F U L L . R E V I E W S
It's been a long time since the death metal sub-genre has offered up something new, refreshing and original. Most death metal bands these days tend to push the boundaries in terms of brutality, speed, heaviness and intensity. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong with that. After all, we are talking about DEATH Metal. However, as I am constantly looking for new bands to listen to, my excitement for death metal seems to have dwindled as of late even with the plethora of great death metal bands that are out there. Fortunately (for us all), New Zealand's Ulcerate has stepped up and delivered what may be the Death Metal album of the year (for 2011). Relying less on constant speed and brutality, Ulcerate pummels us with mind-boggling technical prowess, insane discordant riffing, stellar progressive drumming and top-notch production quality.
Ulcerate's third album, The Destroyers Of All, delivers 7 tracks of uneasy mayhem that may take even the most seasoned death metal fan a few spins to understand. Ulcerate's brand of death metal may not be for everyone, but once their style is fully absorbed, there is none better!
Although they are a death metal band, their style of riffing reminds me of Black Metal legends Blut Aus Nord, or even (newer) Deathspell Omega. The first sons, Burning Skies, sets a blistering pace as one of the most aggressive songs on the album, but Ulcerate's unique style ultimately takes over, modifying the brutality from speed and aggression to haunting discordant riffs. The vocals, remaining true to the Death Metal genre, are some of the best that have been recording in a long time. The next song, Dead Oceans, opens with a barrage of technical wizardry that can easily catapult Ulcerate with the likes of Origin or Dying Fetus. The third song, Cold Becoming, is a very aggressive, fast paced song, full of blast beats and lightning-fast riffs, like that of Hate Eternal. The Fourth Song, Beneath, slows the pace down, but delivers equally crushing brutality via superb song writing. Next comes The Hollow Idols, a crushing track with maniacal drumming and progressive (but disturbing) riffs. The sixth song--my favorite from the album, is called Omens. Ranging from blast beats to doom, Omens is the standout track on The Destroyers Of All that fully demonstrates the talent and abilities of Ulcerate. The final track, The Destroyers Of All is a 10 minute cacophony of blazing riffs and blast beats that ends the album on a high note and leaves us wanting more.
Blast beats - check. Death Metal growls - check. Pummeling riffs - check. The Destroyers Of All contains all the elements of today's death metal but offers so much more in the originality department. I would even go as far as to say that Ulcerate is Death Metal for Black Metal fans. Either way, this is death metal at its best and is definitely on my "Metal Album of 2011" list.
About this Writer:
David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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