Considering Daniel Ekeroth is the author of the genre’s bible, ‘Swedish Death Metal’, and expert historian on the genre, the 2012 debut of his band Usurpress , Trenches of the Netherworld was surprisingly mediocre. However, with the band’s second album he appears to have righted the ship, even if taking a little bit of a tangent.

Taking a page from the likes of Morbus Chron, Chapel of Disease, Horrendous,Tribulation, Stench and such, Usurpress has evolved and developed their sound into something a little more off kilter, psychedelic and sludgier than a mere Entombed/Dismember knock off, and it works very well.

The more twisty, shifty and jangly, looser sound works well thought still rooted in Ekeroth’s love. Some clean vocals, jazzy spurts, dreamy acoustics and doomy elements litter the Stockholm backbone, but all come together cohesively. And while some purist fans might repulse at such injections if you took Morbus Chron‘s Sweven or Tribulation’s Formula’s of Death, both brave leaps in style from prior efforts, in stride, you’ll have no problem adapting to Ekeroth’s new found visage.

But there are still plenty of classic elements that is the genre’s bread and butter such as the opening gallop of “The Heart of the Last Kingdom” or  “Deny Salvation (Wolfe Like Dogs),  where I get a bit of a Comecon vibe from the left of center structures and riffs.  But the likes of the album’s three instrumentals, The Unedification” (flutes!), “Lóthlorien” ( A Bo Hansson cover) as well as “As the Monolith Comes Alive”  and “Fan the Flames of Madness” will challenge listeners expecting Erekoth and co to simply follow the mid range, Stockholm roadmap of before all over again. Tracks like “Ritual Warfare” and “The Eyeless Spectator” keeps things balanced with a little of both and keeping Erekoth’s main interest at heart.

But Erekoth keep things reigned in, because even with 12 songs the 40 minute run time never wanders or gets too out there in deviating from the Left Hand Path, but it certainly takes some brave steps off of it, and shows Erekoth to be more than just a capable author.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 17th, 2015


  1. Commented by: Alexander Kon-I Ho

    This is a great album. Lots of interesting stuff going on. I appreciate that every song has a different feel.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Todesstoss - Das Liebweh-Dekret
  • Embryonic Autopsy - Origins of the Deformed
  • Sear Bliss - Heavenly Down
  • The Shiva Hypothesis - Faustian Restlessness EP
  • Kommandant - Exhibition of Conquest EP
  • Pentagram (Chile) - Eternal Life of Madness
  • Aklash - Reincarnation
  • Morgue - Close to Complete Darkness
  • Wormed - Omegon
  • Carrion Throne - The Feast of Human Vices EP
  • Kittie - Fire
  • Mad Hatter - Oneironautics
  • Serement - Abhorrent Invocations
  • Limbonic Art - Opus Daemoniacal
  • Bloodcross - Gravebound