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Review: Usurper - Twilight Dominion
Twilight Dominion

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 58:50
Tracks: 12
Genre: Black/Thrash


Review online: July 1, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (24 Votes)

Yeeeeaaaaaarrrrgh! I am Usurper! Bow your head! Die! Die! Man oh man. This is album number four for this great Chicago band, and it friggin’ rules. I only recently discovered the joys of Usurper, and was still rocking out to "Necronemesis" when I got ahold of this - a feast for the metal heart.

As a whole this is more tightly written and heavier than "Necronemesis", with some absolutely stellar songs. If you love the heavy kick of old Celtic Frost or even Black Sabbath, then tunes like "Lycanthropic", "I Am Usurper" and "The Oath of Silence" will get you off big time. This is metal with meat on it, and under the sure hand of veteran producer Neil Kernon the Chi-town boys have produced their best-sounding record yet. The guitars are thick and anvil-heavy, and the lower end of the mix is so thick it has fur on it. The Tom warrior-esque grunts of frontman General Diabolical Slaughter may be an acquired taste for some, but he has throttled back on the crazed-mutant shrieks that have peppered previous releases. The whole band sounds tight and kick-ass heavy, and the songwriting is more focused and consistent than on any of their old albums. "Twilight Dominion" is the work of a band completely in control of their music. These guys know what they are doing and set about it with murderous intensity.

The CD package is very classy, with a great cover painting by Craig Simpson and lavish layouts for the band pics and lyrics, including some short paragraphs explaining what the heck some of the lyrics are about. Usurper are known for dark lyrical themes exploring lots of ‘mysteries of the unexplained’, and here they touch on lycanthropy, native American myths, Qabbalic lore and hollow-earth theories, among other things. All this stuff may be bullshit, but it makes for entertaining lyrics that are a refreshing change from the usual "March of the Kings" or "Satan in the Cold Woods" nonsense. They do indulge in a metal-anthem with "Metal Lust", but it’s still a great tune, and I’ll bet it’s fun live.

There’s almost nothing bad to say about this band, or this album. Usurper play metal that remembers how metal is supposed to be: Loud, heavy, and in your face. One listen and you’ll understand why some people call this ‘true metal’. METAL! METALMETALMETAL! UGH! UNH! AAAAAAARRRRRGH! Sorry, got carried away there for a second. I’m playing the album right now, and can no longer contain myself. Go buy this CD right now. I’ll be in the yard with an axe and a scowl, you can meet me there later. I AM USURPER! BOW YOUR HEAD! DIE! DIE!

More about Usurper...
Review: Cryptobeast (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Diabolosis (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Lords of the Permafrost (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Necronemesis (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Skeletal Season (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Threshold of the Usurper (reviewed by Mjölnir)
Interview with Rick Scythe (guitars) on January 15, 2003 (Interviewed by Barbara Williams (Crowley))
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