For all newcomers to the band, disregard the off putting name and get your claws into one cracking album from E-Force. Though formed in 2001, the band’s moniker has never nestled easily with us but it has not stopped the thrash and heavy metal fusing encounter from lighting up the ears, new album The Curse their most potent aggressor yet. Hailing from Montreal but now France based, E-Force uncages eleven raw abrasing assaults which savage, antagonise, and thrill the ears. It is not an album breaking into new pastures for aggressive metal but certainly one to fire up the passions and imagination of metal fans across multiple genres such its flavoursome exploits.
The band was created by vocalist/bassist Eric Forrest, the frontman of Voivod from 1994 till 2001, a period which included the albums Negatron and Phobos as well as the live release, Voivod Lives. Taking his nickname as the band name, E-Force released debut album Evil Forces in 2003 to strong acclaim from fans and media alike. Relocating to Toulouse soon after, Forrest pulled together a new line-up which continued the emergence of the band; the second album Modified Poison in 2008 also earning eager plaudits for its stronger and more diverse sound. The years has also see the band forge a mighty reputation live, successful tours with the likes of Carpathian Forest, Tsjuder, and Wykked Witch, and acclaimed festival appearances highlights over the years. Now The Curse brings the next potent rampage of the band; Forrest alongside new guitarist XAV and returning drummer KROF with contributions from special guests Glen Drover (Megadeth, King Diamond), Kristian Niemann (Therion), Vincent Agar (Yotangor), bringing forth the caustic breath of the band’s live aggression to drive a new creative riot on the senses.
The concept album which takes its premise from the power and temptation of, and obsession with, the female race, makes a portentous entrance through the brief Invitation. Its atmosphere is soaked in warning whilst a seductive female teases and lays bait to expose the weakness of man. The track is pushed aside by the following Perverse Media, riffs and rhythms immediately ascending upon the ears with a voracious hunger and combative urgency. The vocals of Forrest are equally as confrontational making for a strong and solid start, but it is just an initial lure which is soon given to greater appeal by ravenous grooves and scything twists of adventure. The track turns into a formidable predator, an aggressor which teases and intimidates throughout leaving appetite and pleasure ablaze.
The virulent temptress that is Witch Wrk steals attention next; riffs an abrasing incitement framed by a rhythmic rabidity which is controlled but rapacious. There is a gnawing pressure from the song which never relinquishes its appealing persistence whilst vocally again the delivery is soaked in a causticity to match the antagonism of the sounds. The potent bestial contagion of the encounter is matched by Serpent’s Kiss, its distinctly different temptation just as carnally insistent and masterful. From weaving seductive sonic enterprise the track brawls with the senses but again with a control which is more of a stalking beast than an unbridled storm. Continually twisting its body and gait the track, just as the album, evolves into a killer proposition over each provocation taken; both only increasing their rigorous and irresistible strength with each assault.
Both Awakened and Psyclone keep the intensity and impressive levels on full throttle, the first an inventive scourge of guitar and bass ravishing driven by the irrepressible charge of the drums whilst the second discovers a more insidiously addictive lure to entwine around ears and imagination, the track lashing the senses whilst simultaneously rewarding with dramatic hooks and infection drenched grooves, every second a tempestuous and powerfully compelling intrusion. Again both songs take a while to conquer the passions but subsequently neither leaves them idle or lacking fire in the engine room.
The instantly intriguing and exploratory Devoured fires up the passions next, its opening the prelude to the most inventive and imaginative track yet with the band infusing their thrash cored maelstrom with even broader veins of groove and melodic metal with a blackened majesty. The track ripples and pulsates with a barbarous beauty whilst the guitar casts a mesmeric and skilled web around the explosive confrontation. It is outstanding showing the depth to the band’s endeavour and potential still unrealised, a potency examined again in varying detail by the scourge like Mass Deception and the irresistible Your Beloved Hate, the latter’s opening bass call a trap of addiction, its bait easily backed by the finely carved grooves and hungry predation of the song.
The penultimate track Infexxxous unveils a virulent nagging to recruit attention and appetite before forging its own specific rampancy and enslavement of the senses with the unrelenting craft and creative fertility of the band. The second half of The Curse is the most inventive and imaginative with the first clutch of tracks on the album besieging the listener, caging their submission before stretching the ideation and resourcefulness with the following horde of persuasions as evidenced by the insatiable final song The Curse Of The Cunt. Concluding the album in exhausting sadistic style with plenty of blood soaked colour, E-Force leave satisfaction and enjoyment bloated. The Curse may not be the most original album to be let loose this year but it sure is one of the most invigorating.
The Curse is available via Mausoleum Records now.
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