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ULCERATE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • New Zealand


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Ulcerate biography
ULCERATE is a progressive death metal act formed in 2000 in Auckland, New Zealand. They released demos in 2003 and 2004 before releasing their 2007 debut full-length studio album "Of Fracture and Failure." Before releasing their debut album they released the "The Coming of Genocide" compilation album which features both demos on one album. The band have released their second full-length album "Everything Is Fire" in 2009.

ULCERATE has been through several lineup changes in their existence but has settled on a three-piece constallation on their latest album consisting of Paul Kelland (Bass, vocals), Michael Hoggard (Guitar), and Jamie Saint Merat (Percussion). The band has added Oliver Goater (Guitar) to the lineup since.

ULCERATE play brutal and pretty chaotic death metal with deep guttural growling vocals, but their music is rather unusual for the genre with dissonant riffing and challenging technical playing. Their second album "Everything Is Fire" slightly touches post metal territory in addition to their trademark brand of progressive death metal. References to an act like GORGUTS and their 1998 Obscura album are obvious.

Bio written by UMUR

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ULCERATE discography


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ULCERATE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 8 ratings
Of Fracture and Failure
2007
3.32 | 13 ratings
Everything Is Fire
2009
3.60 | 20 ratings
The Destroyers Of All
2011
3.90 | 13 ratings
Vermis
2013
4.00 | 8 ratings
Shrines Of Paralysis
2016
4.00 | 8 ratings
Stare into Death and Be Still
2020

ULCERATE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ULCERATE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ULCERATE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
The Coming of Genocide
2006

ULCERATE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Ulcerate
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Coming of Genocide
2004

ULCERATE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shrines Of Paralysis by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Shrines Of Paralysis
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Shrines of Paralysis" is the 5th full-length studio album by New Zealand death metal act Ulcerate. The album was released through Relapse Records in October 2016. Itīs the successor to "Vermis" from 2013 and features the same three-piece lineup who recorded the predecessor.

"Shrines of Paralysis" is relatively similar in style to the dissonant and technical death metal featured on "Vermis (2013)". Itīs a style of music the band introduced on their second album "Everything Is Fire (2009)" and have developed and refined since then. Ulcerate are strongly influenced by mid- to late 90s Gorguts and that actīs creative use of dissonance and desire to push the boundaries of death metal. Itīs dark and ultra heavy oppressive music, and even when the band play faster, the overall sound is still gloomy and heavy.

Itīs pretty surely an aquired taste if the listener is able to appreciate the bandīs vision as the heavy use of dissonance is probably an obstacle for some. Viewed more objectively Ulcerate arguably succeed well with their ideas though, and "Shrines of Paralysis" is generally an adventurous, massive, and gritty journey into darkness. The band are technically very well playing, and although the growling vocals are one-dimensional and a bit emotionless in nature, they do get the job done and apply another layer of bleakness to the listening experience...

...and this is bleak, bleak, bleak. Not even a small ray of light will ever be able to penetrate the thick dissonant darkness of the material on the 8 track, 57:44 minutes long album. "Shrines of Paralysis" features a heavy, detailed, and raw sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, so upon conclusion "Shrines of Paralysis" is another high quality release by Ulcerate. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Stare into Death and Be Still by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Stare into Death and Be Still
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Stare into Death and Be Still" is the 6th full-length studio album by New Zealand death metal act Ulcerate. The album was released through Debemur Morti Productions in April 2020. Itīs the successor to "Shrines of Paralysis" from 2016 and features the exact same trio lineup who recorded the predecessor.

Two words and one influence have always been among the descriptors of Ulcerate and thatīs inaccessible, dissonant, and Gorguts. While Ulcerate have managed to stay relevant and continue to release albums in the years since their inception in 2002, they havenīt strayed too far from their original formula or from their obvious Gorguts influence on any of their previous releases. What they have done though is develop their sound slowly but steadily from album to album, and adding more and more of a unique touch to their bleak and dissonant technical death metal style and thatīs what has happened again on "Stare into Death and Be Still". One more step out of the shadow of Gorguts.

