Swedish death metallers Usurpress, featuring member ex-Insision bassist and author of must-read Swedish Death Metal Daniel Ekeroth, Regurgitated Innards guitarist Påhl Sundström, and ex-Embalmed vocalist Stefan Pettersson, are facing the leftest of the left-hand paths on new album, Interregnum. The same question that besieged Necrovation, Morbus Chron, and new stars Venenum was also asked of Usurpress. Evolve or die. And so they evolved, bringing in unlikely influences and sources to isolate and elevate death metal for the new era. It’s not often Decibel gets a treatise from Swedish bands, but this one from Pettersson set the tone and explained a few things for fans eager to dive into and become corrupted by the premiere of Interregnum. Without further ado, we present Pettersson and Interregnum. Hail the transformation of death!
“If it’s not dramatic or exciting it has no place on this album.” — Ritchie Blackmore during the song writing process of In Rock
“This quote was the mantra for the making of Interregnum. Just like Deep Purple in 1969 we had made three albums that were good, in parts even great, but not spectacular or groundbreaking in any way. We wanted to either change this or put the band to rest. This time we wanted to challenge ourselves and indeed our own fixed, and perhaps narrow-minded, ideas of what death metal was supposed to sound like. This time we were going to make the definitive Usurpress album. A perfect mix of (early) death metal and (early) hard rock/prog rock, mixed with elements from jazz, doom and goth rock. In our most megalomaniac moments we set out to do: “The heaviest death metal album ever recorded in 1974!”. Yeah, you do the math.
“When the album was in the bag we were convinced of two things: One) We had succeeded in all things we set out to accomplish. Two) No one, absolutely no one, was going to like this album.
“Now; close to three months after we heard the finished album for the first time I must admit that we were wrong in both our assumptions. This is, for better or worse, not the definitive Usurpress album, This is not the perfect mix of the styles we set out to merge. Maybe the next one will be. After all, every album is just a preparation and a dress rehearsal for the next one, true progressive music means constant evolvement.
“So, if we were a bit out of step on the first one, we were dead wrong on the second one! So far 90 percent of the reviews I’ve read have praised the originality and uniqueness of Interregnum, so obviously there are some people out there that have similar taste and ideas about music as we do. I honestly don’t know if that is encouraging or just depressing. Well, being a Swede; I guess I find that depressing. We find all things depressing, right?
“So, here you have it; the premiere of Interregnum, the fourth and unquestionably greatest Usurpress album, in all of its imperfect glory. You may not like it, but we can assure you it’s not a waste of time. 38 minutes, I know you have the time. The question is, do you have the patience and the courage? I know we had.”
** Usurpress’ new album Interregnum is out February 23rd, 2018 on Agonia Records. Interregnum is out on LP, CD, and digital, available direct from Agonia (HERE), Bandcamp (HERE), Spotify (HERE), Deezer (HERE), and iTunes (HERE). Order or die a narrow-minded poser!