Usurpress
Interregnum


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (245 Reviews)
February 25th, 2018 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Defying simple genre definition, Usurpress force their way to supremacy.

Without completely yielding to words like “unique”, “revolutionary” or “innovative” I find myself in a predicament of describing this melded foray of other-worldly grandiosity. At face value, Usurpress is all of those things. With four full-lengths on shelves the larger metal community can begin to appreciate the sheer musical ability of this Uppsala-based trio. Interregnum is a sure highlight, maintaining a certain crescendo in quality shown from each album’s natural progression, while exciting their listeners beyond the point of the band’s debut back in 2012. Interregnum defines what it is to be an extreme metal album in 2018. Combining equal parts death metal, sludge, black metal, progressive metal, goth, jazz fusion and even to certain extents crusting styled doom and while I tried to make a point of avoiding flat out hyperbole in my last few reviews I’m afraid I’m going to have to resort to all sorts of other-worldly adjectives in order to convey exactly how god-tier Usurpress have become circa 2018. Let’s face it if it’s true, it’s far from hyperbole.

At times, Usurpress makes you feel like you’re listening to a natural force of a wave. You appreciate the beauty of the water rolling towards you, revelling as the volume increases. Suddenly dual emotions of dread and appreciation hit you as you realise the unstoppable nature of what’s coming. It’s beautiful, surreal, and passive but if left to run its natural course the wave will hit you at full force, juxtaposed with each and every element that fights against its own existence. Interregnum melds each element into the proverbial wave and rolls full-force into the listener. It’s both beautiful and scary just how this Swedish three-piece make the best of their contrasting sides – over and over again.

Interregnum opens strongly with “A Place In The Pantheon” harkeningback to the band’s previous records with unspoken immediacy. For listeners experiencing their first tastes of what Usurpress has to offer, the mellow progressive tones that swelter on the instantly created atmospherics manage to simply showcase just how well these guys can blow away the listener… without blowing away them away.When most death metal bands open a record, it’s generally full-forced, oppressive and bullying. Instead “A Place In The Pantheon” invites Usurpress’ listeners in almost echoing stylistics choices found in any Dream Theater song. It’s an excellent lead in, before the deathly sludge-d riffs of the album’s defining (albeit short) title track. It’s clear at this point that Interregnum will not be the easiest of albums to digest, but digest you must if you are to appreciate the sheer magnitude of quality extreme metal on offer.

By now you must have realised I have a decent amount of respect for the quality of the album simply because I’m happy to describe what it sounds like in umbrella terms. Interregnum however fails to simply fit into specific descriptions easily as it’s a forward thinking adaptation of contrasting elements put together in the best possible ways. Don’t let the mention of jazz put you off listening; Usurpress’ 2018 effort is as much a sludge fest as it is a progressive death metal affair. The album’s “jazzier” elements are thrown in tastefully; reinforcing these Swede’s as accomplished musicians and ultimately, showcase an album worthy of an early “album of the year” accolade. With so much on offer, finding highlights becomes a sonic quest. While the opener and title track both set the mood for the rest of the record while being at two different ends of the spectrum it’s hard to imagine Interregnum as an album built on filler, relying on a few tracks to lift the record to dizzying heights. Rather, Interregnum is filled to the brim with quality tracks ranging in death metal tidings, sludge filled ecstasy, progressive blending of Usurpress’ signature jazz sounds. Mind boggling to list and pure enjoyment to behold, it seems that Interregnum shows a band that hit its stride from the debut. Three releases later Usurpress endeavour to build momentum, never slumping into a casual stride of placation in their song-writing. With tracks like, “Late In The 11th Hour” taking accessible sensibilities and twisting them into a monster. If long-time fans are worried about a shift in Usurpress’ sound, rest assured that’s a natural progression, focusing instead of experimenting – tightening the band’s core sounds.

Overall, Usurpress has both come a long way and not very far at all. The music has become more focused over the course of the other three releases. Now four releases down the track with Interregnum and Usurpress tease at the very idea of releasing their masterstroke. The only issue with that statement is that Usurpress hasn’t identified a veritable peak in their music. Scarily, the music has the utmost potential to top the likes of Interregnum over and over again.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Here it is, my Q1 AOTY candidate thus far.

Papa Universe
February 25th 2018


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

spin on th way

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NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Now let’s see just how far I can hype this.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2018


11491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man, album rules. A little more cohesive than the previous one too. Not sure if I prefer this to it yet though, but it's close.

Digging: Russkaja - Kasatchok Superstar

Dewinged
February 25th 2018


10555 Comments


Well at least I tried to surprise you with smth good. Nice review man. m/

Digging: Jaye Jayle - No Trail and Other Unholy Paths

Papa Universe
February 25th 2018


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kinda short tbh

Sabrutin
February 25th 2018


5496 Comments


Bought the album when it costed a few dollars, I'll jam it soon. The review says everything I hope the album is

JustJoe.
February 25th 2018


3959 Comments


Really wish this was Irepress.


*pos*

Digging: YOU23 - ???????? ??? ? ???

Papa Universe
February 25th 2018


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep, this was likeable

DungeonBoy
February 25th 2018


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Regal Tribe was a hidden gem of 2016. Definitely looking forward to jamming this

Digging: Prisoner - Beyond the Infinite

BallsToTheWall
February 25th 2018


48703 Comments


This sounds slamming.

Digging: Spaceslug - Time Travel Dilemma

Sabrutin
February 25th 2018


5496 Comments


I expected the first song to explode with a classic dm sound at any moment, especially halfway through, but it never did. I'm not complaining though

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It lulls you into a false sense of security, lining you up for the second track

Hawks
February 25th 2018


57484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't wait to hear this.

Digging: Pale - EP

Darius
February 25th 2018


16302 Comments


Those track names and that album art are really intriguing.

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NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It’s really that good, the names are only the prelude

BallsToTheWall
February 25th 2018


48703 Comments


This is pretty hot.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hi Balls *waves*

BallsToTheWall
February 25th 2018


48703 Comments


Sup dude. This album makes me want to shell out $15 for shirt. Can't have enough merch.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


8760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Probably a decent design to be printed haha



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