Released: Dece, Selfmadegod Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Usurpress and Bent Sea have joined forces to bring us this split record in which old school Death Metal meets Grindcore. Usurpress play a Death Metal style with subtle Crust Punk influences added to the mix, while Bent Sea play a variation of Grindcore with Thrash Metal influences. Usurpress hail from Sweden, while Bent Sea is really a coming together between veterans like Shane Embury of Napalm Death/Unseen Terror/Blood from the Soul fame, and Dirk Verbeuren, who has played with Soilwork, Devin Townsend Project, Warren Dane, and Aborted. It is an interesting mix between these two bands who play very different styles, with Usurpress playing longer songs, while Bent Sea's songs are of very short length. I should also mention that both bands include subtle influences from Hardcore and Punk that pop out every once in a while.
After a short, eerie intro titled "Eternity Denies History", the listener is immediately caught by "A Tidal Wave of Fire" as Usurpress gets down to business in an old school Death Metal style that reminded me a little bit of Autopsy's faster moments. I enjoyed the guitar riffs throughout the song, as these were played in a no-nonsense approach, and the awesome moments just kept coming one after the other. "City of the Nomads" follows in a similar fashion, a shorter affair with more punkish vibe in the drumming department. It would have been nice to have included a few more Usurpress songs, as the ones included here really left a good impression on me.
Bent Sea's side starts off with "Double Standards", a Hardcore Punk influenced number with good guitar riffs and killer drums. From "I am Become Lust" onward, however, Bent Sea starts blasting away with short, grinding songs that pummel the listener without mercy. "I am Become Lust", along with "Fashion Victims" and "At Any Cost", follow each other in a very energetic manner without any pause. Meanwhile, "Animalist" and "Nature of the Blast" show the band going back to those Hardcore Punk influences mentioned earlier, but mixed with big, thick, Death Metal guitar riffs. You could say that "Nature of the Blast" is almost like a Crossover Thrash song with Death Metal/ Grindcore vocal styles. The record ends with Bent Sea blasting out the short, vicious attack of "Relentless" and the Industrial Metal/Grindcore mixture in "See-Through".
Overall, this in an awesome split album by two very good, entertaining bands that put their own spin on the idea of mixing Metal and Punk. Though both are pretty much Metal bands, the influences are there, and the subtle way these are included is what impressed me. I wish Usurpress would have included at least two more songs, but as it is, it is a very decent piece of work from both bands.
Review by Titus Isaac