Oct 242013

(In this post, NCS writer DGR reviews the latest album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate.)

Ulcerate were one of those bands who for a long time had a firm spot on my metal radar, but I never really got around to checking them out. The group got my attention around the time of their Willowtip release Everything Is Fire, mostly because I’ve always tried to keep up with that label after they gifted us with Arsis’ first couple of releases in the early aughts. However, where Ulcerate really made their impression was with Destroyers Of All, which it seemed like I listened to at first by gunpoint, with every metal listener I knew screaming from the mountaintops about it.

Destroyers Of All was a massive disc, a gargantuan, lumbering beast that you don’t really hear in death metal outside of the Polish scene or the more doom-oriented bands, yet Ulcerate had created an album that made me picture the band as one of the few who would be playing when the apocalypse happened. There was such a cavernous sound on display that it pretty much became an unspoken rule that anything the group did henceforth would be hotly anticipated. And so, as the group geared up to put out their 2013 release Vermis, I disconnected from most press outlets in a desire to go in somewhat unspoiled.

The album has been out in the world for a month at this point, and the reason that we’re only now getting around to a review is because Vermis is a dense, dense album. It feels like a brother to Destroyers Of All but with a bigger emphasis on the doom atmosphere. While the group had already been making long songs, Vermis extended them into the hopeless territory, with the listener being dragged almost unwillingly behind the band. It makes Vermis a difficult and challenging album to fight through, yet it is also one of the most intense experiences released this year. Continue reading »

Sep 102013

Painstakingly selected from among the detritus that litters the interhole and the NCS in-box, here are items of interest that appeared over the last 24 hours.


If you need more darkness in your life — and who doesn’t? — then you should listen to Vermis, the new death metal monstrosity by New Zealand’s Ulcerate. The album won’t be released in North America until September 17 (a day earlier in the UK and September 13 in certain European countries), but yesterday Metal Sucks began hosting an exclusive stream of the album. Ulcerate are one of those rare death metal bands who are pushing (or dragging) the genre in new directions. The music of Vermis is harrowing and inhuman, but it exerts a powerful attraction. You should hear it.

THIS is the link for the stream.


The new Carcass album, which we reviewed here, is due for release on September 16. I have a feeling that anyone interested in hearing the new Carcass album has already heard it, but just in case, it’s now streaming in full, too. Nuclear Blast has uploaded the entire album to YouTube. Obviously, it’s one of the biggest releases of 2013, and it also happens to be a fine album. You can hear it next.  (thanks Daniel for the tip) Continue reading »

Aug 012013

The new album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate is entitled Vermis. It’s due for release by Relapse on September 17 in North America and on somewhat earlier dates elsewhere. It’s one of our most highly anticipated releases of the year. And late yesterday, the album’s first advance track became available for listening.

“Confronting Entropy” sounds like the warring of alien behemoths on some distant, poisonous planet during an earthquake while a meteor strike is in progress. The sound is massive, with huge, catastrophic riffs, squalling, shrieking guitar leads, and earth-splitting percussion. It’s tumultuous avant garde death metal with teeth. Check it out next (I’m including both the YouTube and Soundcloud streams for the hell of it).

(Vermis can be pre-ordered here. Ulcerate’s web site is at this location.)

Continue reading »

Jul 122013

Here’s a collection of items I saw and heard yesterday while surveilling the interhole. The featured bands are Ulcerate (New Zealand), Twilight of the Gods (multinational), Craven Idol (UK), Cryptopsy (Canada), and Evoken (US), .


The new album from New Zealand’s Ulcerate has been high on our “most anticipated” list for this year, and yesterday finally brought a lot of fresh news. The title of the album is Vermis, it includes 9 tracks, it’s nearly 55 minutes long — and it will be released by Relapse on September 17 in North America (September 13 in Germany and the Benelux countries and September 16 in the rest of the world). Pre-orders for the album and related merch are being fielded at this location. You can see the newly unveiled album cover above.

Yesterday also brought a video teaser for Vermis. It includes just an itty-bitty, teenie-weensie snippet of music, but it was enough to rattle my teeth. I think, just to be safe, I’ll make a dental appointment for the day after I get my hands on this album. The teaser is next. Continue reading »

Oct 092012

Here are a few items of interest I saw between yesterday and today that I thought were worth throwing in your general direction. Catch!


A Frail Becoming, the new album by North Carolina’s Daylight Dies, is being officially released today by Candlelight Records. It’s very, very good. I hope we will have a review soon, because the album deserves whatever we can do to help spread the word.

The latest song to be released for streaming is the album’s fourth track, “Dreaming of Breathing”, which is the subject of a music video directed by Ramon Boutviseth that debuted yesterday. It’s a beautifully filmed video, and the narrative portion suits the moody, dreamlike ambience of the music, while the band footage suits all the thundering that Daylight Dies do so well in their doom-influenced brand of melodic death metal.

Check it out next . . . Continue reading »

Dec 072011

I discovered a French band called Svart Crown more than a year ago when I reviewed their second albumWitnessing the Fall. I compared them to a joint venture between Immortal and Immolation. Since then, the band signed with Listenable Records, which put the album into wider distribution. It’s still a damned strong listen.

This morning I saw that the band have released an official video for “Into A Demential Sea”, one of the songs from Witnessing the Fall. To crib from my review (since I’m too fucking lazy to come up with any new phraseology), it’s “almost experimental in its combination of raging guitars, complex drumming, and sharp rhythm breaks that cause the song to trudge with death-doom chord progressions.”

