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Usurpress: The Regal Tribe

Usurpress is one of those bands I've been able to follow pretty carefully over the years. I've reviewed the band's last two full-lengths on this site and I was really looking forward to covering this one as well. I've always admired the band's songwriting and energy. Of the two full-lengths, I liked the first album stronger than the second, but I've always admired the band's overall sound and style. With this album, the band continues to push listeners right into a powerful series of short, powerful, songs that blend doom, crust, prog, and death metal in ways that succeed more often than not. If anything, this album is darker than the others even though the music itself is slightly more experimental. The album holds together not only musically but also thematically. The story on this concept album addresses the conflict between life and death, the vanity of human actions and ambitions, and the ongoing march of time. Usurpress never holds back and this album rages against the problem of death while also accepting its inevitable hold.

The cover art on this album deserves some extra attention. Created by Marald van Haasteren, a renowned Dutch artist, the image shows four skeletons hanging from a tree, their faces contorted in grief and horror. It's a stunning image and it captures the overall mood of this album most effectively.

This is a solid new release by a killer band. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Beneath the Starless Skies
2. The One They Call the Usurpress
3. Across the Dying Plains
4. The Mortal Tribes
5. The Halls of Extinction
6. Throwing the Gift Away
7. Behold the Forsaken
8. On a Bed of Straw
9. The Sin that is Mine
10. In the Shadows of the New Gods

Added: January 14th 2017
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1150
Language: english

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