Räum – Cursed by the Crown (Review)

Räum - Cursed by the CrownRäum are a Belgian post-black metal band and this is their debut album.

Cursed by the Crown contains 37 minutes of music, spread across four harsh post-blackened soundscapes. Räum weave desolate moods and grim, oppressive auras throughout this album. Theirs is a form of blackened intensity that is atmospheric and immersive, despite its aggressive bite or its sense of refined violence.

The music is cold and scathing, but not exclusively so. Within the frozen winds of Räum’s underpinning ferocity are elements that provide warmth and texture for their post-blackened approach, assisting in the crafting of the absorbing atmospheres that the songs build and sustain. Examples of this include resplendent mournful melodies, grim clean vocals, and moments of respite within the distortion.

Cursed by the Crown is underground and raw, yet also professional and experienced. Räum clearly understand the style and know how to balance the demands of intensity and atmosphere. The songs are well-crafted and feel like complete entities, delivering material that has plenty to hold the attention of the listener.

The vocals are high pitched screams of the sort that I favour from atmospheric black metal. As such, they fit perfectly for a band like Räum, and I really like the singer’s performance and delivery. His voice is sharp and serrated, and cuts through the music like a knife through flesh.

Cursed by the Crown is a very enjoyable example of atmospheric post-black metal. Räum’s first album is satisfying and engaging, and I heartily recommend it for any fan of black metal.


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