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Ulcerate: Vermis

Ulcerate is one of those bands with a long history, several lineup changes, and some solid releases scattered over a decade. When they announced a new release, lost of black metal fans were excited. When it finally hit the streets—and actually sounded pretty solid—it looked as though the band was poised to make a bigger break than they have in the past. Let's hope so.

Vermis marks the band's debut with Relapse Records, but is actually their fourth full-length release. Relapse, of course, is home to lots of amazing, even legendary, bands. The boys in Ulcerate needn't worry, though. This album holds its own with some of the stronger black metal that's come out so far this year. What sets this album apart is the way most of the tracks take the music (and the genre) and give it freshness. No, the music doesn't take all the generic qualities of the music and simply turn them on their collective heads. Instead, the band gives the overall sound a sense of newness, a feeling that there are yet unexplored avenues to this style of music.

For lack of a better word, the music here is experimental. By saying that, however, I don't mean to suggest that it's anything less than intense and exciting black metal. The experimental aspects to the music here simply give new life to a genre that, though consistently strong, risks falling into repetition and cliché. This band avoids all that, breathing new life into the genre by allowing the music to do more than just drown out everything but the dominant sound. Some of the tracks on this album actually give the music a chance to breathe, allowing the spaces between notes to serve as part of the overall sound. The band also experiments with little dissonances here and there, just enough to confuse the ears and to give the guitar parts some much-needed freshness. The vocals, always growled and raspy, also fit well here. At times, things are so crazy that the vocals seem like the sanest thing going.

This album is bold and exciting, a tribute to black metal and an expansion of its possibilities. Interested readers should check just check out the whole album to see what's going on. Those who want to dip more slowly into this one should check out the title track "Vermis," the instrumental track "Fall to Opprobrium" and the crazy exploits of "The Imperious Weak." The other tracks are just as good, but those will whet the appetite.

Track Listing:
1. Odium
2. Vermis
3. Clutching Revulsion
4. Weight of Emptiness
5. Confronting Entropy
6. Fall to Opprobrium
7. The Imperious Weak
8. Cessation
9. Await Rescission

Added: October 17th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1076
Language: english

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