For most bands plugging away on the toilet circuit, their hard work, determination and desire to succeed will inevitably lead to a job at McDonalds. So when a band does get noticed by a major label after slogging their arses off for years on end, it’s something we should all be thankful for. One such act is German thrashers Cripper who have been picked up by Metal Blade for the release of fourth album Hyena after a series of impressive sets at European festivals.
The first word that springs to mind upon hitting play on the title track, which opens the album is “workmanlike.” While this may initially appear to be a thinly veiled criticism, the more the album progresses you begin to realise the accuracy of this first impression for Cripper are without doubt a thoroughly professional band that quite simply gets shit done.
Rooted in thrash but refreshingly free of the gimmicks that characterised Municipal Waste and their legion of imitators a few years back, Cripper play hard, fast and with a precision that will be the envy of many. The biting riffs of ‘7”’ and the infectious pummelling of ‘Tourniquet’ recall the likes of Kreator in their prime, while the refined chugging of ‘Animated Flesh’ is the kind of sublime modern metal that Lamb of God usually do so well.
Aided by a no-nonsense, solid production that renders each instrument crystal clear and with special mention for a particularly emphatic performance behind the mike by Britta Görtz, all the ingredients are present for a wholly satisfying, no-frills metal meat feast. Repeated listens reveal a plethora of variety and headbang-inducing hooks and the album art features a pissed off looking animal. What more could you want? Cripper are proof that persistence can pay off and whoever signed them is owed several beers.
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