Uncured “Medusa” – Album Review

Album Review

Being a guitar player, but not a great one by any means, I love hearing guys who can shred, and do it with a heavy, tasteful edge. I was recently sent an album called by one such group, and they go by the name Uncured; Medusa is their debut album, released March 10th, 2017. The group is based in New Jersey, and are playing some of the most progressive death metal that I have heard in a long time, maybe ever. The group was founded, and is led, by two young brothers, Zak (19 yrs. old) and Rex Cox (17 yrs. old); both of them play guitar, and do vocals. Their skill level on guitar is far beyond their ages, they are incredibly talented guitarists; I think some kind of alien must have created these two young men. Uncured is rounded out by veteran drummer Liam Manley, and bassist Jon Kita who also plays in Diehard.
Upon listening to this album, and reading about what other reviewers have said, I can really hear that Dream Theater comparison in effect. The fluidity of the guitar lines, the tone, the speed and agility all bring to mind John Petrucci; however they have their own style and sound, no cloning of prog metal bands here. Uncured are also able to capture, and lay down a seriously heavy groove; a Sepultura sound comes into play somewhat, old Sepultura…back when they were actually good. This fall the band will be on the road with Children of Bodom, and Carach Angren. If it works out I will be there to cover the show, and interview these guys about their music, and share it with all of you!
“Stygian Pit’ is a death-shred, guitar acrobatic, prog fueled monstrosity; clocking in at just over 6 minutes, and containing some amazing guitar playing. I mean, these guys could seriously give Jeff Loomis a run for his money in a guitar duel. There’s no vocals to this song, which leaves plenty of room for leads, and it never seems long, or boring. “Antipsychotic” has a beautiful clean intro, with some middle eastern flavor, and some dirty vocals in the background hovering above the music; not invading it, just adding some ambience. The next section is lead guitar brilliance, and in a clean tone. I am always impressed by leads that aren’t distorted, because there’s nowhere to hide the small mistakes; in a clean tone, every nuance can be heard, good or bad. This is another song with almost no vocal work, which, when the guitars are this good, are the ones I gravitate to the most. When there are vocal sections, they are almost floating, and travel from speaker to speaker. I really like the effect they give the song, as it helps retain that heavy vibe while still allowing it to be a progressive guitar showcase. “Enucleate”, which means to remove the nucleus from a cell (I just learned something new from them lol), is another example of excellent playing, and extremely heavy metal. It starts off with a heavy riff, layered with shred mastery, and then evolves into this beautifully picked clean section; complete with fretless bass to add an even smoother tone. This section is brilliant, and the lead guitar aspects are so tasteful; then it’s back into the heavy for the verses. One thing I had a hard time getting used to was their vocal style, but it turns out I did end up liking it (there’s a Gorefest quality to it that was cool); plus, as they age they will become increasingly more adept at what they do, and the vocals wont sound as forced. Overall, this is a killer record, and should satisfy the guitar geeks, the metal heads, and the progressive guys.
So, go check out this young band while they are on tour. I have a feeling that watching them perform these songs is a sight to behold. Also, go grab their album in whatever format you prefer, and play it loud. Uncured, and their album Medusa, will not disappoint you; especially if you love progressive metal. Seriously, these guys have more talent in one finger than Jimi Hendrix had in his whole damn body (I so hate his music). Anyway, I’m out for now, and letting you all go back to listening to all the metal I can give you!!!!!!!

-Tom Hanno

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