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  • Usurper - Skeletal Season

    Usurper - Skeletal Season
    1999 Necropolis Records


Usurper - Skeletal Season

1999 Necropolis Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-08-11

More than a few spins into this disc, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. Kicking off with a two minute foray into blastbeat heaven, I quickly surmised that I was in for 8 tracks of pain, but lo and behold, Usurper pull a fast one and settle into a severe chug-a-thon. Basically sounding as if it was recorded in a cave circa 1984, Skeletal Season definitely pays homage to the founding fathers of black metal, most notably Celtic Frost. What's cool is that it's not a carbon copy, yet rather an extension of what that band accomplished back then. Eschewing the fancy-pants production techniques that most black metal bands are shooting for now, these guys form a sound roughly equivalent to an uneven ball of wax warbling out of control through the fourth dimension (time, that is...). Yeah, this is definitely an album that would have benefited by existing on vinyl. Not that anything is lost on the CD format, but I miss that crackly sound that would accompany something this dark, this muddy yet clean. More points in their favor would be the freaky Hawkwind guitar lines, and the fact that the drums are all around the beat, something you don't hear too much nowadays. Not sure if this was the sound that Usurper were going for, but man, did they get it, complete with that whacked out snare sound, definitely cool. As I said, I hear a bunch of old Frost, especially on the spoken word type vocal parts, but I don't remember those guys tuning so low. Good atmosphere to the whole thing, even if it does get a bit plodding at times. Dig that woodblock!