
Says Skulviscerator: “The first press [of Emanation of Hex] is currently in production now and will be in my hands soon. It is being released on my own label Forbidden Sonority and will be limited to 40 hand-numbered copies on purple tapes. If there is a demand I will make more copies, likely on a different shell color. I will also make some very DIY lyrics booklets to ship out with the tapes. It will be sold at forbiddensonority.bigcartel.com. If any individual or distro is interested in more information or copies, they can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not running a pre-order but will prioritize people that email me about copies beforehand.”
And Icon Of Curse is already poised to release new material. According to Skulviscerator, the next emanation will be a split.
“I have already recorded my next release which will be a split with Hexeth, the new project from Count Bergaby of Shezmu fame. He also made the Forbidden Sonority logo and has been a tremendous supporter of this project so I’m honored and excited to be sharing a split with him. My side is one lengthy track which expands the sound of the Icon while remaining hypnotic and hallucinogenic as always. More info about this release will be announced as necessary.”
No doubt that split will rule. But for now, Emanation of Hex offers a world of potent horrors for you to wander around in and lose yourself.