Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

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For anyone even vaguely in the know in the extreme metal scene, Ulcerate need no introduction and for those who have truly paid attention to their career, they would know that they are one of the most consistently solid and influential death metal bands of this century. They continue to both defend and extend that legacy with their latest offering Cutting the Throat of God, which is easily one of their most focused, expertly performed and masterfully written albums in some time.

Artist: Ulcerate
Album: Cutting the Throat of God
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: June 14th 2024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Written by James Sweetlove

For anyone even vaguely in the know in the extreme metal scene, Ulcerate need no introduction and for those who have truly paid attention to their career, they would know that they are one of the most consistently solid and influential death metal bands of this century. They continue to both defend and extend that legacy with their latest offering Cutting the Throat of God, which is easily one of their most focused, expertly performed and masterfully written albums in some time.

Ulcerate continue to be a band whose sound is constantly evolving and not always for the better, but at least whatever they do is still of the highest quality. However, even their works that I connect less with are a rich part of the auditory tapestry that they have woven as a band. Personally my favourite works from their catalogue are their earlier pieces, the ones where despite being brutal and cavernous they still had clearly definable underlying melody, just as this latest work does. The band kept some of their dissonant elements of the previous few albums, but for the most part this has taken a real back seat to the more melodic and atmospheric elements of the release.

Instrumentally the band give us a crazy amount of variety, ranging from emotion laden death doom guitar tones weaving in and out of biting death metal crunch. Spacing out these heavier, more distorted elements come the album’s post-metal segments, these are some of the most stunning passages of the album. The drums on the release are equally as varied and flow so freely between vastly different rhythms and tempos, going from post-metal spacy work straight into blasting death metal. There’s also a perfect balance struck between emotion/atmosphere, technicality and aggression/heaviness, the listener is treated to perfect amount of each and the band know exactly when to make the switch.

The vocals on the album perfectly suit the atmosphere and energy of the instrumentals. They’re powerful but lean more towards being barked aggression and power, without needing to be guttural. The faded and echoed effects applied to these vocals add to the cavernous effect of the whole release. I also have a lot of respect for their conservative use of vocals on the album, letting the music speak for itself and making the vocals far more impactful when they do appear.

Sometimes this style of music can get a little stale to me, the ethereal technical side of death metal, but I think there are a lot of bands that attempt to create this and their failure lies with them not retaining enough aggression and bite or enough melody for it to truly be enjoyable AND have replay value. But I never have that concern with this release, the band are just to experienced and too talented to let that happen here. People refer to them as master of their craft and as they have demonstrated yet again, its with good reason.

I truly love how the band have re-invented themselves here, not only is it an impressive new sound but it feels like a very natural progression from the sound attained on Stare into Death and Be Still. The richness of sound that this album delivers is something that you don’t come across all that often these days, but this is just one of those albums that really blows you away and reminds you why you love the band so much. It almost takes you back to that feeling you had when you had first discovered them and just how much you loved listening to their music.

Overall if you’re a death metal fan in any capacity then I think you need to hear this album. Even if you aren’t an Ulcerate fan you should really give this release a try. I love it when a band changes in the exact way you hoped that they would and this is one of those rare occasions. My suggestion is that if you want it on vinyl, get it now before everyone wakes up to just how good this album is.




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