Cutting The Throat Of God

Debemur Morti
rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. To Flow Through Ashen Hearts
02. The Dawn Is Hollow
03. Further Opening the Wounds
04. Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds
05. To See Death Just Once
06. Undying as an Apparition
07. Cutting the Throat of God

Few bands in metal history have amassed a catalogue comparable to the one ULCERATE have spewed out over the last 20 years. New Zealand's premier purveyors of avant-garde, technical death metal, this brick-built power trio have become a living benchmark for excellence and willful obscurity in heavy music. As a result, expectations are sky high for the band's seventh full-length. If ULCERATE's last album, 2020's "Stare Into Death and Be Still", got a little lost in the chaos of a pandemic, "Cutting the Throat of God" seems certain to redress the balance and push its creators to the forefront of modern brutality, even if most mainstream listeners will be simultaneously confused and terrified by most of the music contained within. This, as ever, is not for the faint-hearted or those with a limited imagination. For everyone else, this is the synapse-throttling art-metal extravaganza we've been waiting for.

Although their sound is a gargantuan, fluid thing that has no respect for boundaries or limitations, ULCERATE still adhere proudly to the principles of left-field extreme metal. From the opening minutes of "To Flow Through Ashen Hearts" onwards, the Kiwis' trademark barrage is in full flow, with a production that outstrips all previous efforts and renders these deeply peculiar pieces of music in dazzling but down-hearted Technicolor. ULCERATE songs generally eschew traditional structure in favor of a free-flowing, perpetual mutation, but as the years have passed, they have also become lethally adept at generating atmosphere through dynamics and warping familiar elements into surreal new forms. "To Flow Through Ashen Hearts" has significant melodic content, in between bursts of wrenched-muscle mayhem, and a disarming sense of grace and poise that squeezes every last drop of melancholy from all that discord.

The pace quickens on "The Dawn Is Hollow", which hinges on a slow, steady build-up from an initial, blast-peppered churn, to passages of gothic post-punk desolation, and on to an increasingly overblown squall of IMMOLATION-like pomp and pugnacity. Previous albums have had their serene and out-there moments but ULCERATE have never sounded as confident in their own dynamic instincts as they do here. "Further Opening the Wounds" slams the same point home: this is magical stuff, the perfect combination of cerebral ambition and primal fury, and a death metal revelation like no other. Riffs morph and dissolve, turning into ever more grotesque forms, and vocalist/bassist Paul Kelland spits fire from his bully pulpit, buoyed by his band's lurching, licentious momentum. Once again, the reality that this heroically abominable noise is coming from a mere three people is difficult to accept but ULCERATE compose in such a way that the overall, disorientating impact of the whole thing overshadows any individual acts of technical prowess.

"Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds" encapsulates that transcending of the sum of these parts. It starts off like SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES through the looking glass, and incrementally develops into a brutally bleak and powerful wall of sound that threatens to suck the sun's light from the skies. Similarly, "Undying as an Apparition" dispenses with death metal's rudimentary riff collage and fills its nine immersive minutes with an ever-evolving deluge of askance melody and percussive hostility, with cold-hearted grandeur etched into every shimmering layer.

ULCERATE do not make music that conforms to anyone else's idea of how death metal should sound. In fact, it seems increasingly silly to describe the band in those terms. "Cutting the Throat of God" is a highly evolved, militantly creative and endlessly fascinating piece of work that merely confirms what sensible folk already know about this band. ULCERATE are astonishing.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).