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Ulcerate - Vermis CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.90 | 13 ratings

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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.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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