Type: CD Company: Agonia Release: 2018 Genre: Death Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 3/15/2018
Pushes the boundaries of defining a genre
Usurpress makes it clear that listening to their latest offering, 'Interregnum', is not a task to be taken lightly. While that might sound like a dig, it is intended as a compliment. In this day and age of metal, you pretty much know what you'll be getting when you see the genre a band falls in to, but Usurpress pushes the boundaries of defining a genre and then makes you really think about what you just listened to.
What Usurpress does to make themselves stand out is the different styles that they utilize in their music and the ways that they combine them together. You wouldn't think influences as varied as Rush, Fleurety, Unleashed, and Ved Buens Ende would work well in any iteration but Usurpress makes it so. The opening track of the album "A Place in the Pantheon", really tricks you in to thinking you're in store for a more mellow listen. Then the title track obliterates that thought with 2 minutes of unfiltered, aggressive Swedish death metal. The tracks throughout the album are varied, intricate, and extremely well-crafted to work within such a wide spectrum. For me though, "Ships of Black Glass" is the standout track on the whole album. The thought the band put into the instrumentation and structure of the song itself highlights everything that the band loves and what makes this album so intriguing.
I promise you that you will not find a metal release out there like this one right now and that if you can be patient and give the album several listens, you will find an album that not only defies genres but defies what we've come to expect from heavy metal itself.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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