Well, obviously anyone that knows anything about me will know that I am a big Overkill fan. I tend to watch the members side projects with interest. The Cursed is a band that features Overkill vocalist Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth, Dan Lorenzo from Hades, Mike Cristi from Non-Fiction and Job the Raver from Murder 1. The band have a sound that is dark and heavy in an almost Black Sabbath type of way. Ellsworth's vocals are quite a bit different then what he does with Overkill. He sings in a lower octave, but still displays alot of attitude. Tunes like 'Evil in the Bag' have that Sabbath grind to it, but also had me thinking back to the days of 'I Hear Black' by Overkill. Like I mentioned, vocals are a bit lower, but it is a bit reminiscent. There is some retro sounding stuff on this album as well. Take 'Serpent Slither' for example. You'll be thinking 70's somewhere with that sound. The tempo and sound of this track is a bit different then the rest. Very cool vibe. Looking at the rest of the album musically, it's quite good. 'Sweeter' is the opening track. A good tempo setter and the first clue that this isn't just an Overkill sounding side project. The already discussed 'Evil in the Bag' may be as close as it gets to the sound of Overkill, but only on that one album. 'Best of the Worst' is another cool track. Nothing fancy here, just raw and with a very cool vibe. I also like 'Native Tongue' which is probably my favorite vocally of the album. Lots of attitude in Ellsworth's vocals. 'Queen of the Down' has a killer vibe to it. Kind of a 'Children of the Sea' type of thing and in some ways so does the closer 'Generate-Her'. Good slow grinding rhythms in both of these tunes and a great way to close this album out.
I like this band quite a bit. They get back to the roots of Metal. Great raw dark sound on the release. Good Sabbath sounding grinds on guitar in places. Bobby Ellsworth takes it quite a bit lower in his vocal style and that in effect differentiates this band from Overkill quite a bit. It's solid from start to end and definitely comes recommended from me!
Crushed is a phoenix based band that leans a bit more modern in sound, but is very good. So good that Mike Clink hopped on board and helped this band get this album to you. You remember Mike Clink. This is the guy that had his hands in Guns 'n' Roses 'Appetite for Destruction' album. You would have to think that this band is very good at this point, and you would be right. This album flows very well and is quite consistent. I was listening to this album waiting for the dip. You know, where maybe some filler might be. It never really does that. This album is a pretty consistent and solid run from start to end. The album opens up with 'What Kind Of Life' which is a good mid tempo rocker. 'Hovering' follows with the same basic intensity. 'Dwell' changes in sound just a bit. Maybe a bit more melody with some very good choruses. The track I really like is 'Ether' and is the lead off track from a single standpoint. The middle of the song sounds a bit like something you may have heard from Dope. Very cool and memorable tune. Next we come to 'Unbroken' which has some cool sounding guitar sounds with modern sounding edge. 'Crash Coping' is a more mainstream sounding tune. When you reach the tune 'Further Down' you get a slight change in rhythms. Good stuff. 'A Game Of You' would be the one track that fits in with today's mainstream crowd. Heavy, angry stuff. 'Everything's Gone' shows the more melodic side of the band. 'Deeper' is another decent melodic track although a bit heavier then the other'. 'Nocturnal' and 'Bell Hooks' are good rocking tracks that bring the album to a close on a heavy note. It's all pretty consistent and well written.
This is a very good album. It does lean more modern in it's hard rock sound, but had appeal to me and I am a pretty traditional hard rock fan overall. Mike Clink had a pretty big hand in the production of this album which I thought was a pretty big plus. The album has a great listen start to finish and is definitely one of my guilty pleasures of 2007. Highly recommended!