Death Metal Band Ulcerate Warp Time in New Track
New Zealand extreme-metal outfit Ulcerate, which formed in Auckland in 2000, “privileges atmosphere over speed in one of its grandest, most unsettling tracks to date,” Rolling Stone magazine correspondent Hank Shteamer writes.
“Fifty years on from the birth of heavy metal, it’s worth taking a minute to reflect on just how far the genre has come since then,” Shteamer writes. “Or maybe just eight and a half minutes, the running time of ‘Stare Into Death and Be Still’, a titanic and transporting new song by the band.
“The trio utilises some of the signature features of death metal: growled vocals, flurries of double-kick drums, and the occasional blastbeat. But they’re not concerned with meeting any sort of benchmark of speed or surface intensity. Instead, their greatest strength is atmosphere, conjured through exquisitely weird riffs – grand, eerie, micro-detailed creations that bring to mind Lovecraftian alien architecture rendered in a hundred different shades of black.
“On this new song, the title track from Ulcerate’s upcoming LP – their sixth since forming 20 years ago – Michael Hoggard’s guitars billow like noxious clouds, as bassist-vocalist Paul Kelland roars ominously over the top, and drummer Jamie Saint Merat expertly juggles crushing density and lean groove. Listen how, after a dramatic pause around the 4:55 mark, the drummer breathes with the ensuing riff, punctuating it with fluid accents. Here and throughout the song, the way the guitars and drums dance around one another makes it feel like time is warping.
“This sensation is an Ulcerate trademark.”
Original article by Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, March 10, 2020.