Bright Curse: Before the Shore Review

Before the Shore is the debut album of melodic rock band Bright Curse. Heavily atmospheric and spacious, the album begins with “Lady Freedom,” a sonic portrait of rocky outcroppings, obstacles, and a daunting quest. The moody arrangement and heavy guitar sound indicate an influence of doom and Viking metal. The instrumentation, specifically the soloing in the guitar’s aligns itself philosophically with jazz with an ‘in-the-moment’ approach that allows the composition to breath with a inspired lungful of seeming improvisation while the vocalist’s soaring output elevates the track. “The Shore” echoes the feeling conveyed by the album’s artwork: purple skies streaked with light, choppy waters, and a conflict of heaven and earth before thrumming into “Cheating Pain,” a sampling of tinkling tambourines and a voiceover (I can’t find a source on it, but it both reads and sounds like lines from Bukowski) about embracing death renders this track anomalous with the overall tone of the album, but adds an interesting flavor of variety.

“Walking in a Graveyard (Bloody Witch)” features an acoustic beginning and a “Fairies Wear Boots” blending of percussion, bass, and guitar, lending a dark, swing vibe to the track. A climbing and grinding guitar, a head-banging conclusion, and a piercing, finishing scream gives this song some of the heavier moments on the album. “Candles and Flowers” has a mechanized, regulated beat and a drop-tuned guitar juxtaposed with the bright, harp-like sound of the competing guitar: the parallels between Wolfmother and Meat Puppets are most apparent in this track’s impressive, rasping vocals. The influence of Led Zeppelin is also evident in the track’s emotive breakdown, followed by the flight of a sky-daring note.

“Northern Sky” continues the band’s homage to Led Zeppelin, reminding the listener of tunes from Houses of the Holy and Led Zeppelin III. The mournful organ, down-tempo beat, and quiet outro of this song finds the speaker in an empty room, whispering urgently in defiance of pain and reticence.”Earth’s Last Song” finishes the album with a cascading rhythm of splashing cymbals before falling into a mellow, spacey instrumentation. The song broods, and the vocalist bellows with a force and range reminiscent of “Kashmir” mixing myth and melody, prophecy and destiny.

Before the Shore is for everybody: fans of metal, blues, rock, prog, and classical genres will enjoy the group’s flare for intelligent melodies, and the lyrics and rock and roll swagger of the band hearkens back to fantasy influenced rockers such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and King Crimson. For an eclectic, classic listen, pick up Before the Shore today.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Lady Freedom
– The Shore
– Walking in a Graveyard (Bloody Witch)
– Candles and Flowers

The Big Hit

– Walking in a Graveyard (Bloody Witch)

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

One thought on “Bright Curse: Before the Shore Review

  • February 9, 2017 at 12:22 am
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    Strong offering, but it’s only one inch higher than a pub level.

    Reply

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