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Usurpress: In Permanent Twilight

It's always exciting to discover a new band. Usurpress, for me, is one of those bands. Even better, they are a band that others will soon discover as well. Formed in 2010, Usurpress is a band that blends together death metal musical forms with raw vocals, strong guitar parts (with plenty of tremolo picking) and punk attitude. To date, they have only released a demo and a split 7". In Permanent Twilight, oddly, is not exactly their debut full-length recording. I'm not sure that it's exactly an EP, either. Let's just call it a taste of what's coming, a way of introducing themselves to a longer audience. What listeners will get with this release is a little over twenty minutes of mostly familiar death metal infused songs that sound great. Their promotional materials suggest that a European tour is coming and that a debut CD is around the corner. I'll be curious to know whether the full-length release will feature new songs or if In Permanent Twilight is a kind of sampler.

My overall impression of this album is that it shows a strong, talented band preparing to gain a larger audience. I could have done without the first track, mainly because it's one of those soft tracks that exists mostly to set up an aggressive second track, the kind of song that bands play right before they take the stage. Those kinds of theatrics are cool, but I prefer them in a live setting.

Some of the stronger tracks on this album include "Unpunished" (I loved the bass parts here), "The Initiated (Will Fall)" and "Embrace Your Non-Existence" (the middle of this track has the coolest crunchy distortion I've heard in a while). There aren't many blast beats on this album and I have to admit that I didn't mind. I don't want to hear them all the time. Nevertheless, the drummer plays very well and with enough variety that he isn't merely a time-keeper.

One of the signature elements of Usurpress is their occasional forays into musical dissonance. They don't appear too often and when they did, I thought they sounded pretty good. This is especially true when the guitars are the ones producing them. I confess that I was much less attracted to the vocal dissonances on "Downtrodden Isolation." They were just a little too much for me. It's cool when the guitars explore musical boundaries, but I personally struggle when vocals do it. Yes, I admired the way these guys stretched musical possibilities in this track, but I couldn't get my ears to agree that it was useful. I suppose I could interpret the dissonance as a metaphor for the song's message; after all, "Downtrodden Isolation" suggests a form of interpersonal dissonance. Although potentially interesting, I'm not sure that such an interpretation is completely necessary to appreciating this release. The song works well enough and, frankly, the dissonant parts don't last too long.

Track Listing:
1. Pleasing the Usurpress
2. Unpunished
3. I am an Empire
4. The Initiated (Will Fall)
5. Embrace Your Non-Existence
6. Primitive Majesty
7. Downtrodden Isolation
8. In Permanent Twilight

Added: May 15th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1628
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Usurpress: In Permanent Twilight
Posted by Carl Sederholm on 2012-05-16 19:30:32
My Score:

Thank you!

Usurpress: In Permanent Twilight
Posted by Steffe Pettersson on 2012-05-16 04:00:17
My Score:

The upcoming album by Usurpress is called Trenches of the Netherworld. It contains 11 songs and none of them are featured on In Permanent Twilight.

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