It’s been a brilliantly bleak year for death metal; with the likes of Coffins, Gorguts and Altars all bringing truly crushing albums into the world and Ulcerate are looking to join the elite. Fourth album ‘Vermis’ takes the ferocity of previous album ‘Everything Is Fire’ and the brutality of 2010’s ‘Destroyers Of All’ to concoct something that stamps the New Zealanders’ as inventors of pure evil.
Avoiding the standard formulas of death metal, Ulcerate replace speed and chugging with droning riffs and a post-metal vibe that makes any other album described as “crushing” resemble a musical mouse. The fact this album acts like a tidal wave of desolation makes it hard to accept that it was created by three human beings, with tracks such as ‘Weight Of Emptiness’ being lengthy and the guitar parts build up with a serious amount of dread, so you ‘re kept in suspense in the best possible way. With remnants of Demilich and Incantation spattered amongst ‘Vermis’, the album has no sporadic changes in speed or style and it’s this planned order that makes it feel even more terrifying. For those who don’t know ‘Vermis’ is Latin for “worm”, making the title name incredibly apt, as you feel like you are pinned down under a slithering weight, just waiting with no hope for an innovative yet imminent end.
Reviewed by Lily Randall
‘Vermis’ is out now on Sept 17th on Relapse
You’ll like this if… you often see the word “brutal” and feel it’s used wrongly
published on soundshock.com