This Gift Is a Curse – A Throne of Ash (Review)

This Gift Is a Curse - A Throne of AshThis Gift Is a Curse are a blackened sludge band from Sweden and this is their third album.

Here we have 45 minutes of hateful extremity that combines black metal, sludge, and hardcore. It’s violent, world-ending music that’s wreathed in both aggression and atmosphere most foul.

Atmospheric darkness, apocalyptic sludge, blackend bile-spewing, and hardcore venom smash together across these songs. The band do a great job of incorporating their various influences into the music in such a way that it’s hard to really categorise their material; the band fall into the hybrid category, as the black/sludge/crust/etc. aspects of their sound are so effectively merged that it’s all and none at the same time.

Dark riffs and bleak melodies seep together and the intense screamed vocals seem almost ubiquitous. The songs are brutally harsh, yet also mood-driven. I like this about This Gift Is a Curse more than anything else I think – their ability to combine apocalyptic atmosphere with blackened extremity is enticing and effective.

Mix shattered parts of Celeste, Anaal Nathrakh, Hexis, Lord Mantis, Cult of Luna, (whose singer also guests on final track here), and Deathspell Omega together and you’ll have a rough idea of the horrors that A Throne of Ash contains.

A highly recommended listen.

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