Auckland Technical Death Metal trio Ulcerate return with their sixth full length, “Stare Into Death And Be Still,” another offering that wrangles with aspects of the dark side of the human condition and It’s a powerful offering that takes you on a crushingly dissonant fifty-eight minute meander into some pretty dark places.
Sound-wise it’s atmospheric Technical Death Metal that has a bleak beauty to its construction, a dark dissonant meld of convoluted Brutal Death Metal, Post Metal, and Black Metal that definitely thinks outside of the box, fluid with the merest hint of underlying melody, ensuring that it is engaging and listenable but without any detraction from the brutality, an essential factor given the harsh and brutal content of the lyrics which spare nothing in regard to the desolate quality of their content.
It took me a while to get my head around this album, such is the complexity of it, you have to embed yourself within the sound, in amongst the carefully crafted mayhem that is taking pace, as Ulcerate once again rip up the Technical Death Metal rule book and write their own version.
Once you immerse yourself into the album there is such a lot to love about it, from the bleak convoluted and discordant riffs, the equally bleak vocal growls, to my favourite aspect, even more so than those desolate lyrics, that being the drum work, it’s complex and matches, challenges and complements the convoluted riffing, quite a task to achieve but Jamie Saint Merat manages it with seeming ease.
It’s a difficult to pinpoint favourite tracks, every listen through pulls up something you haven’t noticed before and it’s consistent throughout, from the opener “The Lifeless Advance,” the highly merit worthy title track “Stare into Death and Be Still,” to the closer “Dissolved Orders,” which seems to tie the whole thing together, the constant factor throughout is always that bleak haunting dissonance ever present in the ebb and flow of this almost painfully alluring album. It’s not just aurally brutal, it’s brutal on your mind too, it challenges you at every opportunity.
“Stare Into Death And Be Still” is out now on Debemur Morti Productions.
Rating – 4/5