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Ulcerate - Of Fracture and Failure CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.52 | 6 ratings

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4 stars Of Fracture and Failure is the debut full-length studio album by New Zealand progressive death metal act Ulcerate. A new lead vocalist Ben Read and a new guitarist Michael Rothwell have been added to the lineup since the demo days. Especially the inclusion of the former has great impact on the sound on Of Fracture and Failure. Ulcerate started their career releasing two demos Ulcerate (2003) and The Coming of Genocide (2004) which both showed great promise. Relentlessly brutal death metal but with a few twist and turns to make them interesting to fans of progressive death metal. The two demos were released in a combined package on the The Coming of Genocide (2006) compilation album. Allthough both demos showed great promise itīs not until this debut album by Ulcerate that we really get to hear what they are made of.

The basis in the music on Of Fracture and Failure is brutal death metal but the guitars play alot of dissonant chords and notes in addition to the chaotic technical drumming by Jamie Saint Merat so this is no standard death metal act. Intense and complex rythm patterns bordering the manic shifting between mid-paced and ultra fast blast beating in a second. This is no easy journey and those who crave melody in their music should not come near this beast. Well there are actually a few places ( and I mean very few places) where Ulcerate incorporate a melodic bit into their chaotic sound and I think it suits the music well with a bit of variation. The vocals by new vocalist Ben Read are definitely worth a mention too. He utilizes both low guttural growling and more high-pitched aggressive sneering. Within the confines of the genre he is a great vocalist with a varied style. A real asset to the band. I canīt help comparing his style to the almost eerie schizophrenic vocal style of Matthew Chalk ( formerly of Australian progressive death metal act Psycroptic). Ben Read doesnīt quite reach the hights of Matthew Chalk but he comes pretty close. There are nine songs on the album and with almost no melodic hooks or instantly memorable parts this is an album that takes time to get into. A bit of patience will be rewarded though as twisted themes and hooks begin to appear after repeated listens. I enjoy that the album is inaccessible upon first listen but unfolds after many listens. To those who want music that is instantly recognizable this will be a hard one to get through though. After having said my praises it is in the variation department that Ulcerate can improve their style because their technical skills and general songwriting is flawless. A very innovative and professional act.

The production is professional and powerful. Clean but not too clean which gives the music the right raw sound.

Of Fracture and Failure have been a real treat for me to listen to in the last couple of months since I purchased the album. As I mentioned the album didnīt impress me right away but has grown on me. It was like I had to get in the right mood to appreciate it. Iīll recommend Of Fracture and Failure if you enjoy brutal progressive death metal with lots of dissonances and a chaotic atmosphere. Bands like Gorguts, Crowpath and the most chaotic side of Nile could be reference points but Ulcerate have done the hardest thing for a new band and thatīs creating a unique style. Of Fracture and Failure fully deserves a 4 star rating.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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