Blessing A Curse hails from Orlando, Florida just a few hours north of me. I’m convinced they’re the sirens luring me to the land of the mouse over the last few years, and though we’ve never crossed paths in the past, they elude me no longer. The five-piece metal band just released their new CD Satisfaction For The Vengeful and it’s a masterpiece I’ve greedily woven into my playlist.
The first track is, no other word for it, disturbing. If an actual demon got his hooves on an actual script for an exorcism, it would sound no less menacing than this intro. Please pardon my unbridled review, but it’s dark as fuck. I hear vocals in various octaves layered one over the other. I reach across the bed and into the top drawer for the Gideon bible. I pull out the room service book instead. I order a bottle of wine and pretend it’s communion.
As Satisfaction For The Vengeful continues, I find that my head is cocked to the side like a curious collie. Yes, I went from possession to puppies, but to be fair, so does Blessing A Curse. One moment the darkest parts of my soul are running for cover, and the next I’m flustered and smiling, all at the hands of vocalist Joshy Singer and some truly unique musical arrangements. Due to their creative wizardry, there’s something for every fan; whether you’re screamcore, postcore, metalcore, whatevercore, you’re covered. Solid guitar work from Brandon Swanson and Jorge Romani are highlighted by actual guitar solos. It’s old-school repurposed, and it’s what this genre needs more of.
Going forward, by the end of track two, “Devil Eyes,” I’m already looking for tour dates, convinced that Blessing A Curse must be experienced visually too. There are so many unexpected turns to their tunes. “Every Single Lie” comes out of the gate with a little Dance Gavin Dance feel, mostly in the haphazard structure of the song, but a little in the clean vocals as well. “Strangers Again” is a slow acoustic piece, dripping with pop punk appeal. It’s got radio written all over it (in Latin?), and an ear worm to boot: “I’m never drinking again.” It’s got crying power, sing-along power, and bounce power. It’s a sweet as hell song, and I mean that literally. The layered growling as the tale reaches its end takes this tune from sweet to scary in under 10 seconds. Suddenly those lovely radio-friendly verses don’t feel so innocent. “Caving In” contains my favorite lyric: “So swallow me up, strip me of hope, and spit me the fuck back out.”
Track six, “Attic In The Sky,” is a special gift. The attic in the sky was an imaginary safe place Joshy would go to in his mind as a child to escape the pain of his tumultuous home. The melodic moody entrance invites us to take a minute and seek refuge from the feelings dredged up by the songs thus far. It’s a masterful interlude that offers respite just in time, because now we’re heading “Down The Rabbit Hole.” The vocal stacking is perfect, unusual, and gorgeous, and the guitar work is elevated. Highlights on the second half of this CD include the symphonic production that is “Sewn In” and the perfect radio tune, “Cocoon.” “Pray for Someone Else,” could be a nod at those who may disapprove of Singer’s decision to leave his Christian metal roots behind, and the closing song “Leather Wings” is lovely acoustic bliss with clever and perfectly constructed lyrics, heavenly harmony (yep, they went from hell to heaven), and a choir of voices that set me on fire.
Florida is not known as the home of great music, but when we birth it (Anberlin, Tom Petty, Tremonti, Nonpoint), we do it right. I’m proud to call Blessing A Curse one of my hometown bands. It’s almost spooky to think how good they’ll be in a decade when they’re packing stadiums and playing songs I’ll remember when.
Satisfaction For The Vengeful is available for purchase and download now, and if you’re one of the lucky ones, consider attending their release party Saturday night (11/5/16) at Backbooth Orlando in Orlando, FL. Ticket purchase comes with a physical copy of their new CD, holy water not included.