When that is said this is still strongly Gorguts influenced technical death metal, featuring dissonant twisted riffs and open chords, complex and challenging technical rhythm work, and some deep growling vocals, which this time around has become slightly more intelligible. I wonīt remove the inaccessible label from my description of the music, but "Stare into Death and Be Still" is to date the most accessible release from Ulcerate and I hear more memorable and catchy moments here than before. The songwriting is more focused on those qualities and while this is still bleak and brutal music, it features a little less of the impenetrable darkness of some of the predecessors. Itīs actually quite atmospheric at times and occasionally leans towards post-metal territory.

Ulcerate generally seem a little more interested in opening up their intriguing take on technical death metal to the listener, and itīs not done by compromising their integrity or the brutality of their music. Itīs small details like a semi-melodic hook, an intelligible vocal phrase, or maybe a heavy groove, which is a bit more catchy and simple than usual. A good example is the title track, which is an incredibly creative composition, featuring many intriguing riffs and rhythms and an atmospheric middle section. But while itīs certainly a complex and challenging song, there are also some more simple features, which makes it at least occasionally accessible.

"Stare into Death and Be Still" features a crushingly brutal and heavy sound production, which is perfect for the material and helps the tracks to shine. This is an album for those who are interested in a different take on technical death metal. Forget about conventional power chord riffs, guitar solos, or regular drum patterns. When you cross the threshold and enter "Stare into Death and Be Still" you are in for an adventurous ride thatīs sure to challenge the conventional ideas of what death metal should sound like. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Stare into Death and Be Still by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Stare into Death and Be Still
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Having formed as far back as 2002 in the northern New Zealand city of Auckland, the technical metal wizardry of ULCERATE has become an extreme metal lover's paradise of thick caustic guitar riffing dissonance that dishes out some of the most hellish and demanding tech death meets sludge metal that rode the wave of the surreal tech death craze that included bands like Gorguts, Portal, Mitochondrion and Pyrrhon. Add to that the jangly blood-curdling guitar sweeps found in progressive black metal acts like Deathspell Omega and you could be guaranteed to scratch that tech death morbidity itch with any of ULCERATE's output which began with 2007's "Of Fracture And Failure."

Following the band's last album "Shrines of Paralysis" which saw the light in 2016 comes the aptly titled (for 2020) album STARE INTO DEATH AND BE STILL and considering the album was released in April of 2020, it's unlikely the album prognosticated the tumultuous chain of events haunting this calendar year with the most noticeable headache being the Covid-19 global pandemic. Like many such tech death acts that strive to unleash the most fiery caustic acrobatics of complexity and detachment possible, ULCERATE has found a new lease on life by crafting a less suffocating album that walks a tightrope between the heavy bombastic dissonance and downtuned dread of the previous offerings and adds a bit more atmospheric prowess in the form of melodic counterpoints and production clarity.

STARE INTO DEATH AND BE STILL in many ways is business as usual with that brutal atmospheric tech death scourge of midtempo sludginess with percussive laziness alternating with mind-numbing drumming wizardry but something seems more focused on this sixth album by ULCERATE, a band that i have never quite wrapped my head around despite owning the majority of their discography and giving proper attention for the clicking process. Something about this band has always turned me off whether it be the cadences of the dirge-like plodding of the martial rhythms, the depressive chunky riffs or the brutal bombast of the metal pummeling the senses with dissonant bleakness after a nuclear bomb drops. STARE INTO DEATH AND BE STILL is the album for me that final appeals to my tech death sensibilities and it seems the extra attention to the atmospheric counterpoints of the wind-swept guitar sweeps and fine-tuned compositional constructs are just what the doctor ordered. I can relate to this one unlike the ones prior.

