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Ulcerate - Everything Is Fire CD (album) cover

EVERYTHING IS FIRE

Ulcerate

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.32 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
4 stars New Zealand has given the world a lot of wonderful things, namely Kimbra, hobbits, and of course, Ulcerate. The music of Ulcerate has a particular ring to it besides the ringing that will last in your ears for hours after listening to this album. Think of 'brutal death metal' as a properly finished version of a Mr. Potatohead. Disassemble it and give it to a twenty two month old child to reconstruct. The results will unmistakably still be a Mr. Potatohead as the main frame and body-parts remain intact, but in this case there's an ear for a mouth, eyes on the left side of the head and an arm branching out where his nose should be.

Ulcerate's song constructions possess a linear flow that suddenly shift at will in speed and intensity with little or no warning. Calm but cold guitar-based ambience gives way to a torrential wave of blasting and roaring guitars with riff patterns that seem barely discernible with all the shimmering harmonics and atonal chords writhing away over a rhythmic backdrop of brutality. The drummer in particular is fantastic, pinballing between furious aggression and slower though no less tricky tempos, straying from constant pummeling to allow for the dark and unusual aura this album holds to seep through.

That's what really separates this act from much of their peers, the strong focus on atmosphere, which in this case is cold, dreary and unsurprisingly violent. What I really dig the most about this release, my favorite of theirs in fact, is just how well it balances the brutal nature of their earlier material with the more exploratory emphasis on atonal atmospherics while not sacrificing any ferocity (which I feel occurred to some extent regarding The Destroyers Of All). Vocally, the growls are heavy, deep and monotone, but balanced by the pulverizing nature of the music's production qualities and general frenetic pace-shifting patterns, they rather suit the music more than say a screamer or an actual vocalist who sings. It all just adds to the bleak apocalyptic nature of these songs, with tracks like "Soullessness Embraced" really showcasing the skill-level these guys possess, which is quite formidable. Hell, the opening oddball riffs of "Withered and Obsolete" alone must have been a chore to memorize, and this band is well known for its strong live performances.

Not music for those prone to stomach ulcers, Ulcerate did everything right here, giving themselves a distinctive sound and an oppressive air that's not easy to traverse through, but definitely worth it for those into this sort of craziness, such as myself.

Prog Sothoth | 4/5 |

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