Journey to Blackened Hell with Curtainn’s Unsung and Repulsive


Multi-instumentalist Nick Stanger stays busy in a variety of bands, including Xythlia, Primordial Ooze and Ashbringer, but Curtainn is a different beast entirely. The fully-improvised project is anchored in raw black metal but peppers in heavy influence from the likes of Imperial Triumphant, Thantifaxath, Deathspell Omega, Ulsect and Departé, giving the album an atmospheric and chaotic feel.

On new album Unsung and Repulsive, Stanger explores the noisy, chaotic world of improvised black metal via two 17-minute compositions. It’s not for the faint of heart or the casual of listeners, but for those on the hunt for something more: this is Curtainn’s Unsung and Repulsive. Stanger offers some insight alongside a full stream of the album, which is available now.

“Curtainn came about from two separate improvisation sessions, one for instruments and one for vocals. Nothing was written in advance, I programmed the drums semi-randomly and then improvised my guitar parts over it, complete with lots of pedalboard nonsense. Then about a year later did the same thing for vocals, so those are the only 3 layers on the record.

“I’m always motivated to find interesting limitations to work around when I’m starting a new project. Curtainn came out of wanting to strip as much of what I normally rely on while making music away, to get something with very little filter between the initial raw emotion and the final result of what you hear on the record. To be honest, trying to describe exactly what that emotion is seems pretty difficult. It was a very uncertain time when I made this record, we were still deep in COVID and was definitely feeling the effects of prolonged isolation. This is the third new project I’ve put out since the start of the pandemic, and so far each of them has been more noisy, impulsive and unlistenable than the last.

“At the time I was listening to a lot of very textural music, ambient, noise, and super hazy sounding metal. If I were to cite specific inspirations for this record it would be Xothist, Xasthur, Hunting Lodge, Blanck Mass, øjeRum, Altar of Plagues, Fennesz, Portal, Darkspace, stuff like that.

“I don’t have a specific plan for a follow up at the moment but I expect I’ll do one eventually. I definitely want to revisit the format of improvising a record with little second thought. I think it’d be really cool to make an album like this in front of an audience, so maybe that’ll be something I try down the road. If you’d like to see me on the road, I will be touring the west coast with my band Ashbringer in late April with Dawn of Ouroboros!”

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