But more importantly, it will trigger the old headbang reflex, which is a reflex that needs to be triggered often, so that you don’t get fixed-neck syndrome, which is a precursor to tight-sphincter complex and stick-up-the-ass disease.

And in other welcome news, an Ulcerate-Svart Crown European tour has been announced for February 2012. I say “welcome” because I’m trying to be happy for our European readers. I myself do not find this news welcome, because, since I can’t go to any of these shows, the news simply makes me jealous and slightly miserable because of my loss. I’m going to console myself by watching this video again. It’s after the big goddamn tour poster which immediately follows the jump. I hope all you Euro motherfuckers are happy. Continue reading »

Apr 212011

(Brutalitopia is a great name for a metal blog. If we’d thought of it first, you might be reading “Brutalitopia” right now. But instead of us, two other dudes thought up the name, and they’ve put together some great content to go along with it, too. Check that site now if you never have before (use this link). Today, in response to our appeal for help, Brutalitopia Jack has contributed the following thought-provoking guest post.)

Historically speaking, trends and styles tend to occur in phases. This is certainly true for music, and putting metal under the microscope is a great test of this theory; NWOBHM was the representative blueprint of heavy music in the late 1970s, thrash was the mid-80s, and death metal reigned right around the time Metallica sold out. As for the current era, there’s little doubt that heavier progressive acts have assumed dominion for the foreseeable future.

The intriguing situation with prog, however, is the labyrinthine absorption of various sounds and styles that so conspicuously distinguishes itself in today’s muddled scene. Listeners and critics alike often refer to groups as dissimilar as Opeth and Mastodon as progressive, and no issue is made of it. Some argue that the label “progressive” should be understood less as a genre and more as a descriptor of approach and stylistic ethos, but that’s a discussion for another day. The fact remains that progressive metal is at the forefront and will be for some time.

The logical and fanatical question then becomes this; as we enter the second decade of the new millennium, will the burgeoning progressive metal frontier yield a Big Four like Thrash once did? The short answer (at least to this guy) is no. And that’s only because we’ll simply never see a collective reaction to such a limited number of bands ever again; the digital age makes it impossible for even 40 bands to hold the attention of the whole metal community. But while we likely won’t be able to point at four groups as the unquestioned, paramount torchbearers of metal in the 2010s at the end of the decade, it’s not a futile enterprise to attempt to identify four that could really break into the forefront in the next several years. Essentially, fuck everything I just said and put on your pretending caps.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 242011

(Today, NCS contributor BadWolf reviews the new album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate.)

Give it up for New Zealand’s Ulcerate for knowing how to throw a curveball at me. The band is signed to Willowtip, my go-to label for death metal that has as much Dillinger Escape Plan in the mix as Cannibal Corpse. When I see Willowtip on a CD, I expect winding technical and chaotic riffage (on bass and drums, as well as guitars) to force my skull into a state of rapid decompression. In effect, I fully expect their records to be all experience and no songwriting—in this case the experience of being “that guy” in Scanners.

The Destroyers of All does nothing of the sort. Instead, it bakes its listener to death—a fitting follow-up to their last album, Everything is Fire. The album is in every possible way comparable to a desert, so much so that I want Ulcerate to do the soundtrack to the next stupid adaptation of Dune—this is the sound of wandering sand-worms. The song structures are vast and majestic, and make good use of so-called negative space. The last record burned the earth; this record sifts through the cinders at a leisurely (torturous) pace.

As has been pretty openly stated over at Invisible Oranges, this is a death metal record made by people who like “-post,” metal. That is to say, it has songs with long and irregular structures without refrains or choruses, and a general sense of minimalism.

Full disclosure: I am a filthy, filthy whore for this sort of thing. Neurosis and Isis make me shiver with anticipation when the proper mood strikes. I even like long-form repetitive black metal (Dear Wolves in the Throne Room, play Ohio, you bastards!). Coincidentally, I feel the same way about films with long, majestic shots of deserts. Yes, I am that asshole, and this album seems tailor-made to suit my taste.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 112011

The forthcoming album from New Zealand’s Ulcerate (their third) has been high on our list of anticipated 2011 releases. It will be called The Destroyers of All, it will be released on January 25 by Willowtip Records, and it’s now available for pre-order here.

The reason for this post is to make you aware (the one or two of you who don’t regularly read MetalSucks) that MS is now featuring an exclusive full-album stream of  The Destroyers of All at this location. I haven’t yet listened to the full stream (chalk it up to something I fondly call “my fucking day job”), but from what I’ve heard so far, it’s a worthy successor to the band’s stunning 2009 album, Everything Is Fire.

One more tidbit on the subject of the new Ulcerate album: The band has made one track from the album — “Dead Oceans” — available for download via its web site. To use a journalistic term of art, it’s good shit.

Dec 012010

November is now in our rear-view mirror. December lies ahead of us: A perfectly good stretch of road marred by the speed bumps of the cataclysm that is Christmas. And on the other side of those speed bumps is the end of the year – the roadkill that is New Year’s Eve. And you know what the run-up to year-end brings — year-end lists. It’s already started, but the coming weeks will bring us a slew of Best of 2010 album lists. We’ll probably do our own Best of 2010 list — not the best albums of the year, but, as we did last year, the most infectious extreme metal songs of the year.

But we’re not quite ready to launch that list. Instead, we’re looking off into the future, not backward at the music that’s rattled our skulls over the past year. Yes, it’s time for another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that we’re interested in hearing.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. After the jump, of course . . .

Continue reading »