A place for me to spew out my opinion on music mostly of the heavy kind.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ulcerate - The Destroyers of All

Ulcerate - The Destroyers of All
Year of Release - 2011
Label - Willowtip

New Zealand's Ulcerate have been at it now since 2000 and Destroyers of All is the band's third full length album released earlier this year. Ulcerate are a bit of a unique proposition. Being on Willowtip means that a prefix of technical is almost certain to be added to the band's death metal but Ulcerate prove over and over on Destroyers of All that they are a lot more than just technical death metal.

Right from album opener Burning Skies, it's apparent that the band are on to something a little bit different here. Michael Hoggard's riffs are mid paced, dissonant and heavy as fuck with more in common with the likes of Blut Aus Nord than your regular tech death bands. Jamie Saint Merat plays the drums like he's the bastard child of Pete Sandoval and Brann Dailor, almost intent on filling up every bit of space left by the often lumbering guitars while bass player and vocalist Paul Kelland sits in between the guitars and drums and creates his own space, often accentuating the rhythm and sometimes following the guitars to give it more beef.

Its almost like the band use dissonance as a weapon right through this album. While the pace of the guitars is close to doom and post metal territory, its the angular dissonance that reminds of a slowed down Immolation and occasionally Gorguts. Case in point is The Hollow Idols which is probably the closest the band come to death metal on this album. The dense riffage weaves through a song that is brutal, technical, dissonant and melodic all at the same time before ending in slowed down post metal fashion with the bass acting as counterpoint to the guitars and the drummer slowly fading out.

This is not an easy album to get into. While hardened death metal enthusiasts will straight away see the similarities to Immolation, that is just on the surface. What we have here is a band that is unafraid to mix things up as death metal, dissonant black metal of the French persuasion and post metal ala Isis meet headlong and battle for supremacy. The winner as it turns out is Ulcerate who manage to hold these disparate influences together and come up with an album that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

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