Although I have been unfamiliar with the work of Auckland band Ulcerate, I can safely say they are a band I will be keeping a close on eye on in the fututre. And for good reason! Their recent release Everything is Fire is a deep, layered and sophisticated extreme metal release, without having to rely on the current formula of over-the-top speed and/or sudden repetitive breakdowns.
Everything is Fire lays out before the listener a recording that is mature and extreme far beyond its years.
The robot-like drumming of Jamie Saint Merat, whose fluid flows and jumpstart blasts underpin the rythym section of the band, as he skillfully lays the foundation for the stringed section to perform thier aerobatics. The twin guitar attacks of Michael Hoggard and Oliver Goater simultaneously swirl and stab through the oft-times chaotic layering of the music. These guys break through the wall to punctuate with cleverly timed solos, "acoustic" sections, and just plain neanderthalism.
The bass, or should I say gravel-grinding work of Paul Kelland, whom also fronts the vocal duties, unhinges any high-priced dental work you may have had. His vocals are also of a deeper register, ranging from a throaty growl to a unsettling bellow as he venemously spits the lyrics with direction and intent.
Standout tracks for me would be Withered and Obsolete, Caecus, The Earth and its Knees and the title track Everything is Fire.
Drawing more from the books of Athiest, Cynic and Cephalic Carnage and thankfully staying clear of what seem to be de rigeur at the moment, Ulcerate give the extreme music world cause to both celebrate and foul their collective trousers.
Ulcerate's Everything is Fire is out now on Candlelight/Modern Invasion.