Rating:
9.6
Ulcerate - Everything Is Fire
7 April 2009


01. Drown Within
02. We Are Nil
03. Withered And Obsolete
04. Caecus
05. Tyranny
06. The Earth At Its Knees
07. Soullessness Embraced
08. Everything Is Fire


We are at the 21st century, can you sense it in the Metal genre? If you reply positively and you have never heard this release, you are but bedeviled. You will not feel it, since before you realize, you will be crushed.

Ulcerate hail from New Zealand (yes the hobbit infested land can yield quality death metal). The band formed in 2000, and they are playing along side of the leading and most popular extreme metal bands consistently (which actually some of them should appear along side Ulcerate, which will not probably happen as I mention as the end of the review).

Ulcerate play technical death metal, not virtuosic (like Anata or SOP) yet impressive technically; they are technical not because of technical height but because of progress and innovation - and this is the awe around them.

The first department you will notice is the atmospheric disturbed sphere of chaos and nihilism that will teach you how to listen to this genre with fresh original pleasure once again. Never have I heard a technical death metal band with such textured rhythm work with emphasis on mood, yet with a sense of melody which I identify only of there own. Of course you can find strings of influence, Gorguts' churning dissonance, Immolation's textured work an double guitar dissonance, and modern death metal sludge impact rooted in Suffocation's genius and unmatched brutal work. Yet do not be mistaken, this is an original piece of art, with aesthetics ranging to the quality and boldface of Post-Punk bands. Together with a unblemished performance from the members; especially Jamie's Saint Merat complex jazzy sounding drum work, which intensifies this challenging music.

Well...this is metal! How about the guitars? The frantic towering and twisting guitar riffs lead this nihilistic carnage, which finds its frantic climax at the medium tempo segments which are sort of a very brutal and dark Isis. Hearing the duel guitars playing different cacophonous riffs made my jaw drop. The music's structure is linear and way beyond anything conventional, more like 'high music' then popular (i.e free flowing structures).

Everything burns, everything flows, "The Earth at its Knees." (It's hard not to think about Heraclitus, nicknamed The Obscure). The weak spot maybe of this release maybe be the songwriting, the need to differentiate the tracks more from each other, and some riffs seem to sloppy come after another. Yet in the big picture these are not serious issues at all, and their songwriting maybe is not perfect, but excellent.

Since true art will always be hard, as Spinoza said it at the end of his masterpiece, Ethics: "All noble things are as difficult as they are rare". There's a pretty steep curve, even Superman won't digest this after one go around, but Everything Is Fire is a rewarding listen.

This is indeed Technical Death metal of the 21st century! Intelligent death metal, refreshing and dark and crushing - you will be astonished and paralyzed at first and at end provided with the feel of "the most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Ulcerate
Album: Everything Is Fire


 


written by Candlemass | 05.04.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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!J.O.O.E.! - 05.04.2010 at 13:12  
I've often heard this described as Deathspell Omega playing death metal which is a pretty apt description. Tis a damn fine record indeed.
nev_ski - 05.04.2010 at 13:58  
I've just ordered the album...can''t wait to get it & give it a spin
Ask - 05.04.2010 at 20:37  
One of the best albums of 09, glad to see this getting some well-deserved attention.
Doh - 06.04.2010 at 16:52  
Best death metal album 2009. Amazing stuff, everything is perfect on that album. Vocals are so much better than on the Of Fracture And Failure.
Motionless - 07.04.2010 at 16:05  
Written by Doh on 06.04.2010 at 16:52

Best death metal album 2009. Amazing stuff, everything is perfect on that album. Vocals are so much better than on the Of Fracture And Failure.


Could not agree more. The album is monumental. It had the same effect to me as Pierced from within. I hope they continue like this and why not. 10 from me and best death metal release of 2009 by far
Candlemass - 08.04.2010 at 14:51  
Written by Motionless on 07.04.2010 at 16:05

Written by Doh on 06.04.2010 at 16:52

Best death metal album 2009. Amazing stuff, everything is perfect on that album. Vocals are so much better than on the Of Fracture And Failure.


Could not agree more. The album is monumental. It had the same effect to me as Pierced from within. I hope they continue like this and why not. 10 from me and best death metal release of 2009 by far


Pierced from within is a major classic, I hear it for years.
Time will tell if Ulcerate will sustain like Suffocation.
10 of the best of the century
Maxx666 - 05.05.2011 at 10:14  
Wow this album got me hooked since last week... It should really be hailed for its refreshing take on technicality intelligently mixed with brutality... I feel a rejuvenated influx of energy after listening to this album, last time i had such a feeling was after listening to Beheaded Ominous Bloodline for the first time....
Anyways highly recommended album and very nice review up there, exactly my thought on this album.
Illog1cal - 25.01.2013 at 03:19  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 05.04.2010 at 13:12

I've often heard this described as Deathspell Omega playing death metal which is a pretty apt description. Tis a damn fine record indeed.


I would say its essentially Deathspell Omega and Immolation mashed together.

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