Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

· by Laurent Bellemare

At the time of Everything is Fire (2009), New Zealand band Ulcerate had just started a small revolution in the world of extreme metal. This album demonstrated that the uncompromising brutality of the most velocity-driven death metal could also be accompanied by an atmosphere of despair. With its new opus, Ulcerate has lost none of its abrasive universe, although there has been a clear evolution towards more accessible tracks.

On Cutting the Throat of God, we are indeed dealing with a form of controlled chaos. Melodic flights of fancy tend to stretch and resolve, rather than cutting abruptly to a flood of dissonance, as was previously customary. Tracks such as ‘The Dawn is Hollow’ and ‘Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds’ conclude on a climactic rise where variations of the same riff overlap maximalistically.

Beneath these layered guitars, we hear a double-pedal mat on which the hands play a backbeat straight up. For Ulcerate, this is a major change. Drummer Jamie Saint Merat’s now-legendary playing is renowned for its propensity to dodge beats and thwart expectations. In fact, this percussive work has tended to drown out rather than reinforce the perception of tempo. On this new album, Saint Merat doses his abstract drumming and makes cheerful use of more seated rhythms.

Overall, Ulcerate are to be applauded for preserving their highly discordant aesthetic while making their music more digestible. This seems a necessary path for a band already on its seventh album. On the other hand, the album’s composition is less than ambitious.

In particular, the vocal performance is rather monotonous, whereas the album Shrines of Paralysis (2016) heralded new experiments in this direction. Also, the album vaguely gives the impression of repeating the formula explored on its predecessor Stare into Death and Be Still (2020). 

In time, some will have nothing but praise for this more memorable version of Ulcerate’s language. In form, the pieces are far less labyrinthine. There’s a new acceptance of melody, repetition and squarer rhythm. Cutting the Throat of God is indeed an excellent album for discovering and rediscovering the band. On the other hand, the abandonment of the enigmatic and impenetrable aspect of Ulcerate’s music will undoubtedly be experienced as a loss by a fragment of the audience. 

Latest 360 Content

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Queen Omega, From the Top of Her Throne

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Queen Omega, From the Top of Her Throne

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique – Luiz Salgado and his “caipira” guitar

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique – Luiz Salgado and his “caipira” guitar

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Bombino: human warmth with the beat of the desert

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Bombino: human warmth with the beat of the desert

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 – Def Mama Def, Two Sisters in Art  

PAN M 360 at Nuits d’Afrique 2024 – Def Mama Def, Two Sisters in Art  

PANM360 at Nuits d’Afrique | Alberto Salgado Turns Balattou Into a Percussive Laboratory

PANM360 at Nuits d’Afrique | Alberto Salgado Turns Balattou Into a Percussive Laboratory

Domaine Forget 2024 | Cape Verdean breezes in Charlevoix with Lucibela

Domaine Forget 2024 | Cape Verdean breezes in Charlevoix with Lucibela

Nuits d’Afrique 2024 – Kirá Was On Fire At Balattou

Nuits d’Afrique 2024 – Kirá Was On Fire At Balattou

Lyric Opera of Kansas City/Gerard Schwarz – Paul Moravec : The Shining

Lyric Opera of Kansas City/Gerard Schwarz – Paul Moravec : The Shining

James Ehnes/St.Louis Symphony Orchestra/Stéphane Denève – Bernstein : Serenade / Williams : Violin Concerto no 1

James Ehnes/St.Louis Symphony Orchestra/Stéphane Denève – Bernstein : Serenade / Williams : Violin Concerto no 1

Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | ALBERTO SALGADO: Embracing Brazilian Traditions and Modernity 

Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | ALBERTO SALGADO: Embracing Brazilian Traditions and Modernity 

Truck Violence Burns It Down and Starts Again

Truck Violence Burns It Down and Starts Again

Karma Glider, The Wesleys, and Sun Entire Bring the Sunshine at Quai Des Brumes

Karma Glider, The Wesleys, and Sun Entire Bring the Sunshine at Quai Des Brumes

PAN M 360 aux Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Plus qu’un “fils de”… voici Kirá!

PAN M 360 aux Nuits d’Afrique 2024 | Plus qu’un “fils de”… voici Kirá!

PAN M 360 At FIJM I The Cinematic Orchestra’s mystifying, live movie world

PAN M 360 At FIJM I The Cinematic Orchestra’s mystifying, live movie world

The Gilsons have won the hearts of Montrealers

The Gilsons have won the hearts of Montrealers

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | George Coleman at Upstairs, the bet of an almost nonagenarian

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | George Coleman at Upstairs, the bet of an almost nonagenarian

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Makaya McCraven Becomes Headliner

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Makaya McCraven Becomes Headliner

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Fred Hersch, one of the most beloved jazz pianists of our time

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Fred Hersch, one of the most beloved jazz pianists of our time

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Erick the Architect, A Guided Tour of Brooklyn

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Erick the Architect, A Guided Tour of Brooklyn

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Tevet Sela – Sweet Tears

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Tevet Sela – Sweet Tears

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Fred Hersch – Silent, Listening

PAN M 360 AT FIJM 2024 | Fred Hersch – Silent, Listening

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Dominique Poirier, to be followed closely

PAN M 360 at FIJM 2024 | Dominique Poirier, to be followed closely

PAN M 360 AT FIJM | Ana Moura, The Queen of Fado

PAN M 360 AT FIJM | Ana Moura, The Queen of Fado

PAN M 360 At FIJM I Killer Mike Brings His Gospel

PAN M 360 At FIJM I Killer Mike Brings His Gospel

Subscribe to our newsletter