Album Review: One Hundred Years/The Top by Curezum

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Sometimes a band comes along that you know you’ll love just from hearing the idea behind it. Curezum is a band I feel like I’ve been waiting for for half of my life. I grew up listening to The Cure basically from birth. My mom used to play them around the house when I was a kid and I have some pretty distinct memories throughout my life that involve The Cure. They’re probably one of the biggest influences on my life and are absolutely my favorite band. Their music is in my bones. It’s practically embedded in my DNA. I actually have all of the lyrics to ‘ The Kiss’ tattooed on my forearm. So, you can say I go deep with The Cure.

Cut to 1997. I was a sophomore in high school and was discovering a lot of new metal. I would go to the mall on the weekends and pick up all of the $4 Century Media and Earache Records compilations from Hot Topic (Dayton, Ohio, wasn’t a big place for finding metal albums during those days). I randomly picked up the Century Black compilation, Firestarter. It was my introduction to black metal and bands like Mayhem, Opeth, Opthalamia, Emperor, and Borknagar. I would listen to it constantly. I’ve been a huge fan of the genre ever since. Black metal and it’s many incarnations is my primary love when it comes to metal. You can bet that on any given day, I will shuffle between Darkthrone, Vattnet Viskar, Gnosis Of The Witch, and Deafheaven.

One of the things about black metal that I always thought needed to happen was for someone to release a compilation of covers of The Cure. I knew their music, especially the stuff from Pornography, Seventeen Seconds, and Faith would translate well. Those three albums, especially Pornography, is so nihilistic, harsh, and dark that I knew the right artist/band would do the songs justice.

Eighteen years later, someone is finally taking that dream and making it a reality. Curezum are a group consisting of members of Megaton Leviathan and Barrowlands alongside the incredible talents of Billy Anderson. This release is a single to get the bands name out there while they are finishing up their first full length. Set for a digital release on November 26th with a physical release in the works, One Hundred Years/The Top is a fascinating and brilliant introduction to Curezum.

‘One Hundred Years’ is one of The Cure’s most unruly and heavy songs. Starting the song, and the entire Pornography album for that matter, with the line “it doesn’t matter if we all die” is definitely a stage setter. Curezum take the song and interpret it brilliantly while also maintaining the spirit of the original. You could easily listen to this without knowing who The Cure was and think it was just a well done black metal song with some heavy industrial influences. This is the perfect introduction for the band and easily the best song to start out with. They manage to take the nihilism and self-hatred of the original and multiplied it by 10. It’s a dark and harsh interpretation that fits the song well.

The B-side of this single is a weird and ultimately great version of ‘The Top’. The original is a meandering, psychedelic song dripping with drug influences. Curezum’s version takes all those psychedelic tendencies and turns them into one of the most interesting takes on a Cure song I’ve ever heard. The song takes the black metal sound and slows it down into a heavy and repetitive sound. Replacing the carnival style keyboards in favour of guitar gives the song an evil and menacing feel that completely transforms it into something new and unique. It’s an example of a band taking a cover and turning it on it’s head as opposed to just playing along to the original. As a lifelong Cure fan, it would take me a couple listens to realize what this song was if I didn’t previously know. That’s a huge feat to pull off and Curezum does it well.

The promise of this single makes me incredibly enthusiastic and excited for a full length. I’m hoping for a rendition of ‘Seventeen Seconds’ and ‘The Hanging Garden’, and I believe they’ve teased on Twitter that ‘A Forest’ will for sure be on the album. I’m hoping that if Curezum continues on, I would absolutely love if they expand out into mid-period Cure albums, especially Wish. I think a song like ‘A Letter To Elise’ would be fascinating to hear through their filter. Or even some deep cuts like ‘Babble’ or ‘Fear Of Ghosts’. The Cure’s discography is littered with brilliant songs that I’m hoping to hear as many as possible redone by Curezum.

Pick this up on November 26th. I’ll definitely try to throw a link up whenever it is released. As for now, you can find Curezum on Twitter and Facebook. They also recently had a more encompassing article on Noisey that you can check out HERE!

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