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Usurper – Master Of The Realm

Master Of The Realm
by Metal Wim at 13 April 2022, 6:29 AM

How the hell does a band that originates from one of the most influential places in Heavy Metal history, Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, sign to a record company that is based in Greece? That baffles me, as I would suspect that with all the connections that still are around in that place (and some of who I actually know personally) they should have been able to sign somewhere a lot closer to home. But hey, here we are, and we have USURPER on our headphones belting out their old school Heavy Metal with progressive elements on “Master Of The Realm”.

And I have to give it to the guys, this does sound as if this was recorded next to VENOM’s “Welcome To Hell”, as it has the same kind of rickety sound. But I only discovered that in spite of that issue it all sounds quite right after I stopped being amazed at the sound of singer Paul Atkinson. He sounds like a combination of Bruce Bruce (SAMSON), Bruce Dickinson (IRON MAIDEN) and Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). Yes, I have deliberately used both the names of the same singer, as he sounded quite different in both bands. And yes, Paul Atkinson, can vary between those voices with quite an ease. He is a very welcome front man for USURPER.

And once my admiration level for the vocalist has subsided to normal levels, I am ready to concentrate on the music. And even though it sounds a bit old fashioned, even in the production, there is not one iota wrong with it. Old school Heavy Metal with the high pitched vocals and progressive touches will always make an impact if done properly, and USURPER have achieved just that. Every song has a good start, a solid body and a proper ending. It is that good that I actually feel that the less than persuasive production is a fine bonus to the listening experience of “Master Of The Realm”.

There are times you will feel you are listening to exactly the bands I mentioned above, and if you listen carefully, you can actually decipher in which year the sound and song that is being thrown at you (in my case through my headphones, as I gather my partner wouldn’t like this to interfere with her TV program). But before I give too much away, I can only say that if you love any of the mentioned influences you could easily be swept away by USURPER and “Master Of The Realm”.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. War Of the Machines
2. Forerunner
3. Master Of the Realm
4. The Devil And The Traveller
5. Sailing At Full Mast
6. Witchfinder
7. For All Eternity
8. Tears Of A Hero
Paul Atkinson - Vocals
Liam Kennedy – Guitars
Ian Fisher – Guitars
Joe Summerfield – Bass
Den Taylor – Drums
Record Label: Alone Records


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