One of my major hurdles regarding the appreciation of ULCERATE's tech death has clearly been the vocal style of Paul Kelland. For no clear reason his growly vocal style has rubbed me the wrong way like an infested sore filled with hatching maggots An irritating and enervating factor which while unexplainable still provided the wrong "frequency" of death metal vocal bliss for my ears to appreciate but that too has changed on this one.. Something shifted on STARE INTO DEATH AND BE STILL where all the elements of ULCERATE's prior musical style have aligned like a rare syzygy of astrological bonanzas that offer a bright future as shown in the cards. The clouds have lifted and although a bleak depressive sky still exists beyond the veil, its' the kind of turbid orotundity that fires on all pistons thus showing how the tiniest of details in a band can be enough to make you a hardcore fan or a diehard deserter. For all my efforts ULCERATE has been the latter until this release reversed that course.

Hovering around the same hour's playing time as the band's previous efforts (save the debut), STARE INTO DEATH AND BE STILL finds the band maturing in a way that allows the sum of the parts to see a much bigger picture and how one musical methodology was tweaked to allow a much clearer synergy of the cast of caustic characters behind the wheel. At long last, despite my best efforts i can now say i'm in the ULCERATE club with this new album that so very much encapsulates the zeitgeist of the contemporary madness the world collectively experiences in this most surreal of calendar years. ULCERATE trods on like a sober observer of death and destruction delivered through the seasoned musical sounds of the guitar, bass and drums. In a world where this style of murky, atonal tech metal seems to be overplayed, somehow ULCERATE has surprised me and crafted an album that takes the band into higher levels of competence. Nice!

 Vermis by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 13 ratings

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Vermis
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Vermis" is the 4th full-length studio album by New Zealand, Auckland based death metal act Ulcerate. The album was released through Relapse Records in September 2013. "Vermis" was engineered, mixed and mastered by the band's drummer Jamie Saint Merat, who is also responsible for the cover artwork. I guess living as far away from other civilizations as people from New Zealand do, teaches you a DIY way of thinking and acting.

In many ways Jamie Saint Merat is an incredibly gifted artist, which is certainly also true when it comes to his drumming, which is varied and skillfully executed. Ulcerate is a three- piece and the other two guys in the band, Paul Kelland (Bass, vocals) and Michael Hoggard (guitars), are equally talented. Together the three of them produce a dense, chaotic sounding, twisted, dissonant and complex type of death metal with post metal leanings (still with a very obvious Gorguts influence). That was also the case on the band's 3rd full-length studio album "The Destroyers of All (2011)". Stylistically the two albums are very much alike, but the more organic sound production on "Vermis" sets them apart. Other than that I don't hear much development of their sound, and that might be a minor issue, but when the music is delivered with fierce conviction as it is here and the tracks are generally intriguing throughout, there is ultimately little to complain about. The growling vocals could probably have been delivered a bit less monotone and maybe a bit more varied, but again it's a minor issue, and they ultimately get the job done.

The band excel in creating chaotic despair ridden atmospheres. Pictures of barren wastelands and post war urban decay are instantly created in my mind. This is not happy music to put it mildly. It's not fiercely aggressive either (although it's very energetic and busy) but rather monumental and gloomy. The balance between chaotic dissonance (played in ultra fast tempos, with split second breaks and time signature changes) and atmospheric (but never even close to being melodic) moments is effectful. Upon conclusion "Vermis" is another strong release by Ulcerate. I think I favour "The Destroyers of All (2011)" over this one, but a 4 star (80%) rating is still fully deserved.

 Vermis by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 13 ratings

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Vermis
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The capability to ulcerate someone would be an eclectic and unusual power to wield, with your very existence causing terrible tummy troubles upon others. To witness your presence is akin to devouring approximately ten enormous and alarmingly greasy cheeseburgers. Breaking through the stomach walls of conformity, Vermis is one hell of an interesting racket, with a monstrous and cavernous atmosphere, a crevice into a void.

After a foreboding sluggish start, the chaos ensues, with warped riffs slithering over odd-ball tempo shifts and, at times, completely demented though precise drumming. The chord progressions of the guitars are often quite abstract, with ringing notes chiming atonally over the maelstrom, like a guitar being tuned while a riff is being played. Blistering passages morph into quieter menacing sections at any given time, while growls roar somewhere within the tidal waves of unbridled calamity.

