Usurpress – Ordained

P2051227This one's been stewing in the old brain much like a fine, expensive ham.  Much like a ham we just purchased for $90 (that's not a joke) that we made without realizing we had neither the time or energy to eat all that ham.  This one here, it sat in there, it heated, it melted, it separated into easily devoured chunks, and it was so gristly, so saturing and oozing with goodness that it was simply beyond our power to sit with only once.  As you know I, editor, took a brief hiatus from writing as the wife and I went home for our baby shower.  This one was there playing the way to and back, then at the gym, then as work was completed on this computer here, and now it's something of a personal soundtrack for this whole transitionary period in our lives.  Since we're having a little girl who shall be taught in all underground ways, what better band to look upon than Usurpress?  And what better album title than Ordained?  Years from now, little one, we'll have a discussion about this very review.  Coming from Sweden, these guys absolutely define what death metal should be, so far removed are they from the constraints of the typical status quo, the crème de la crème of falsity that abounds today.  In only five years they've appeared on a number of sick splits, such as one with Pyramido on 7", and two full-lengths, including this new, tasty one we're checking out today.

  

Let's get out the grit after chewing on it for so long.  Usurpress play it raw, like the old days, but with enough sense to give clarity in riffs through their veil of disgust, with an interesting focus, at times, on more interesting drum patterns that run counter-tempo and rely on negative space instead of the simple assault you're used to hearing in modern death metal that ends up pounding your mind into a state of slumber.  The drums in this one occasionally keep the drive while chords steep with atmosphere and then overflow with grind, which is a sorely needed style shift in this kind of music, we're seriously so sick of the usual.  After all we've been through something like this needed to happen.  And the sad thing is it was really simple to do it, all it required was steady hands and no bullshit.

 

Ordained was experienced beyond a cursory glance, because there are several unique qualities that stand it apart beyond than the general approach just detailed above.  Clean, hollow, echoing vocals, cavernous yelling, at times it was almost too disconcerting, and we dare say something of a "grower".  But, see, really the reason for this is that Usurpress have gone against the grain in several ways, and our minds were simply so used to hearing the usual drivel they had to be delearned of filth and then reeducated in greatness for proper assimilation.  There are some occasional interludes, sick solos, and the like, but really the total package here is what this is all about.  It does not grow, it overwhelms.  Opening plunge to final death rattle there are a number of incredibly addicting licks like "Storming the Mausoleum" and "Embracing the Vultures" that simply reek of the kind of death we needed.  It's been awhile, quite awhile since something like this truly excited us, and since we've switched to only reviewing what we consider good enough for a review (also to avoid flame war revenge sessions from dejected bands), this is one of the first to give us hope for the future of the genre.  And did we mention it's crusty?  Yeah, that too.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Usurpress – Ordained
Doomentia Records
4.8 / 5