H.A.L - Cursed

H.A.L - Cursed

11 songs
35:46 minutes
***** ***
Silent Noise


I haven’t come across metalcore from Austria very often, so I guess that H.A.L, who possible have borrowed their name from the computer in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001, might even be pioneers of the genre. The band was founded in 2008 and is, after a couple of self-released EPs, now back with its first longplayer Cursed.

The cheap looking cover artwork doesn’t really look promising and reminds of low budged black metal production from the Eighties. H.A.L have of course nothing in common with that, as their sound feel a lot more contemporary. The rather long but atmospheric intro prepares the ground for the first regular track Art Of Destruction, which is offering classic yet splendidly crafted metalcore. The contrast between the evil growls and the shriller screams builds a lot of tension, the melodic guitar lines always catch the listener’s attention, and the powerful drum sound is truly impressive. The songs are kept at a rather brisk pace, never lack variety and also convince from a technical perspective. The musicians master their instruments flawlessly, and thanks to their precise playing, the quality of the songs is even highlighted further. H.A.L may not have come up with something new, but those who like bands like Darkest Hour and Neaera will also be excited by Cursed. I suggest you check out The Weapon We Choose and Fairy Tales to hear H.A.L at their best.

Despite a perceived lack of originality, Cursed is an exciting debut which the Austrians have every right to be proud of. Their major strength is definitely the combination of high speed and precision, which allows H.A.L, despite undeniable parallels to genre bands, to distinguish themselves positively from the masses. Cursed is ideal for those who like their music fast and furious.

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