Yet there's lots of structure here, along with remarkable musicianship. Unlike their more spacious last offering, Vermis has a more concrete foundation, even if the bricks shift around a lot, and it's essentially more memorable as far as individual songs are concerned. Dark as hell, with an album cover that perfectly captures the essence of the music, this barrage of tracks are propulsive, but nowhere near predictable, except for the signature Ulcerate "sound" that's sort of established itself at this point. There's no mistaking one of this band's tunes.

I'd actually rank this right up there as possibly their finest recording, as it still sounds like metal music undergoing a violent seizure, but this time around it's a little more coherent with a darker and more ominous tone than its predecessors. Even the measured vocals have a little more character to them concerning their past couple of releases. Ulcerate have created one vicious tentacled aberration here...so enjoy the music or tear up your neighbors belly, it's all good.

 Of Fracture and Failure by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 8 ratings

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Of Fracture and Failure
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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.

 Everything Is Fire by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.32 | 13 ratings

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Everything Is Fire
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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.

 The Destroyers Of All by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.60 | 20 ratings

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The Destroyers Of All
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Destroyers of All" is the 3rd full-length studio album by New Zealand, Auckland based death metal act Ulcerate. The album was released in January 2011 by Willowtip Records. Iīve followed Ulcerate since the release of their debut album "Of Fracture and Failure (2007)", which is an album I really enjoyed. The bandīs sophomore release "Everything Is Fire (2009)" incorporated post metal elements to the bandīs signature dissonant brutal death metal sound, but while the album certainly is a both well played, well composed and well produced affair, it somehow didnīt completely click with me like the debut did. So I wasnīt sure what to expect after I learned about the release of "The Destroyers of All".

The band have settled on a three-piece lineup. There have been no changes in the lineup since "Everything Is Fire" and I think itīs obvious when listening to the music on "The Destroyers of All", that there is now continuety in the way things are done. "The Destroyers of All" is not a copy of "Everything Is Fire" by any means though and Ulcerate have challenged themselves and their fans greatly on this new release.

The music is still a twisted, dissonant, cacophonous sounding version of brutal technical death metal which at its roots is greatly influenced by Gorguts and their extremely influential "Obscura (1998)" album. Thereīs also a strong influence in the music from the dissonant structured chaos of experimental black metal acts like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord. The post metal elements, which were introduced on "Everything Is Fire", are even more prominent on "The Destroyers of All" and something that rivals the bleak depressive atmosphere of mid-nineties Neurosis is a big part of Ulcerateīs sound.

The band seamlessly blend all influences and music styles into a sound of their own and itīs actually one of the biggests strengths of "The Destroyers of All". It all sounds very natural and like the band do this with ease. Thatīs of course just another testament to the extremely high level of musicianship on display here. Ulcerate are a tremendously talented bunch. Not only does the music feature odd time-signatures, loads of tempo shifts and worldclass technical precision drumming, but the very core of what makes music great IMO, is very much present on this album too. Songwriting that challenges, moves you and gives you a kick in the butt when thatīs needed is something Ulcerate masters to perfection. Sure the vocals are a tiny bit one-dimensional. The deep growling vocals seldom leave much of an emotional impact, but they actually fit well with the generally bleak atmosphere. The intrumental part of the music is dynamic and can take you from blasting technical chaos to bleak slow post metal parts in seconds. The song structures are adventurous and the album is definitely not an easy listening experience.

Personally itīs taken me a couple of months to fully crack the code to the music, and I anticipate that itīs an album that will always challenge and puzzle me. Itīs the kind of album where Iīll never be completely familiar with all details and therefore itīs an album that will provide me with endless hours of discovery and listening pleasure. "The Destroyers of All" has so far been one of the most interesting new albums Iīve listened to in 2011 and a 4 - 4.5 star rating is fully deserved.

