Ulthar
Anthronomicon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
February 16th, 2023 | 60 replies


Release Date: 02/17/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tome I: Book of Men (eight chapters)

Releasing two albums simultaneously is always a bold move for a band as it compels them to push their own creative boundaries. Theoretically, it can be a chance to make a big impact and leave a lasting impression on the music realm. American blackened death metallers Ulthar have decided to take on this challenge by unleashing siamese creatures, Anthronomicon and Helionomicon, that exhale eighty minutes of hybrid impetuosity. While the former has a more conventional eight-track structure, the latter features two twenty-minute sonic monoliths that allow for a different kind of journey. Nevertheless, as guitarist/vocalist Shelby Lermo mentioned recently - they both share the same cohesive vision - being aesthetically similar, musically but also visually, as their covers are equal halves of a single piece of art by Ian Miller, who also created the artwork for Cosmovore and Providence. It is therefore fair to say that although independent releases, Anthronomicon and Helionomicon share the same umbilical cord.

Anthronomicon
human, humanoid or human-like + suffix nomicon - knowledge on the topic (book of men)

Unlike Providence, where I noticed a slight shift in tone from its predecessor due to its darker approach, Anthronomicon feels like another piece of the puzzle. Ulthar's formula remains essentially unchanged as the band keeps flirting with black and death metal in their own peculiar way. The symbiosis between Steve Peacock's and Shelby Lermo's songwriting styles (with each contributing half of the songs to both albums), and the way they manage to put the riffing at center stage, remains the core through which everything gravitates. The intricate prog(ish) guitars on 'Saccades' and 'Larynx Plateau', or the tasty pinch harmonics at the end of 'Flesh Propulsion', are good examples of the band's inventive six-string department. Peacock's visceral vocals, which sound better than ever, are also an essential part of the trio's DNA and possibly its most distinctive gene, adding a unique personality to the songs while also providing a nice contrast to Shelby's deeper gutturals. This complementarity and the way it intimately connects with the rhythm section is Ulthar's greatest strength. Justin Ennis' drumming delivers much more than just solid foundations - it is an active part of the dynamics, seamlessly intertwining with the guitar frenzy in a synchronized dance. Mid and blast beat tempos roam freely down paths that rarely lead into doom territory. A lack of contrast offset by atmospheric synth outros in half the songs, which ensure some sort of pit stop despite their creative irrelevance. While I do understand their purpose, I sometimes feel these ambiances don't share a deep connection with the music, being merely contemplative appendages thrown into the end of the songs. A common practice within the genre, I'm afraid. Nevertheless, if we look at the basics, Anthronomicon presents no relevant shortcomings, either musically or technically, which is sure to appeal to both the death and black metal side of the fence.

If we take Anthronomicon as the gateway to Ulthar's double release, we couldn't hope for a better start. It’s an overwhelming display of the band's unique ability to master two styles under one coherent vision, and at the moment few do it as well as Ulthar. What remains to be seen now is whether its sibling, Helionomicon, shares the same narrative or whether its twenty-minute chapters bring anything new to the table. But that's another story…




Recent reviews by this author
Suffocation Hymns From the ApocryphaAfterbirth In But Not Of
Cannibal Corpse Chaos HorrificTomb Mold The Enduring Spirit
Dying Fetus Make Them Beg for DeathCryptopsy As Gomorrah Burns
user ratings (135)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As expected from its double format, this is the band's most ambitious work to date. I don't think you guys will be disappointed.



Anthronomicon

http://youtu.be/QWwsSchqrZ8



Helionomicon

http://youtu.be/8C0yZSGg3q4

trilo
February 16th 2023


6205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so pumped to jam

RogueNine
February 16th 2023


5529 Comments


"Book of Men"

Oh so Hawks would love this.

Azog
February 16th 2023


1070 Comments


Will have both of them tomorrow. Can't wait.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

🔥🔥🔥



Place them side by side if you want to see the big picture ;)

trilo
February 17th 2023


6205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

flesh propulsion goes innnn. great song title too

evilford
February 17th 2023


63886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Very excited for these

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


27941 Comments


Epic double feature!

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


18256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great, now I have two threads to keep an eye on.

deathofasalesman
February 17th 2023


8634 Comments


first track in and this is already straight fire

awesome review gonna read the next one lol

twlight
February 17th 2023


8673 Comments


on the first part here, but this is really what i want to hear from a nice mix of Black, Death and Crust punk...so fuckin good

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


32013 Comments


DOUBLE TROUBLE

And double feature, nice.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


18256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Increased odds for a triple or quad when the year end's feature recaps come around. I like it.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys



"Epic double feature!"

It's nice to see them side by side up there, it shouldn't happen too often hahah

egads
February 17th 2023


150 Comments


hey motherfucker just want to say we have an unwritten rule here about posting multiple reviews in one day you should delete one of these before i ban you

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2023


18256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol

combustion07
February 17th 2023


12822 Comments


The guitar at the beginning of Fractional Fortresses is so damn nice. Oh la la

evilford
February 17th 2023


63886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lmao egads

evilford
February 17th 2023


63886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah this is tasty

Azog
February 17th 2023


1070 Comments


Damn, this is good. Fucking awesome riff fest.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy