Hardcore, or any offshoot of punk for that matter, should never feel safe. So, when your go-to heavy music becomes palatable enough for someone like that office bro who moonlights between his fluoro outfit for Stereo and going to ‘rock concerts’ to pick up goth chicks, you should probably change shit up and find something that reactivates your innate animal instinct for survival. And it just so happens that Perth bruisers Cursed Earth have gone one better, and dropped a new record that aims to permanently leave you in a state of ‘flight or fight’.
Crushing, unrelenting and wholly visceral metallic hardcore is what’s on offer here with ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’: a compilation record that features older tracks from the group’s split with ever-heavy Sydney locals Burning Season, the previously released ‘Vae Mortis EP’, and two new tracks to satiate their fans along the way. Everything about this release is focused to a razor-sharp edge; perfectly designed to pierce, flay and get under your skin, staying with you long after the initial shock subsides. Tracks like ‘Enslaved’, ‘Voyeurism’ and ‘Consumed’ showcase pummelling drums and buzz-saw guitar attacks, paired with occasional, thick grooves, interesting riffs and a gut-wrenching vocal delivery that makes Jazmine Luders one of the most volatile mouth-pieces in Australian hardcore – as ultimately fierce as she is obviously furious.
In terms of familiarity, ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’ does lean on a hefty amount of older and previously released material from Cursed Earth, however this re-release sports huge production and improved mixing and mastering, which ensures that every element, from instrumentation to vocals to philosophical samples, sound massive and earth-shatteringly heavy.
2015 was a stellar year for Australian hardcore, and 2016 is shaping up to be even better. Cursed Earth have delivered their first proper full-length release with ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’, which despite the appearance of a re-tread, comes off as consistent, well-nuanced and thoroughly enjoyable metallic hardcore. There’s nothing about this release that fans of international acts like Code Orange or Nails, and even locals like Shackles and Extortion wouldn’t be stoked on. And as this reviewer can attest, Cursed Earth can more than back this shit up live. So get with it now, or get lost.
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6. Cursed Earth
9. Herd Traitor
10. Vae Mortis