Ulcerate
The Destroyers of All


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
January 24th, 2011 | 629 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A thoughtful and well-crafted death metal album that fuses solid songwriting with an unwavering atmosphere that brings to mind Ulcerate's previous releases, but also hints at something more

The riffs of The Destroyers Of All bellow with resounding force as the vast soundscape that they create begins to rear its head, a trait not unfamiliar to those who have heard Everything Is Fire, but one that has changed in its delivery. New Zealand’s Ulcerate isn’t intent on trying to create the proverbial rip-your-face-off intensity that is so often attributed to such a crushing sound, and that may very well be what sets it apart from the scores of other death metal acts that focus on creating the most violent music possible while leaving behind nods at progression and atmosphere. It’s in the moments when Ulcerate slow things to a crawl and deliver a winding and dissonant rendition that bleeds atmosphere that shows a band who know that composition is the key to intensity rather than a mindset to go all-out on their instruments in whatever fashion they so choose. That’s what sets Ulcerate apart- an eye for the small things that make the bigger picture of what a well-thought out death metal album can be appear crystal clear.

It’s not necessarily a genre-overhauling performance in terms of innovation, no; in fact many can argue that what we have here is more of the same. Indeed, the premise of what Ulcerate is doing has changed little in their career, only appearing a bit more deliberate and drawn-out on The Destroyers Of All. The extended takes on each track doesn’t mean that the band is spreading concepts dangerously thin, but instead they are doing just the opposite: developing ideas more articulately and fully, leaving each song as a finished product that does what it needs to and doesn’t linger a second further (the only exception being the exit of the title track, which can be forgiven and seen as a way to wrap things up). The way tracks like “Beneath” build themselves up to a level where such unchained intensity can come crashing down, yet seem effortless and a natural progression of the track is a remarkable achievement, one that is a testament to the sheer songwriting power and diligence Ulcerate have in their compositions.

The Destroyers Of All is an album that wraps dissonant and non-conventional riffing patterns (like the Immolation-esque guitars on the opener “Burning Skies”) with the astounding drum performance that fuses technicality with functionality, often laying waste to the plodding guitar riffs with thundering double bass kicks and incredibly complex beats and fills while still retaining a sense of belonging within each individual song. It can be said that the guttural vocals lack variance and become tiresome over time, a complaint that is indeed valid with a vocal performance that is good but lacking the emotional power to propel it to the next level. As time progresses, some riffs do bring about a strange sense of deja vu, but with an album with no tracks under six minutes and one filled with songs that all fall along the same mood, it was almost to be expected.

Regardless, the Ulcerate we have here is continuing to evolve from a more fast-paced, intense past to a more deliberate, yet somehow heavier present while still retaining a fervent sound that is reminiscent of their back catalogue. Their songwriting ideas haven’t changed too much, they simply stretched themselves out to allow a fuller and more complete album to spawn from them. That said, their ideas have become more focused and their songwriting skills are incredibly cohesive, creating an album filled with similar ideas that somehow fails to bore the listener. Couple these skills with musicianship that is nothing short of impressive and what’s left are the makings for an album that can’t be considered anything less than a resounding success for a band that is beginning to make its mark on the world stage. Some may hunger for the unabated intensity of Everything Is Fire or Of Fracture And Failure, but the crushingly heavy atmospheres and undeniable cohesiveness of The Destroyers Of All may stay your craving permanently.



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user ratings (437)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Imperial (5)
It is the only logical and mature progression for the band....

Itwasthatwas (4.5)
Ulcerate follow up excellence with excellence, further developing the atmosphere and textures found ...

vanderb0b (4.5)
This might just be the defining release of one of the most atmospheric, and possibly even most intel...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Breathing the free air once again. Album rules.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

cvlts
January 24th 2011


8967 Comments


welcome back. awesome review once again, sounds like something i might like (never heard anything from these guys). would this be a good place to start?

BallsToTheWall
January 24th 2011


44644 Comments


Decibel Magazine would like to take the time out and applaud Ulcerate's audacity and tenacity to craft such a prehistoric yet tantalizingly modern record designed to stimulate the senses. 6/5, teh dark atmospheres bring me the chills.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

OutOfMyself
January 24th 2011


688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review, great album.

ShadowRemains
January 24th 2011


21077 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ah here we go, was waiting for this, great review

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


31374 Comments


So don't get banned again, yeah?

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys.

would this be a good place to start?

I don't see why not. Either this or EiF would be good places to begin.

Decibel Magazine would like to take the time out and applaud Ulcerate's audacity and tenacity to craft such a prehistoric yet tantalizingly modern record designed to stimulate the senses. 6/5, teh dark atmospheres bring me the chills.

As usual we here at Sputnik thank Decibel for their wonderfully down-to-earth opinions haha

So don't get banned again, yeah?

I don't plan on it, it sucks, so no worries there ;)

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 24th 2011


10614 Comments


Beautiful work Crysis, your review mirrors my thoughts near-exactly.


(Welcome back, btw!)

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Xeno, I know a handful of people were waiting for this to be posted (I've had it written for maybe a week now), so apologies for not getting it out earlier.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 24th 2011


5804 Comments


it's out tomorrow -- no rush



Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it was nice in a sense because I had an extra week to let the album sink in even more and make sure that the points I made weren't shallow or wrong.

Relinquished
January 24th 2011


25214 Comments


pretty cool how I got matching t-shirts of the band for the family. so metal m/

great review, though I personally don't care about the detracting parts of the album, I feel them but I don't mind them.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Matching dm tees for family and friends so awesome

Ire
January 24th 2011


41803 Comments


oh hey yr back awesome review too...

except you never left so w/e

HenchmanOfSanta
January 24th 2011


1882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Most fitting album title in years.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

rasputin
January 24th 2011


14550 Comments


got my preorder in the mail yesterday and have spun it once. album is good but i don't think it's of the same quality as everything is fire

vanderb0b
January 24th 2011


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review for an excellent album. Album isn't that big of a departure from EiF, it's just much more refined and atmospheric.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Rasputin- I think they're real close but I'm leaning more towards this. I've actually been more impressed with Of Fracture And Failure lately than anything.

Relinquished
January 24th 2011


25214 Comments


Fracture is cool, but some of the ideas to me sound scattered.

Wizard
January 24th 2011


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no; in fact many can argue that what we have here is more of the same. Indeed, the premise of what Ulcerate is doing has changed little in their career, only appearing a bit more deliberate and drawn-out on The Destroyers Of All.

This is why I love you. Great review and perfect for this album. More of the same but still awesome.

PS Glad to see you unbanned!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire



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