Review: Ulcerate – The Destroyers of All (2011)

 Genre: unorthodox death metal, technical death metal, brutal death metal
 Label: Willowtip
 Country: New Zealand
 Listen: MySpace

Though I am still working through my back-catalog of reviews of the past year and a half (still about 10 to go) I couldn’t deprive you all of the awesome new release of New Zealand’s Ulcerate! You can find the review to their previous, also awesome, release Everything is Fire here. I have lifted the following description from there because I am lazy: “A fitting though virtually meaningless descriptor is atmospheric unorthodox death metal, though elements of technical and brutal death metal are present as well. The music moves from atmospheric minimalistic melodies, through creepy dissonant tension towards a violent vortex of death metal. To me this band does what Deathspell Omega does for black metal; it takes traditional overused elements and molds it with technical prowess and excellent song writing to produce a highly original variant of their parent genre. Because of the extensive use of dissonance and slowly trudging along creepiness mixed with violent explosions it even sounds like Deathspell Omega from time to time.”

They have continued their foray into the land of exciting dissonant death metal, but this time another layer of listenability has been stripped. On The Destroyers of All the songs aren’t so much songs as they are interlocking parts of a album-wide narrative, making this a very coherent album but hard to grasp due to the long attention span required. But the pay-off is definitely there, I keep listening and listening and listening to it. The use of atmospheric post rock-like sounds and themes further strengthens the coherency and flow of the album. So, this music is a tough nut to crack due to its unlistenability and extensive use of dissonance, but precisely because of that it paints a picture of utter chaos and destruction; when we ever need a soundtrack for the apocalypse, this is it.
To top it all off, the album has great artwork as well, as you can see above. The image on the background is of the (classical) statue seen below (picture by Giulio Menna), which is a very beautiful work of art in itself. I don't know what it's called, who made it, what it's about et cetera. It likely is just a scene of a stag being attacked by a hound. At first I thought it might depict the myth of the hunter Actaeon, who angered Artemis and was turned into a stag to be devoured by his own hounds, but there are no real clues to support this. The statue resides in the Sagla degli Animali in the Museo Pio-Clementino in Rome, as a friend has researched for me. 

This review was previously released elsewhere.

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