Glass Coffin – Black Curse of Terror

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As a huge fan of Black Knife, it came as no surprise that Hellwulv’s side project Glass Coffin also put out killer black metal. However, unlike anything from Black Knife, Black Curse of Terror takes a far rawer, more primitive approach to the genre. The album perfectly captures that one-man raw black metal project sound, chocked full of distortion, with echoed faded vocals lurking menacingly amongst furious tremolo picking, chaotic drumming and heavy distortion.

Artist: Glass Coffin
Album: Black Curse of Terror
Label: Husk Records & Realm and Ritual & JEMS Label
Release Date: June 7, 2024
Location: Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Written by James Sweetlove

As a huge fan of Black Knife, it came as no surprise that Hellwulv’s side project Glass Coffin also put out killer black metal. However, unlike anything from Black Knife, Black Curse of Terror takes a far rawer, more primitive approach to the genre. You still see some punk and thrash elements woven in here and there, but for the most part this is pure unadulterated raw black metal at its finest.

The album perfectly captures that one-man black metal project sound, chocked full of distortion, with echoed faded vocals lurking menacingly amongst furious tremolo picking and chaotic drumming. The whole album has an almost cavernous feeling to it, as if it was recorded in a vast cave system or in some sort of subterranean dungeon. There’s an incredibly menacing undertone at play throughout the release, giving the music an almost threatening feel at times. We also get two nice dark ambient/dungeon synth style tracks spread out on the album, almost like a palette cleanser to give the listener some brief respite between tracks.

For me the vocals on the album are one of its best aspects, they have a genuinely evil sound to them and a real bite hidden underneath the echoed and faded effects applied to them. At times they will burst through the mix with an added level of aggression, barking unholy passages at the listener. I’m reminded in part of Mortuus of Marduk’s vocal style, that being a powerfully barked style with an almost guttural quality to it. I don’t think there’s a better example vocally on the album than A FROZEN DREAM OF SANITY, so check that out if you want a taste of what I’m talking about.

Instrumentally the guitar work on the album is performed at a furious speed, buzzing relentlessly like a swarm of angry bees. This intensity means that when things shift to a more melodic approach, the listener really appreciates it and savours every moment of it before being hit by another auditory assault. The drums on the album are chaotic and rely heavily on the use of cymbals, resulting in a constant crashing sound piercing through the mix. I can’t tell if these are real drums or programmed, but either would be totally acceptable in a solo black metal project of this nature. Lastly I have to give some praise to the use of synth on the release, it isn’t constant and never overpowers the mix, but whenever it is present it elevates the music overall and adds to its evil, menacing sound.

Overall I thought that this was a solid offering of raw black metal and I believe that most fans of the genre would agree; hell, this album even has the potential to satisfy a lot of the purists. For me this was my first introduction to Glass Coffin and I leave here wanting to listen to their entire back catalogue. If there’s one lesson to take from this its that if Hellwulv is involved in a black metal project, its probably worth your time to check it out.

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