Technical Teutonic Thrashers Cripper are back again with the follow up to their splendid Metal Blade debut effort, “Hyëna”. ‘Follow. Me: Kill!’ follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor, promising plenty of titanic riffs, crushing grooves and unparalleled ferocity. Given the way Cripper lean towards the death metal edge and packs plenty of groove, there would be little point resisting. Jump in line and follow on people.

Forgoing the trend of an instrumental track to open an album which seems to be all the rage these days, “Pressure” simply explodes to life. The furious delivery of raw vocals which have a real scathing edge to them, combined with the clinical edged delivery and a tone which has some familiarity with bands like Fear Factory, it pounds away with little mercy in it. “Into The Fire” slows things down slightly but it doesn’t let up on the crushing nature of the riffing. The wonderful construction of the track, evident in the subtle melodic shifts and transitions to higher intensity segments really shows promise and I’ll say it right now; do one Arch Enemy, stick to writing Carcass for kids! The vocal delivery is phenomenal and there seems to be no creative restraint unlike that which has been highlighted in the band I just mentioned earlier.

Yes, two tracks in and I have been convinced this is a cracking record, and it doesn’t disappoint as it progresses. “World Coming Down” brings a touch of doomy atmospheric nature, providing an initially ominous vibe which gives way to a massive groove based assault and some relentless work from the rhythm section. “Mother” has more similarities to a death metal track with its frenzied pace, pseudo-polyrhythmic shifts and slick melodic lines and “Shoot Or get Shot” screams Sodom loud and clearly in how it comes across. Ultimately, “Bleeding Red” steals the show for this album. The initial reaction of ‘Fuck Yes!’ at the colossal sounding riff intro, the intense low end sound and unrelenting drum assault just screams full on carnage. Wild, incredibly venomous and a salute to all things fast as fuck, it really shines out as a modern thrash metal track. It’s fade out into the following track, “Comatose” provides a slight breather before once more the call for headbanging is issued in the form of some mid-90’s Pantera styled groove.

Still, despite how good the album is, it does have some blemishes. The big focus on the delivery of the riffs and the crushingly heavy tones does leave a bit to be desired when it comes to the lead guitar theatrics and whilst it has some impressive musical moments, the 9-minute “Running High” does drag on quite a bit, but the immediate rectifying of this in the form of the closing track “Menetekel” which has a definite Strapping Young Lad edge to it does restore how great this release really is. The mechanical aspects to the delivery can leave the album feeling a little too clinical and lifeless at times, but on the whole, the tone, the tremendous vocal work and the superb rhythm master-class on display more than makes up for the shortcomings.

Follow in the footsteps of Cripper and try not to die through excessive headbanging to this release!

(8/10 Fraggle)