Thursday, 31 May 2012

Usurpress - In Permanent Twilight

USURPRESS - In Permanent Twilight (SELFMADEGOD - CD 2012)
I haven’t really heard about Usurpress until this year’s February, when I bought the split 7”EP they did with Bombs of Hades. And it was the band of Jonas Stalhammar the reason why I bought this piece of vinyl, not Usurpress. Anyway I was quite surprised, when I’ve found out that the bassist in Usurpress is no one else than Mr. Daniel Ekeroth, known from playing in Insision, but more so he’s been recognized for writing this damn good book titled “Swedish Death Metal”! And many blame him for creating the trend for Swedish old school death metal… I would rather say that he’s been one of the leading forces, which led to the ultimate exhumation of this style, anyway it doesn’t matter. Especially that Usurpress hasn’t got so much in common with traditionally known Swedish death metal, so if you’re into Dismember, Grave or God Macabre, etc. then you may feel disappointed when hearing Usurpress.
Anyway here is the 2011’s release from Usurpress titled “In Permanent Twilight”, which was originally released on vinyl by Plague Island (limited to 300 copies) and recently re-issued on CD by Selfmadegod. What we have here on offer are eight relatively short tracks (including a useless intro), with 22 minutes of music… Hmm, I guess I haven’t mentioned yet what does Usurpress play; if it’s not the Swedish death metal what is it then? Well, their music is relatively difficult to categorize, but I’ll go for Metal Archives description as death metal / sludge / crust / punk. There’s quite clear and big punkish influence on this music, noticeable in many riffs, as well as simple song structures and rhythms, where the famous D-beat style is ever present. And if we’re talking about the death metal part of this music, then I guess you should know it’s not that sort of brutal death metal, neither the melodic Swedish style, but it rather goes back to such bands as Autopsy, Abscess as well as Entombed from some of their albums (including the recent album “Serpent Saints”, which for me is the back-to-form release from the Swedish legend). And from the newer bands Usurpress definitely has a lot in common with the likes of Bombs of Hades – but that’s mainly due to the fact that all those bands take similar bands and styles as their influences.
I think some of the things that will catch the attention of more metal oriented fans (including me) are: the production (which is very much Swedish, if we’re talking of the guitar tone and everything else!) and the vocals, which are quite raspy and shrieking, so they’re definitely more metal than punk. There are songs like “Unpunished”, which is an excellent piece of punky death metal and there’s also such track as “Embrace Your Non-Existence” (oh, this simple D-beat in the beginning!) and especially “Downtrodden Isolation”, which are almost pure crust punk songs and where the second of those two will surprise you with some slightly different riffs and even some different, more sang vocal parts in the chorus.
After listening to “In Permanent Twilight” I must answer myself is this MCD a worthy piece of music or not. And I won’t hesitate saying that yes, it is quite cool stuff, but mind that if you’re looking for death metal aggression and extremity then you will feel disappointed by it totally, but from the other hand if you like to listen to sometimes some straight forward, simple crust metal then “In Permanent Twilight” can definitely hit your G spot. Personally I don’t listen to such music often, but I managed to find here many cool parts and as overall I think this is just cool recording, which sounds definitely very old styled and that’s cool to me.
Final rate: 70/100

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