Ulcerate
Everything Is Fire


5.0
classic

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
February 28th, 2014 | 136 replies | 2,955 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opaque perfection

A deathly silence befalls an idyllic utopia, the populace leering at the menacing, discoloured sky, all feelings of serenity erased, supplanted by a morbid fear of the unknown. Ears tweak, sounds otherwise unheard become deafening, sinister and frightening. The sky is a blood red hue, a distant drone of thunder slowly becomes ever more ominous, the fabric of space and time itself almost appearing to contort at will. The sound of thunder, twisting architecture and seven billion fated souls coalesce as the sky disassembles, revealing a swirling maelstrom that leads only to a perpetual abyss. This isn’t a mere natural disaster, nor the rise of Hell – this is something much more final. Ulcerate’s sophomore album manages to conjure images that few albums of any kind can; it is a soundtrack to the end of the world as we know it.

From the instrumental amalgamation of the opening sequence in “Drown Within”, the cacophonous and yet strangely harmonious bedlam that permeates “Withered and Obsolete”, to the gargantuan climax of the title track, Everything is Fire is one of the most remorseless listens you will ever experience. Uncanny technicality coupled with a complete absence of ostentation lays the foundation of the musical insanity. The interplay found within the polytonal guitar work produces a shape shifting aural environment, striking the perfect balance between uncompromising brutality and atmospheric purgatory. Jamie Saint-Merat’s drumming is not only stellar in terms of speed and dexterity, but superlative in technique, his elegant cymbal work somehow merging with the musical chaos that encompasses it. The brief hushes scattered throughout Everything is Fire serve as both release mechanisms and atmospheric building blocks, as if they’re the eyes of the most hellish storms that have ever raged. This forms a perfectly congruent and unbroken journey throughout the end of all things, with the musical intensity subsiding only when absolutely necessary.

Everything is Fire virtually epitomises “density” in a musical context, compositions are intricate, the instrumentation unyielding, and the sound engineering is profuse and exceptionally loud. As such, it is incredibly easy to mistake its almost impenetrable sound for incomprehensibility. Listeners will not be able to absorb the intricacies within one, two, three, five, perhaps even ten listens, because it’s in the detail where Everything is Fire truly shines. It’s a little bit of a shame that perhaps the album’s ostensible disorder may be considered a hindrance, due to its minutiae being lost on uncommitted ears. Seemingly disconnected chords reveal their worth over entire arrangements as opposed to between verses, and sparse feedback tones and ringing guitars reiterate that – even in light of the virtuosity of the musicians – you’re experiencing a very human body of work. The album succeeds not just through instrumental and compositional mayhem, but its eerie communicability. Beneath the hellish aesthetic is a repertoire of emotion and sentiment, touching upon the deepest regions of the human condition, perhaps regions that the listener would prefer unexplored but are ultimately better off for having done so.

Everything is Fire is an anomaly in the world of metal, intangibly expressive and introspective, through seemingly nothing more than pure violence and trepidation. As a technical achievement, it is in the company of some of the finest works in death metal, yet it is so much more than that. Everything is Fire has the ability to summon some of humanity’s most sullen and final reflections, but it leaves it up the listener to determine whatever they may be. A modern classic, and a genuine expansion upon death metal’s artistic scope, Everything is Fire is not only among the finest albums to grace the genre in the twenty-first century, but one of the finest of all time.



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user ratings (408)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ian W. (4.5)
Ulcerate has managed to craft a truly superb album combining atmosphere and brutal death metal...

Jordan F. (4)
Ulcerate takes a huge step up and crafts a crushingly dense and atmospheric album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

What do you mean by "fanboy"?

Anyways, wanted my 40th review to be something special, and I wanted to give this album the review it deserves.

Digging: Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye

climactic
February 28th 2014



17199 Comments


metal livez

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2014



15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Intro sounds like something I would have written in 2007 but yeah good review otherwise.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, perfectly aware my intro could come across as fluttery bullshit but oh well. Thanks anyways :D

Rowan5215
February 28th 2014



19962 Comments


You should make that first paragraph into a short story
Amazing review though

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers Rowan, but a story would be unnecessary when this album exists.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2014



17333 Comments


nah bro that first paragraph rocks

it honestly would be better though if the last sentence was just

"This is the end, Everything is Fire."

Digging: Monolake - Interstate

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2014



15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

intro paragraph starring tom cruise

ShadowRemains
February 28th 2014



19428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

WEEEEE

AAAARRRREEEE

NNNNIIIILLLLL

Rowan5215
February 28th 2014



19962 Comments


This summer
Tom Cruise as Jacquibim
Russell Crowe as BigPleb
Clint Eastwood as KILL

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Hype, I think this was my first proper attempt at a... would "conceptual" introduction be the right term?

Glad you liked it.

Funeralopolis
February 28th 2014



10435 Comments


Intro is really over dramatic yea but I know you love this album a lot so I'll let it pass this time!

Digging: CunninLynguists - Oneirology

Gwyn.
February 28th 2014



13970 Comments


gd rev, album's gd

fromtheinside
February 28th 2014



16359 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

if i had to choose between a jacket and an insecurity i'd choose the jacket; and i'm sure i speak for every one

Digging: Bast - Spectres

Funeralopolis
February 28th 2014



10435 Comments


Just read review, pretty good. Convinced me to give it a listen.

"Listeners will not be able to absorb the intricacies within one, two, three, five, perhaps even ten listens"

No way is this a bad thing! If anything that makes it an even better album.

CaptainDooRight
February 28th 2014



26360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review!

small fix:

'this something much more final'

*is

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@funeral, i know right?

@Cap, thanks, didn't notice that.

fromtheinside
February 28th 2014



16359 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cum jaq

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cum where?

pedro70512
February 28th 2014



1851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wielding the Contrib hammer with some authority here! Album is already classic.



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