On September 15th via Metal Blade, CRIPPER will release their 5th album ‘Follow Me: Kill!’, (2nd Metal Blade release) CRIPPER who are they I hear some cry (myself included)? Well they are a 5 piece hailing from Hannover, Germany and play technical Thrash/Extreme metal (so the bio informs me). Always on the lookout for new bands to review and get into, a perk of this role, although you have to take your fair share of although albums to listen to and review!
So onwards I go and press play, what will my delicate little ears be subjected to? Well the album starts off in the vein of aggressive thrash metal and blares through my headphones, so far so good. Then the vocals seep through and am left a little baffled…it sounds like an adolescent boy trying to sound more grown up and “manly”. Am a little confused by the vocals and need to investigate, after a little digging I’ve found the answer. The vocalist for CRIPPER is Britta Görtz, who as the name suggests is female. I’ve found this is a common theme with female vocalists in thrash/extreme bands, they try to hard to sound male and drop any femininity from the vocals and you get the resulting sound found on ‘Follow Me: Kill!’. Female vocalists can do deep guttural singing as showcased by Candace Kucsulain of WALLS OF JERICHO; still deep, guttural and brutal but still with a feminine touch that makes it sound natural and not forced.
However I think CRIPPER might have figured this out themselves while recording ‘Follow Me: Kill!’ as on the latter half of the album Britta drops the more deep guttural vocals and mixes up her range which adds a new dimension to the latter songs and doesn’t make the vocals sound forced and a little strange. However when CRIPPER allow Britta to change the vocals they change the music and add a more “groove” element to the mix which is reminiscent of late Max Cavalera era SEPULTURA, CHIMAIRA, PISSING RAZORS etc. The only problem is that the songs seem a little muddled and although am all up for experimentation, this is a little bit to thrash/groove metal by numbers and is predictable.
‘Follow Me: Kill!’ will probably appeal to fans of CRIPPER and they will love the new songs. If however you are new to CRIPPER then this release isn’t going to make you rush out and buy their back catalogue. I would prefer to see CRIPPER play the music they do in the first half of the album, but with the vocal range shown by Britta in the latter half of the album. Then it might make listeners sit up and take heed, for now though you might find a track or two that you find enjoyable. Alas though this isn’t a great/masterpiece release and isn’t really worth adding to your collection unless you can pick it up in a sale.
SCORE – 5.5
2. Into The Fire
3. World Coming Down
5. Shoot Or Get Shot
6. Bleeding Red
8. Pretty Young Thing
9. Running High
To purchase Cripper ‘Follow Me: Kill! then click here