(9/10) One of the underground highlights of the early 2019 is hailing from Chicago. Thrash pioneers Usurper return with a new album, a frosty one. ‘Lords of the Permafrost’ is the title of the band’s sixth full-length album and it’s the first one in 14 years.
Usurper’s founding date is way back in time. It was in 1993 when the quartet started their metal journey and it was in 1995 when the guys debuted with ‘Diabolosis…’. Usurper never really became a big name in metal and the underground was and is their homebase. This might be even one of the secrets of the blistering new album. Not being steered by commercial pressure the band recorded eight extremely well done thrash metal anthems, reflecting the forceful return of Usurper.
It’s a short intro that kicks-off the album before a mighty wall of sound starts ‘Skull Splitter’. The opener is the first out of eight deadly Thrash Metal anthems. Breaks, blistering leads and brutal vocals, that’s the base of Usurper’s sound and together with a heavy stomping rhythm section things get out of the speakers extremely well.
There are moments when Usurper pushes the pedal to the metal, but it’s mainly the heavily grooving smashers like ‘Cemetery Wolf’ that spreads fascination. It’s the immense power, which makes ‘Lords of the Permafrost’ to an excellent Thrash Metal release, showing that the underground is still alive and kicking.
‘Lords of the Permafrost’, in contrary to the title, is a hellish release that belongs to the first positive surprises this year. Thrash and Death Metal fans should keep an eye, or better two ears, this album. It includes everything Thrash Metal stands for, a brutality some other pioneers lost over time.. You will not regret it.
- Skull Splitter
- Beyond the Walls of Ice
- Lords of the Permafrost
- Cemetery Wolf
- Warlock Moon
- Black Tide Rising
- Mutants of the Iron Age
Label: Soulseller Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: March 22nd, 2019