I’ve known of CRIPPER for quite some time, but never got to truly sit with their music and give it a proper listen. Well, that all changed when their brand new album Follow Me: Kill! (coming out September 15 on Metal Blade Records) hit my mailbox some time ago. This five-piece Extreme Metal band from Germany can really throw down with the best of them, and with this being record number five, I’ve clearly got a lot of work to do regarding their back catalog. It should also be noted that vocalist Britta Görtz sounds downright demonic throughout all ten tracks. It’s as if she could rip your face off and eat it before you even know what the hell happened!
Right out of the gate, opener “Pressure” pours on a heaping stack of riffs courtesy of guitarists Christian Bröhenhorst and Jonathan Stenger, punching bass from Lommer, and technically precise, yet rough where it needs to be drumming from Dennis Weber. And again, Görtz is just ferocious. I had a feeling I was gonna love this band about 30 seconds in. “Into the Fire” is plenty dark with just the right touch of melody, while “Shoot or Get Shot” hauls ass and wrecks shop from beginning to end.
The riff train keeps a-rollin’ with “Bleeding Red,” and this was an instant favorite just like “Pressure” was and is. Halfway through it ramps things up considerably which makes it taste even better. And now we come to something I always love…the Epic. That song that clocks in at over seven minutes and takes us on a musical journey. On this record we get TWO, the first of which is “Comatose” and it’s a doozy. The track demands your attention all the way through, which is key in today’s musical landscape where most people have the attention span of a gnat.
When I saw “Pretty Young Thing” in the tracklisting I was very, very frightened at the thought of this being a Michael Jackson cover for a minute. But thank the Gods it’s not! This band is too damn vicious to do something like that, and the song is badass, too. The second epic here is next in “Running High.” This one is a bit more subdued during the verses than the other tracks, but it still rips on the hooks. We also get to hear Görtz sing cleanly, and she handles that just as ably as her growling and screaming.
Closing track “Menetekel” takes us into full-on “Fuck your shit up” mode and yet again we are treated to some wonderfully delicious and evil guitar riffs, mein Gott!! Plus the rhythm section is on fire throughout, and it’s one hellacious way to end the record. Really this thing is bookended by a pair of absolute winners, with hardly a bad track in between. Though, in the interest of total honesty, I really wasn’t into “World Coming Down.” But that is a minor blemish on an otherwise very good album that mixes up the best elements from various forms of extreme metal and comes up with some well-written songs. My suggestion? Grab Follow Me: Kill! from CRIPPER ASAP!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Menetekel”, “Pressure”, “Bleeding Red”, “Shoot or Get Shot”, “Into the Fire”