 The Destroyers Of All by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.60 | 20 ratings

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The Destroyers Of All
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars The first expectation I get when I'm told a band plays "technical death metal" is that of a flurry of perpetual noodling riffs, arpeggios, and sweeps backed by constant blast beats and a crystal clear sterile production. Oh yeah, and death grunts...gotta have those. This Ulcerate album is certainly technical and most definately death metal, but does not follow the "tech-death" blueprint by any means. Ulcerate here seperate themselves from other bands of their chosen genre by not concentrating on how fast one can play a riff, but on the riff and note selections themselves. By utilizing strings not often bothered with concerning metal rhythms, there's a complexity to the chord progressions that make for some creative passages and an actual atmosphere that's rather psychedelic at times. Higher registered guitar notes chime for long durations, ringing and interweaving with heavier chord progressions both tonal and atonal to achieve a broad expansive sound, heavy as hell yet vast and sweeping. The drummer is inventive as well; blast beats are not in short supply, but often the tempo is slow and varied in time signatures. There are mellow moments found admist this propulsive entitiy, as if the band's mothers roamed into the recording studio and told their sons to "turn down that racket". The band shifts to a sparse & less distorted sound while still retaining their distinct vibe, until after a minute when their mothers leave and the amps go back to 11. The title track has an especially interesting mellow section where an almost chiming guitar reminds me of a mellotron...it's an imaginative moment by Michael Hoggard, followed by an explosive segment that comes across as overwhelming due to the atmosphere provided beforehand.

Vocals are an issue. Standard death growls with little variation in pitch or style. They contribute to the music as adding an almost mechanical quality to the music...a angry yet soulless delivery. The other issue would be the lack of distinction between songs, which tends to be a common gripe concerning extreme metal albums. The first and last songs to me have the most impact and are actually quite memorable, but the other five tracks, although well made as individual pieces, tend to blend into one another as Ulcerate uses their weird chord techniques in every song, resulting in a 'sameness' that begins to get irritating until the final track redeems The Destroyers Of All.

 The Destroyers Of All by ULCERATE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.60 | 20 ratings

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The Destroyers Of All
Ulcerate Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'The Destroyers Of All' - Ulcerate (8/10)

Although much extreme metal being released nowadays seems to be content with emulating the works of past giants, there will always be those bands out there that try to turn the concept of a given genre on its side and redfine what it can do. Although this can sometimes lead to peril for the band, when done well, it leads to a fair deal of excitement, as is the case with New Zealanders Ulcerate and their latest work, entitled 'The Destroyers Of All'. While it is made clear from the highly distorted riffs, technical drumming and deep growls that this is indeed a death metal record, Ulcerate crosses the boundaries more than once, creating a work that has many of the characteristics of the prescribed genre, but still manages to skim the edge of something different altogether.

When listening to 'The Destroyers Of All', the biggest thing I notice are the guitars. For much death metal, I find that the main purpose of the riffs is to add to heaviness and- in many cases- the technical aspect of the music. Ulcerate is different in this aspect for the fact that the guitar work here is neither particularly brutal throughout, or fast-paced. Although it would be foolish to say that there aren't some looming moments to offer here, the guitars instead offer sounds that rely more on dissonant chord structures, complex timbres and eerie use of feedback. From my personal musical background, the closest thing Ulcerate's guitar work here sounds like is the latter period of Deathspell Omega; experimental, atonal, creepy and sometimes downright disconcerting in nature. All of this works in Ulcerate's favour. When first oging into this record that seemed to have people so excited, I was not expecting something other than a typical (albeit good) death metal record, and the band proved me wrong.

Apart from the relatively experimental guitar work, the rest of Ulcerate is fairly straightforward for the death metal genre. Some great technical drum work of Jamie Saint Merat and washed out but functional bass playing fills out the rest of the sound with the added heaviness the guitars didn't seem to worry about. The most generic thing about the band are the vocals however. While Paul Kelland is a fair enough growler, his grunts here lack the power and emotion to add much to the music.

Ulcerate's 'The Destroyer Of All' is therefore a fairly interesting creature for death metal. With equal parts death metal and something else altogether, the band has crafted an hour's worth of dissonant music that certainly grinds against the nerves at times, but for the time being, the album has given me back some faith into what I perceived was a dying genre.

Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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