Band : The Curse of Millhaven
Album/EP : Thresholds
Genre: Death Metal
Label : 1054 (Aus)/Dust and Bones (Bel)
Location : Leper, Belgium
FFO : Morbid Angel, Aborted, Lamb of God
The production quality of "Thresholds" is solid. Just enough sheen to really capture the precision of the band's performance, while retaining the realism of organic, acoustic instruments.
"Thresholds" bursts through 9 tracks with extreme precision. Offering a very Morbid Angel-esque style of death and thrash metal. You also get a hint of Aborted in many of the guitar riffs. However, unlike their Belgian counterparts, you get these nice little passages of the melo/death that Europe has become known for over the years.
The first thing I always listen to with any death metal album is the drummer. Without a great drummer, a great death metal band does not exist. Bart Rambour is able to push through each track in a seemingly effortless manner. His blast beats and thrash style drumming are on par with just about any death metal drummer out there. The title track "Thresholds" and the track "Confident to Defy" really showcases his ability to stay consistent with the blistering tempo without sounding like midi blocks on a laptop.
The songs are well put together. The song structures flow well, and don't give the listener much of a chance to get off course or let their mind wander away. The intro guitar riff in the title track "Thresholds" is huge. I could easily hear this song from a giant festival stage sending the pulsating crowd into a whirlwind.
"Weakness" is where we really get to dive into the melo/death influence. Very reminiscent of At The Gates and their signature harmonizing tremelo riffs. Jeroen Debruyne, Kurt Mylle, and Bram Dewilde all do a fantastic job of playing off of each other, while remaining on course throughout the song.
Where this album falls short is quite simple: there is not much by way of innovation or exploration here. Sure, not every band has to be responsible for leading the genre into uncharted territory. You certainly do not need to carry a genre on your back to succeed. With The Curse of Millhaven, the talent is certainly there. Once they branch away from their influences a bit, and really push themselves to find their place in the genre, I believe they will find success.
Fans of "Heretic" era Morbid Angel should find something very enjoyable here. While it is not the most innovative death metal album I've heard in recent years, "Thresholds" is certainly an album worth checking out for any death metal fan.
Favorite Song: "Weakness