Usipian – The Human Spirit Massacre


Jul 15, 2001
The starry attic
Usipian – The Human Spirit Massacre
Demo - Self Released 2001
By Russell Garwood

This Danish six piece play a death/black hybrid, leaning more towards death, but with definite black metal elements. The dual guitars, courtesy of Thomas and Tais, are tight and generally melodic, taking time changes and complex solos in their stride. Martin’s proficient bass, while often inaudible under the other instruments, is excellent (see: “Sealed In Continual Thoughts” at three minutes) and Toke’s vocals sit comfortably between death and black. Drummer Nis relies on blasts for much of the four tracks on this MCD, but his precise fills and time changes are impressive, while Anders’ keyboards add another dimension rarely heard in such hybrids, as well as highlighting the melodic nature of the majority of the demo. Aesthetically, this could easily be a label release – the artwork is professional in the extreme, with a printed twelve page booklet which does it justice. The recording and production, courtesy of Lars Schmidt and Jeppe Hasseriis, are also of label quality; they manage to blend the different elements of the music without making any too prominent.

Title track and opener “The Human Spirit Massacre” begins with a keyboard intro before morphing into an extreme song with occasional silences/quiet sections which add to the overall pummelling effect. Unusually these quiet sections have, at times, growled vox over the top - an effective way of maintaining the dark atmosphere. “Sealed In Continual Thoughts” has excellent, jarring guitar melodies, and an interesting section with only bass and drums halfway through. This is followed by “Brought Within Chains” which makes better use of keyboards than the previous tracks, creating a more atmospheric feel. “Sebzero Invalid”, the longest song, ends the demo on a more brutal note, but still has a touch of melody to keep your attention.

It is surprising that Usipian are without a label, and I don’t imagine they will be for long. A short demo, “The Human Spirit Massacre” manages to hold your attention well. I’m not sure if a longer release would do the same, however, without greater variety. Despite this small doubt I look forward to hearing further work from the Usipian camp and can recommend this album to all fans of the increasingly popular death/black hybrid.