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Monday, 27 June 2011

REVIEW: Ulcerate - The Destroyers Of All [2011]

N.B. This is a guest post from HeySharpshooter.

Ulcerate are a band on a mission. A mission to make the most original, unique sounding death metal of a generation, all while keeping to the tenants of the genre: brutality and darkness. Over their entire discography, Ulcerate have pushed the boundaries of traditional brutal death metal to its very limit, often with mixed results and mixed fanfare. Some are bored and even offended by Ulcerate’s dissonant, atypical sound. Others are enthralled with the bands incredible creativity and hand cramping technicality.

The Destroyers of All, Ulcerate’s most recent release, in unlikely to change anyone’s long standing opinion’s about the band. While more cleanly produced, The Destroyers of All is still avant-garde, dissonant and complex brutal death metal like no one else plays it. It’s an album that will not make an immediate impact for most: it is not catchy, not easy to follow and not something for everyone. Their songs are long, sometimes overly long, and often grind out dozens of riffs in a seven minute span.

When The Destroyers of All works, it’s an amazing listen: the album starts off with a bang with one of its best tracks, “Burning Skies.” Surprisingly accessible for an Ulcerate track while at the same time exemplifying everything their rabid fans love, it’s a highly dissonant and heavy track, shifting effortlessly between tempos and riffs. “The Hollow Idols” is punishing and dark, and once again highly dissonant. It’s also refreshingly short at just over six minutes (short for this album at least). The vocals are one dimensional but brutal and fit the bands sound perfectly.

It’s that dissonance that both makes and breaks The Destroyers of All. Some are never going to like this album because of it. In fact, this album gave my friend a headache. It doesn’t help that the song length is often a hindrance: tracks feel over-stuffed with too many ideas, and it makes casual enjoyment of this album all but impossible. Had the band cut some of these songs up into a few shorter tracks, then it could have been an even stronger album. The final track on the album, “The Destroyers of All” is a ten minute borefest as well, hurting this album on the exit.

It’s been said a lot, but its and important point: The Destroyers of All is not for everyone. Between the bands amoebic song structure, extreme dissonance and punishing song length, some will spend only a few minutes with this album and toss it out the window, disgusted. But for those looking for a truly unique, truly original death metal experience that pushes boundaries like no other, then this album is absolutely perfect for you.

Grade: 8/10

Download here.

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