Many thrash metal addicts have wondered and debated what a genuine synthesis of the Big Four would actually sound like. Well, wonder no long as Final Curse have created this very entity within their sophomore release Way Of The Accursed. Drawing from Rust In Peace, South Of Heaven, Ride The Lightning and Persistence Of Time, this is quintessential re-thrash for those who get weak at the knees at the thought of the Bay Area circa 1980s.
Setting off with such a slow-burning track as “Corruptor Of Innocence” is an intriguing move, but it’s not long before the Slayer-cum-Dark Angel influence emerges. The chugging riffs that occasionally underline the solos drag a tad, but solid choruses redeem the tracks before the band launch into the next salvo. Conversely, third track “Biltmore” sees melodic flair slipped into the guitar work as a contrast to the harsh shouting vocals, which are quite similar to a certain Messrs. Araya and Mustaine, culminating in one of the stronger songs on the record.
The entire album lays both the highlights and drawbacks bare in the limelight; on the one hand there are some astonishingly good solos and melodies, and their copy of the Thrash Bible is clearly well-thumbed. With this being thrash, the guitar work understandably takes precedence, the guitarists laying down solo and riff with ease, with several stand-out moments. However, the result is a weakened rhythm section whose sole purpose is seemingly to play second fiddle to the guitars and vocals. While faster pummeling tracks like “Rage Around Your Neck” and instrumental neoclassical jaunts à la “Ghostbones” are all well and good, the structural glue of each track comes across as flimsy, and the tracks akin to a rhino’s charge: thundering but unidirectional and unfocused. Other less appealing moments including the vomiting retch that starts off the anti-drinking track “Consume” (a controversial topic in thrash!) and the unoriginal lyrics of drawn-out album closer “Is There No Hope?”: “What the fuck are we, just pawns in your game? We drown in poverty while you shower in your fame”
All said, while metalheads can argue about the freshness of new thrash until the cows come home to roost, these guys have ensured that the torch will be carried on, for better or worse. There’s little room for Final Curse’s own identity to emerge, but their method of worship will certainly be appreciated by thrashers all over. Simply put, Way Of The Accursed is heartfelt thrash that won’t rock the boat but will rock necks.
1. Corruptor Of Innocence
2. Replace God…Conceal The Beast
4. Rage Around Your Neck
5. Reaper Of Justice
10. Is There No Hope?