Usurper - CryptobeastAhhh... Chicago! City of... of... uhm, well to be honest, I don't really know much about Chicago. It's just that a friend of mine lives there and I never really saw it as something interesting. Until recently, that is.
Chicago metal warriors Usurper started out in 1992 as a side-project of vocalist Diabolical Slaughter and guitarist Rick Scythe. It wasn't until 1994 that they released their demo, Visions From The Gods, as a full-time band. A year later, the first album, Diabolosis, was a fact. Now, in the year of 2005, with a new vocalist and their original drummer, the band has released their 7th album, Cryptobeast.
Allright, where to get started? When I first heard the album, it came towards me like a battering ram. It was all so overwhelming, I had to listen to it a couple of times to be able to analyse all the aggression and Black/Death/Thrash-power that was pouring out of my tiny computer speakers. I couldn't stop listening.
Lyrically, the band is inspired by gory horror movies with monstrous creatures, ancient battles and Celtic giants, which can be clearly heard in, for example; Reptilian, Cryptobeast, Return Of The Werewolf and Bones Of My Enemies.
The battle anthem Kill For Metal truly is a magnificent piece of art. The memorable chorus will mesmerize every oldschool metalfan with its solid and especially true-to-the-core riffing and a simple, yet powerful shout (Kill. Kill. Kill. - Kill. Kill. Kill, for metal!). This may read a bit funny, but trust me: when you're listening to it, you'll do nothing else than exhale while only screaming these words.
Furthermore, songs like Supernatural Killing Spree carry an oldschool Blackmetal aura with them, while vocalist Dan 'Tyrantor' Lawson grunts and screams all seven thin layers of hell into one solid plane of destruction. His vocals vary a lot, from Deep Death grunts to Blackmetal screams. Even a Dani Filth-like scream echoes in some songs.
The guitarsound is incredibly heavy and varies from thunderous powerchords to speeding oldschool Blackmetal riffs. Sometimes a guitarlead can be heard, but over-the-top solos are left out. There's no need for them, though. Usurper draws from raw strength and aggression and high-technical guitarleads would bring that out of place.
My absolute favourite song on this records is Cryptobeast. Starting out rather strange (Dan is ranting something no human being could possibly understand), but the strangeness soon flows into a massive wall of Thrashbeats and ringing powerchords. Absolutely ground-shaking.
There's only one thing left to say: this album is an iron fist in the face of all nu-metal, emo-core, and other forms of 'horse-shit' (as quoted from the biography) commonly labeled as 'metal' these days.
And if that won't suffice, I can only add that this album is no longer just an 'Usurper', but a monster full of destructive power! Usurper just added more colour (and tons of raw energy!) to my understanding of Chicago.
Dan Tyrantor - vocals
Rick Scythe - guitars
Jon Necromancer - bass
Carcass Chris - guitar
Joe 'Apocalyptic' Warlord - drums
1. Bones Of My Enemies
2. Supernatural Killing Spree
3. Kill For Metal
4. Conquest Of the Grotesque
6. Return Of The Werewolf
9. Wrath Of God
10. Warriors Of Iron And Rust