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USURPER

"Necronemesis" (Necropolis)
"Visions From the Gods" (Necropolis)


"Necronemesis" (Necropolis)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Usurper's brand of no frills American true metal/death metal mix avoids trends like the plague. For some metal heads that might be music to their ears; for me, it's just another reason to listen to  Meshuggah.

Usurper are kill-joys to the maximum allowed under cosmic musical law; death, mayhem, destruction, and other dark and evil things are the main topics of "Necronemesis."

Usurper has bravado working in their favor - Usurper are true believers in their musical craft and lifestyle. It doesn't matter what you classify Usurper as (underground metal, true metal) - the purity must be recognized. As far as the music goes what was once seen as vulgar and ugly is now seen almost seen as eloquent; the metal riffing of "Funereal Waters" cuts across many metal genres. But the bottom line is whether or not anything as good as "Visions From The Gods" or "Charon" is on "Necronemesis." Such is not the case, although "Deathwish" and "1666 AD" rise above the maelstrom as tunes that have memorable riffs and hooks.

"Necromesis" was produced by Kol Marshall (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate). The production is good, yet still retains the unpolished style of the underground. 

Usurper is Diabolical Slaughter on vokills, Rick "Rigor" Scythe on guitars, Necromancer on bass, and Dave Hellstorm on drums. New guitarist Carcass Chris will be joining the band in touring support of "Necronemesis." The legendary King Diamond contributed vocals to the title track. 

For more information visit http://www.necropolisrec.com. 


"Visions From the Gods" (Necropolis)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Usurper are a throwback to the old days of extreme heavy metal when black metal, thrash, and death metal could be combined to a trend-free, potent, violent whole. "Visions From The Gods" is a collection of original demos, unreleased tracks, and live material from throughout Usurper's career.

"Visions From The Gods" makes more noise than a monster truck show!  This disc rattles like two heavy pieces of steel being banged against each other (I mean that in a good way). Usurper stays clear of trendy, overwrought styles of metal; you won't hear any modern Scandinavian black metal or overly technical Floridian death metal when Usurper tear it up. Usurper's lack of acknowledgement of current styles is actually their strength - Usurper's return to the metal of the old days is a refreshing path taken by very few bands in recent memory.

The raging maelstrom that is Usurper re-kindles the kind of kick ass tunes that have been missing for the last few years. Highlights include the molten thrash of "Soulstalker," the entirely satisfying "Charon," and the live rendering of "Blood Passion." "Deep In The Forest" slays the competition with undeniable brutality while the guitar work on the title track is like an itchy trigger finger hell-bent on wanton destruction. The balance of killer riffing and growling vocals on "Dusk" is near perfection for the genre. The relentless, double-bass drumming which is suitable for some, but not exactly my favorite. The ominous lyrics instill a bit of theater to the unfolding drama of each new track. 

The less-than-stellar production takes away from the overall impact of "Visions From The Gods," but the power and force of the performances ring true. Fans of Witchery, Deathwitch, and Abominator will like Usurper's "Visions From The Gods." Usurper have toured with heavyweights such as Enthroned, Hecate Enthroned, Cradle Of Filth, and Dark Funeral - this is clear evidence that Usurper can go toe-to-toe with heavy metal's elite.

Usurper is Diabolic Slaughter on vokills, Rick 'Rigor' Scythe on guitars, Dave Hellstorm, and Necromancer on bass. Other musicians include Apocalyptic Warlord on drums. 

For more information visit http://www.necropolisrec.com


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 30 Oct 2002 23:56:18 -0600.