Album Review: Ulcerate – The Destroyers of All
Artist: Ulcerate (New Zealand)
Album: The Destroyers of All (2011)
Genre: Death Metal
“What is this band’s name? *Turns album on its side to read*”
The logo doesn’t make reading the name of the band more easy, but the front cover of this album looks awesome. Next to the picture of this renaissance sculpture on the front, the rest of the album is covered in blurry close-ups of similar sculptures. Very cool.
Let me be honest, when I got this album I was informed about its apparent inaccessibility and when I put it up I was able to agree with it. However, after several spins I found the music, just like the cover, rather interesting.
I had a hard time categorizing the music for myself. Ulcerate are described as Death Metal, but this album has a lot of doom and sludge influences. It’s mainly the drums that stand out, being fast, tight and jazz-influenced. The guitars are tremolo picked, sludgy and rather uninspired. They are also somewhat repetitive at points. The music then just seems to stop at one moment trying to push something down your throat without going anywhere.
The vocals are your normal Death Metal-growls, sung in quite a low register, but yeah in the end, this feels like a Jazz band trying to play Death Metal. And by the end I also mean the literal end where the band really slows down. At this point I feel the band actually comes to its full right.
The lyrics on this album are minimalistic, each song only exists out of a maximum of about 15 lines. Not much, knowing that each song is longer than five minutes, the title track topping at eleven minutes. The content is not the most original, telling us about deceit and death, etcetera, but due to their minimalistic interpretation and poetic value I dig them. Shamefully they loose their impact due to the vocals being not understandable.
I’m looking at this album with a lot of mixed feelings. The jazzy approach to Death Metal this album portrays seems quite appealing, but I’m not really drawn to spinning the album again after hearing it three times over the time span of 5 days. I feel like this music’s just not going anywhere. It simply stays in it’s moment of brilliance which slowly turns into a moment of non-inspiration.
Yes, the music is original and I love the drums, but with every attempt at being original comes the danger of failure. This failure being the guitars, which just completely ruin the album. The awesome packaging and original lyrics can’t change anything about this.
I feel like the music now, empty and without inspiration.
My Grade: 6.5/10
Buy this when:
- you like Sludge/Doom metal.
- you need a soundtrack to some job which is really repetitive, this is something you can associate with.