20 Years Ago: USURPER release Threshold of the Usurper (original artwork source)

Frosty maniacs USURPER released the CD EP Threshold of the Usurper on this day in 1996.

Where did you get the picture of the “Threshold Of The Usurper” release from? It looks like an ancient, bloody Aztec ritual or something like that.
We ripped that off from a witchcraft book. It is a witches Sabbat from an old wood cut. We didn’t have an artwork budget in those days so that’s how we did things.
– Rick “Rigor” Scythe / Usurper interview, Voices from the Darkside

A quick hunt reveals the original artwork as Les Sabbats, an etching by master of Watteau and Lancret, Claude Gillot.

Les Sabbats was created between 1698 and 1722, the date of Gillot’s death.

” Witches’ sabbath, with, in the middle, a horned male figure presiding over the torture of two male figures, tied to a spinning device; on the left, two female figures on a broom, an elegant woman mounted on the skeleton of a four-legged creature, and a stag-horned man mounting a lion-headed horse Etching with some engraving; pasted on paper with black border. ” – British Museum

It was acquired by the British Museum in 1866 and goes on display periodically. Most recently in 2014-2015.

Later reissues of this album, including our tape release with Night Birds Records, use new artwork by Juha Vuorma.

Threshold of the Usurper was released later in the year as a split tape with WAR – the Swedish side project band including members of OPHTHALAMIA, DARK FUNERAL and HYPOCRISY.

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