By Dr. Abner Mality

CURSED EXCRUCIATION is another one-man project created by the same Brazilian warlock responsible for the grim and gruesome TRANCE OF THE UNDEAD project (which also happens to be the name of the guy). One thing's certain, Mr. Trance sure knows how to create creepy and devilish extreme metal. CURSED EXCRUCIATION is more refined than T.O.T.U., but that isn't saying much, because TRANCE was about as primitive and bestial as it gets.

C.E. is black metal but erase any thought of evil pandas from the fjords of Scandinavia. This has ZERO in common with that style of black metal. This is a slower and more basic beast that crawls steadily forward on all fours like a giant evil rat lingering in the crypts. The style is deceptively simple and the doomy, mid-paced hooks sink in deep. I was reminded of SAMAEL's timeless classic "Blood Ritual" at several as that great disk also relied on creeping, crawling riffs. There are also hints of Greek black metal ala MORTUARY DRAPE and NECROMANTIA. Lots of horror movie sound effects, super-echoey vocal incantations and 'BLLEEAARRGHH" vomiting noises. Toss in some flourishes with analog synth, church organ and a skull full of devil-worshiping samples and you have the dark, evil atmsophere of "Arcane Diabolism".

By track #4 "The Sorcerer of Antioch", I was totally pulled into CURSED EXCRUCIATION's diabolical world.. This is a top notch doom-filled ode with great riffing. Speed doesn't pop up too much, but it does show on "Beast Of Fire". The album ends on a high point with the epic "witching metal" of "Black Altar Sacrifice" and the soundscape of "The Rapture". Who says all black metal has to be of the European variety or even in old first wave thrash mode? Trance of the Undead sure doesn't and it seems obvious this Brazilian of ill intent has tapped into something truly arcane.