Review 2294 : Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God – English

Ulcerate is ready to haunt us again.

Since 2002, the name of this New Zealand band has been associated with music as complex as it is tortured. In 2024, Michael Hoggard (guitar), Jamie Saint Merat (drums, Verberis) and Paul Kelland (bass/vocals, The Temple) unveiled their seventh album, Cutting the Throat of God, on Debemur Morti Productions.

I was surprised to find that To Flow Through Ashen Hearts starts off relatively calmly, and that despite the obvious saturation lurking around the corner, its first notes are very gentle, very melodic. But then of course, fury and complexity disrupt the musicians’ delicate blend, plunging us with them into utter chaos as we navigate the imbroglio that is The Dawn Is Hollow and its oppressive dissonance. The band likes to throw in a few calmer parts to surprise us, but violence is the mother of all their vices, and it doesn’t fail to nail us to the ground, before finally letting us breathe with Further Opening the Wounds and its hazy approach that turns into a real heady inferno. Once again, there’s an intriguing dimension, particularly in the quiet moments such as Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds, which gets off to a slow start, leaving the drums to ignite the rhythm with powerful accelerations, which they eventually adopt as a matter of course. Terror seizes us without warning on To See Death Just Once, where the musicians move effortlessly towards anguishing notes, integrating icy impressive Black Metal touches into their protean haunting mix, which eventually fades out to make way for Undying as an Apparition to capture our spirit in its turn. The guitars take hold of us without delay, leaving the rhythm section to trample us underfoot while the melodies float through the air, taking advantage of the central break to let us contemplate their beauty before charging again until Cutting the Throat of God, where we take the full brunt of the jerky unpredictable riffs that weave fascinating melodies while the vocalist screams his heart out before letting the instrumental live out its final moments.

At a time when dissonance is relatively in vogue, Ulcerate are back to assert their position as scene leaders. Cutting the Throat of God is a veritable epic of musical darkness and complexity.


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