Without going into too much detail Blessed Curse were originally called Devastator, one of countless bands with this moniker. It appears that some of the Devastator tunes have ended up on this release being re-recorded for this debut I suspect. Noticeably this is a very long album clocking in over 65 minutes which doesn’t bode well for those with a short attention span and that includes me. Blessed Curse has no frill about their thrash metal with opener “Bleeding Cross” being very similar to the slow break in Slayer’s “Angel Of Death”, though the song has old Euro thrash hi-tech trainers stamped all over it. “Hellraisers” is a damn hefty tune not too far off Exodus’s recent material. The solos are tuneful as well throughout but when you listen to this album you can’t help but think I’ve heard that before somewhere. You’ll sit back during this album thinking about all the thrash albums you haven’t played in ages as these guys live and bleed old thrash which isn’t to say they don’t have their own style. “Demon Dance” has Gary Holt like riffing, a catchy feel and some neck snapping pace changes to instil a sense of dynamic. Following tune “Slaughtered Like Pigs” is prime bounce laden thrash with a Pantera inspired riff and a melody very like Overkill.

“March Of The Wicked” is very close to Slayer’s “Postmortem” before the song shifts into double kick and returns to a more European like thrash style. No thrash album is complete without a nice sweet acoustic piece; “Carpathian Mist” being the one on offer here and serving only to introduce “Rise Of The Undead” a decent enough thrashing maelstrom that has harsh vocals very like early Mille (Kreator) and not too far off black thrash. The lengthy “Feasting Witch” has the obligatory peaceful start before the riff and increase in speed. This band saturates their songs with so many riffs that at times you may think the songs lack fluidity and structure but at least Blessed Curse doesn’t resort to ridiculous amounts of pointless solos. In fact the leads are very good throughout, being well thought out and placed strategically into their songs for maximum impact.

“The Devil’s Mark” starts aggressively with Overkill tones on the bass and a killer double kick infusion. Again the song is awash with riffs and plenty of little guitar hooks that add something extra without being pompous for the sake of it. I reckon I could give a list of riffs, hooks and bass lines from various thrash bands that this album has adapted or morphed into their own style that could stretch a page or so. This may seem like a criticism or a reflection that Blessed Curse are some sort of glorified thrashers worship band which would be wrong, as to construct songs that have this level of complexity without resorting to overt technical drivel should be highly praised and I for one commend the bands resounding success in creating an album packed with excellent thrash metal. What happened to those 65 minutes plus?

(7/10) Martin Harris