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Strychnos – A Mother’s Curse

strychnos – a mother’s curse


Honestly, Danish Black/Death Metal band Strychnos never really did much to me with the bands’ early (and sparse) releases over the course of their existence since 1998. Though it would be unfair to label them as mediocre, I always kept a feeling that the band were not yet able to fully cash in on the potential of their sound. But fortunately that really changed with the release of ‘A Mother’s Curse’, that was released in the very last weeks of 2022 through Dark Descent Records on both analogue formats as well as on CD. The fact that, over their full career, Strychnos haven’t exactly been in a rush is evident from the fact that this album is only their very first full-length record.

While the album basically has the very same ingredients as on their previous recordings, things now really seem to fall in to place better than ever before. In fact, ‘A Mother’s Curse’ has become quite the convincing album, obviously done by musicians who know their craft and have a clear and determined musical course. Though the music’s core is more or less intact, being a good blend of Black Metal and Death Metal, the most striking difference compared to the band’s earlier recordings can be found in the dynamics in the music. They easily go from all guns blazing and razor sharp Black Metal oriented riffs to the meaty sort of Death Metal chugs, but Strychnos doesn’t shy away from throttling down to almost Doom Metal pace. The same variety can also be found in the use of vocals, the wide range of different vocals are definitely giving the music an extra dimension, but the primal roars brings the best out of vocalist Martin Leth Andersen (also Undergang, Cerekloth and ex-Koldborn). The only remark I can make about the vocals is that the occasional spoken word section are breaking the vibe of the music quite a bit, not only musically but also in terms of atmosphere. A good example can be found at the ‘Horror Sacred Torture Divine’ song, an experiment less successful, if you’d ask me. Other than that, Strychnos came out quite surprising, both with finally releasing their long overdue debut album as well as with its offered quality.

Whatever the cause of this late arrival of this debut album, at least the music had enough time to crystalize and mature, pretty much like a good piece of Danish Blue I suppose.


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