War Curse

After almost 4 years without an album, WAR CURSE is back to cement their position in the thrash scene.
January 2, 2024

Created in 2015 by guitar players Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy, WAR CURSE released their last album Eradication in 2019 and not much has been heard from them since. They are back with the 2023 released album Confession. Their proposal is to honour heavy bands from the San Francisco Bay Area like TESTAMENT and EXODUS and the 90's thrash metal in general. Let’s see what they bring to the table. We start the album with “The Nothing (That Is Me)” that allows a mood bild up with etherial guitars in the beginning to prepare you for the guitar attack. Good melody and musicianship overall. All the elements of heavy and thrash bands from the 80’s and 90’s are noticeable.

“Fortress Of Agony” is next and is a little bit more trashy, reminding me of the really early era of the genre. Cleaner vocals by Blaine Gordon despite the heavy output, reminds me of a singer that I have heard before but I am unable to remember the name at this stage. Familiar voice though. The band follows with “Confession” and the energy is still up. The band gives some room in their compositions for some after vocal melodies. I do not know if I like the softness. Interesting mood changes close to the end however, and with a good guitar solo. The album introduces  “Miracle Broker” with a more epic metal approach but still using the same formula of clean and sometimes guttural vocals. You can already notice that the band, despite being young, is composed of well seasoned musicians and their performance is solid.

The next tune “Power of the Powerless” is totally METALLICA style and you can notice that even some arrangements were heavily influenced by them. Perhaps with a little more melody instead. I have to confess that some bands of that 90’s period like EXODUS and TESTAMENT were never my favourites. Despite these bands being extremely good, I was never hooked on their songs. I believe the same thing may be happening here. The band is good but there is not a memorable tune so far for my taste. We past the halfway point with “The Convoy”,  that is a little more to the Hard Rock side of things. Another well composed tune that lacks that little extra. This tune has an excellent and deep bass sound performed by  Johnnie Wallace very present in the mix. The partnership with competent drummer James Goetz is perfect and it does not compromise.

On “Return to Dust” I have figured out that the singer has a voice very close to DISTURBED’s David Draiman. I can hear echoes from “Get Down With the Sickness” clearly on this one. All songs are solid but no instant classics so far. The next is “Sowing Division” and again the song is disrupted (in my opinion) by a soft melody that looks out of place in the middle of the crunchiness. Right after the melodic part, the band gets into relentless Thrash Metal again with all the crunchiness you can handle. I know that there are thousands of bands that mix the melodic with the extreme in their compositions,  but it seems a little disconnected on this album for my taste. The end of this song is an ode to METALLICA again with arrangements that will be familiar to your ears.

With a more interesting and syncopated riff, we are presented with “Rusty Nail”. WAR CURSE has 2 competent guitar players on Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy with good riffs and solos. So basically it is all there… but something is still missing. Let me see if I found what it is missing on the last song “Illusion of Choice” . At a first listen, I can tell that for me this is  the best of the bunch. Nice chorus and no soft melodic interludes. A good album from a good band but nothing impressive unfortunately. In the end, the band sounds more like DISTURBED than MEGADETH. So not too trashy as I would hope. Not much speed on the songs and some of them fall into the epic clean chorus that in my opinion, does not match the genre. Good effort, but it could be better.

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Confession" Track-listing:

1.The Nothing (That Is Me)

2.Fortress of Agony


4.Miracle Broker

5.Power of the Powerless

6.The Convoy

7.Return to Dust

8.Sowing Division

9.Rusty Nail

10.Illusion of Choice

War Curse Lineup:

Blaine Gordon- Vocals

Justin Roth- Guitar

Joshua Murphy- Guitar

James Goetz- Drums

Johnnie Wallace- Bass

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