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Ulcerate - Of Fracture and Failure CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.52 | 8 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars By this time, Ulcerate were homing in on a distinctive sound, combining vicious, brutal death metal with a generous helping of Gorguts style dissonance and bizarre chord progressions, coagulating in this chaotic and propulsive maelstrom of abrasive lunacy. Some of these tunes offer a bit of respite with guitar-based ambiance, but for the most part, this release is relentless.

Being "different" doesn't always correspond to being "good" or even "listenable", but for those who don't mind a whole lot of blast beats and guitar noise can certainly find something to enjoy here. Some of these erratic riffs are quite fascinating, and I can imagine the writing process for some of these songs must have been an unusual and taxing endeavor, in that anything remotely catchy and easy to headbang to had to have been scrapped. It makes for uneasy listening, but the talent shines through without the need of guitar solos to showcase instrumental skills.

Ben Read's vocals add to the disarray, fluctuating between lower registered growls to high pitched screeches at any given moment, which offers more variety than his replacement concerning their next album, but at the same time it sometimes distracts from the wild music. I know I've somewhat dissed bassist Paul Kelland's more monotone vocal approach in the past, but in retrospect it actually worked better in contributing to the band's overall atmosphere regarding their followup releases.

That's another point in itself, in that while the band's technicality is certainly there on this release, they would further delve into weirder and more varied territory on their subsequent efforts which enhances the cold shape-shifting aura the band can pull off, whereas Of Fracture And Failure seems content to just drill a hole in the brain and induce ulcer in the body.

Still, the progressive side of the band really started kicking in here, and musically it's perplexing riff-wise but entertaining to my veteran ears, but for me it would be their next album that truly defined what the band were aiming for in terms of uniqueness.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |


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