With its sophomore album, 2007’s No Salvation, Louisville’s Coliseum made the big jump to Relapse Records. It’s a shame the trio’s sawed-off hardcore didn’t stick with the metal scene, but the band offset the loss by pulling in a few friends from some entirely different place for its third full-length, House With A Curse. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, J. Robbins of Jawbox, Jason Noble of Rachels and Rodan, and Peter Searcy of Squirrel Bait are among the many guest musicians who appear on the disc—mostly as backup vocalists, but some wielding violins, organs, accordion, and cello—and the result is an album that Coliseum itself might not have known it had in it. Thick, textured, and subliminally melodic, House With A Curse slows down Salvation’s breakneck rush toward oblivion until it feels more like a death march, a sound that draws a bit from Queens Of The Stone Age and Torche while keeping a dark, grinding edge. Coliseum has been making some of the purest, most blistering hardcore of the past few years, but with Curse, singer-guitarist Ryan Patterson and crew have realized just how far a little genre-bucking can go.
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