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Ulcerate - Vermis Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Ulcerate - Vermis

Ulcerate - Vermis

Relapse Records
Recently, I waxed rhapsodic about the return of Gorguts with the stellar Colored Sands. New Zealand’s Ulcerate answer the challenge with Vermis, their new full-length released on Relapse Records. The comparison between the two bands is apt as Ulcerate are fully treading the waters of angular, disjointed technical death metal, a genre due, in large part, to the earlier work of Gorguts. Rather than merely being a copycat, though, Ulcerate place their own spin upon the technical death metal genre.

Ulcerate play technical death metal with the usual hallmarks of the genre: stellar musicianship, weird time changes, atypical riffing, and so on. However, they eschew the jazz-influenced approach of, say, Colored Sands, and, instead, concentrate much more upon exploring the more dissonant aspect of the genre.

Vermis is characterized by chaotic riffs that somehow seem to easily flow from one to the other. The riffs also have a very organic quality, characterized by their flowing nature; an organic quality that is not usually one associated with technical death metal.

Ulcerate also slow the pacing down considerably at times, allowing the guitars to take on a more melodic, even subtle, tone. The drumming also perfectly accompanies the riffing, fast and furious in itself, but also taking on a certain cascading quality to add to the sense of swirling chaos and dissonance.

Ultimately, though, Vermis may be a harder to able to grab a hold of, at least, initially, than Colored Sands. The hooks are harder to quantify and digest, and the songwriting is much more subtle. But, Vermis is yet another album in the dissonant, technical death metal style that is going to require patience and a sense of maturity from the listener.

(released September 17, 2013 on Relapse Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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