Usurper - _Cryptobeast_
(Earache Records, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
After the cringingly contrived mess that was _Twilight Dominion_, I had all but lost the confidence in this Chicago quintet's ability to put together an album even approaching above-average. But following a good three weeks worth of analysis, I have drawn the conclusion that _Cryptobeast_ is surprisingly pretty damn excellent. Sure, Usurper might veer disturbingly close to Manowar's lyrical idiosyncrasies from time to time ("Kill for Metal", anyone?), but when a band play with such fascinatingly boorish conviction, who cares? _Cryptobeast_ is well-produced, technically pristine, old school death metal worship at its finest, steering so vehemently clear of anything even remotely trendy that it can't be anything but endearing.
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