Thursday, 13 February 2014

Extreme Thursday: Cripper

This week Extreme Thursday hops back across the pond and heads into the depths of mainland Europe. After spending a week in Arizona with Landmine Marathon, we've crossed the meridian and landed in Germany to listen to Cripper, a thrash band from Hannover formed by guitarists Christian Bröhenhorst and Jonathan Stenger and vocalist Britta Görtz.

Utilising a technical thrash style with faster, thrashier parts offset by slower, death/doom parts and Britta's growls, they have carved a niche in the thrash market that has resulted in 3 albums in 7 years. Not a bad average. Incorporating angry thrash sentiments with more death metal oriented despair, loneliness and anquish, the lyrics sometimes take on an almost punk quality, while staying firmly on the metal side of the fence.


Starting out in 2005, the founding members along with Erik Hess on bass and Dennis Weber on drums, they got off to a shaky start, losing 2 bassists within a year. Things improved rapidly with Sören Becker on bass duties. Their first EP, Killer Escort Service, landed in 2006. They then played Slovenia's Metal Camp festival that same year.


Cut Me Into Pieces Til I Fit Your Point Of View, from Killer Escort Service.

After the success of Killer Escort Service, the band recorded and self-released their debut album, Freak Inside, in 2007. Incorporating more variety of styles, combining slower, moodier parts with the heavy, fast paced growled sections, chugs and riffs, the album took on the sound Cripper still maintain. They toured the album throughout Germany twice, losing another bassist in between. New bassist Bastian Helwig joined for the second tour and a rerelease of Freak Inside.


60bpm, from Freak Inside

At this point the band started to spread their wings a little. Album number 2, Devil Reveals, was released in 2009. This was followed by a European tour and, in 2011, the infamous 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise.

2012 saw Cripper's third album, Antagonist. Featuring a fuller, more polished sound and two official music videos, it is certainly the most commercial album. Fortunately the songwriting, musicianship and vocals are as heavy as ever. Included here is the video of Totmann. It will befuddle your mind.


Totmann, from Antagonist

Since the release of Antagonist, Cripper have lost yet another bassist, this time gaining Gerrit Mohrmann, and were again asked to play 70,000 Tons Of Metal. This very year, in fact. It's not certain if there are plans for a new album soon (aside from vague mentions of "songwriting" in the middle of last year) but Cripper are certainly active, touring and hitting festivals all over the world. To get a feel for the live Cripper experience, here they are playing Metaldays 2013.


FAQU from Devil Reveals @ Metal Days 2013

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