Released: 2011, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
"The Destroyers Of All" is the third full length from technical death metal band Ulcerate, hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Although on hearing their vast bleak sound,you would think they come from a post apocalyptic wasteland. Technical yes, but not in the overly clinical, sterile manner of most bands of this genre. This technicality stems more from their utter precision of sound, rather than clever studio tricks. 7 lengthy songs are presented to you here, lyrically based around the human condition, inner struggles, destruction. The darkness of these words easily matching the pitch black tunes that accompany them.
Ulcerate are all about atmosphere,this is where their power lies. There are far heavier, faster or more technical Death Metal albums out there, but very few that have such a thick, ominous, dread inducing vibe to them. To give them a comparison in sound, one actually needs to hop over to the black metal genre where we find the mighty Deathspell Omega! Although clearly a death metal band, Ulcerate evoke similar feelings to the these French masters of atonal dissonant black metal.
Sonically all songs run a similar pattern of fast blastbeats in the background forming the backbone of the song with drone-y, almost sludgy guitars layered on top. With a beautifully crisp yet organic production, it makes for a massive sound. The bass is rather lost in this churning maelstrom, but not missed. Anymore layers would leave it a muddled mess. Paul Kelland delivers some wonderfully hate filled yet detached vocals. This sounds odd, praising a singer for not being emotional but in truth it gives more power to the aforementioned atmosphere, it makes hope feel even more lost.
This is not an album where individual songs can be picked out as a highlight, it is a complete work, meant to be absorbed in one sitting. This is a hard task given the darkness and length (just under an hour) but infinitely worthy of your time,and with each listen you will hear something new. It is a grower in the best tradition of all classic albums. If forced to choose though I would say `Burning Skies` best displays their more upfront, accessible, aggressive side, while `omens` and the title track are master classes in long, brooding epics.
"Come dawn, no light will be thrown on them
This vermin, these ingrates
Us of the earth
The destroyers of all"
This says more about the album than I ever could.
Review by: James Anthony Price