Mar 102020


In his review of Curse Upon A Prayer‘s last release, the 2018 EP The Three Woes, our writer Wil Cifer asserted that “hatred and darkness are two crucial components of black metal” and gave credit to this band for putting “every ounce of their hateful hearts” into that release, with an execution that was “razor-sharp and in a similar sonic zip code as Marduk and 1349“. Yet he also expressed the hope that they would take the opportunity on their next album “to explore a wider scale of dynamics”.

Now we will discover whether that wish has come to pass, because Curse Upon A Prayer have completed their third album, Infidel, which will be released by Saturnal Records on April 10th. Some things have not changed. As before, the band continue to direct the major force of their venom against Islam rather than the more commonplace target of Christianity (and really, why should any institutionalized religion be immune from the assault of blaspheming black metal?). As before, they show themselves capable of discharging music of gripping intensity with a balance of surgical precision and wild hostility. But have they chosen, to a greater degree, to leaven their breathtaking ferocity with other sensations this time?

The answer is yes, as you’ll discover through our premiere of a song from the album named “Haram“.



In Islamic jurisprudence, haram is used to refer to any act that is forbidden by Allah, and is one of five Islamic commandments that purport to define the morality of human action (or so says this source). Rather than exalt such a judgment of what is inexcusable sin, Curse Upon A Prayer savage the presumptuousness of such dictates with absolute fury.

In its main course, the song is pure thunder and gale-force winds — a combination of ravaging low-end power and roiling riffs, a blast of pounding bass, bludgeoning drums, and frenzied fretwork, accompanied by barbaric screams and vicious roars. But all is not warfare. When the drums recede into a measured march, a trilling melody surfaces that seems despairing and full of dread… and the song then seems to end.

Croaking gasps and sinister whispers emerge, along with eerie ringing notes and haunted shimmering tones that collectively further expand the spectrum of sound within the track. The band follow this chilling interlude with another eruption of mind-plundering chaos — but that isn’t how the song ends. It ends instead with a call-and-response of enraged voices.



To be sure, Infidel takes no prisoners, either lyrically or musically, but as this song proves (and it’s proven to an even greater degree in other tracks), Curse Upon A Prayer have indeed introduced greater dynamism. As the advance press for the album accurately forecasts, they show themselves formidably capable of “throttling the listener with filthy physicality one minute and haunting their dreams the next”, with each of the nine songs “revealing deeper, darker truths”. As further evidence, we’re including streams of the lyric video for the title track and of the previously released song “Al-Masih ad-Dajjal”, along with today’s premiere.

Infidel will be available through Saturnal on CD and digitally, and pre-orders are available now.







  1. Somehow Islam bashing feels off; more childish than bashing christianity…Although of course I see the point of ‘If christianity, then also…’.

    Perhaps it has to do w the idea that islam poses no threat here where I am sitting and christianity has daily impact, plus the fact that an anti-christian stance has always been part and parcel of (extreeme) metal…Islam hating seems so overtly….political, too serious and xenophobic.

    Just my not-so-organized thoughts.

    • Maybe because pasty white Finnish dudes lambasting a centuries-old Arabian tradition comes off as inauthentic and condescending, or even racist at worst? It’s intellectual “poverty tourism”. I’m not saying that nobody from outside the region is unable to be fully informed about its complexities, but they do have to prove that they’ve put in the effort.

      Add to it the very real fact that most of the Middle East has been living through some of the hellscapes metal likes to sing about ever since WW1, and due in no small part to the European powers’ “great games”. It’s kinda hard to blame someone who might say “isn’t it enough to be bombing my ass and killing my family?”

      Of course, all of the above is invalidated if it turns out that at least one of the band members comes from the ME. if that’s the case, then they should put it out there

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