And now dear visitor, steel yourself for hammering assault that is ULCERATE. New Zealand death metal adventurers' fourth album, ‘Vermis’, will be officially out everywhere by September 16th, 2013, except in North America where it is due a day latter “following weeks of pre-release commendations from journalists' wide-eyed and fearfully enthralled reactions to this band's relentlessly punishing shock-and-awe performance”, as their new label, Relapse Records, gleefully puts it. MetalSucks, where the stream is hosted (here) calls the ‘Vermis’ “goddamn filthy” and its makers “more brutal than a herd of rhinos gang-raping a poodle”. The “unforgiving, unrelenting and unapologetic fifty-five minute barrage of dissonant, suffocating, cutting edge death metal at its finest” was recorded at MCA Studios in Auckland, New Zealand under the watchful eye and meticulous ear of drummer and ULCERATE co-founder Jamie Saint Merat. If you happen to survive the onslaught, ‘Vermis’ awaits your order here (Relapse store), on iTunes and at Amazon's/Amazon MP3.
Formed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2000 by guitarist Michael Hoggard and drummer Jamie Saint Merat with an aim of creating dark, oppressive death metal, ULCERATE fist tested the waters with a couple of demos, ‘Demo 2003’ and ‘The Coming Of Genocide’, recorded between 2002 and 2004:
Raising enough eyebrows, including those of Dutch label Neurotic Records, they then proceeded to work on their debut studio album, 2007's ‘Of Fracture And Failure’, which reportedly offered nine tracks of “crushing dark death metal, a new-found appreciation for linear song-writing and a mix of pure rhythmic and dissonant extremity”. Following the release, ULCERATE had toured New Zealand extensively and apparently lost vocalist Ben Read and guitarist Michael Rothwell somewhere along the way. Consequently, the band's bassist Paul Kelland stepped up for vocal and lyrical duties and Oliver Goater was recruited as live guitarist. Their second longplayer, 2009's ‘Everything Is Fire’, was depicted as “a seriously impressive album”:
“Their music combines the brutal, downtuned riffing of traditional death metal (think IMMOLATION or MORBID ANGEL) with the dissonance and shifting time signatures of GORGUTS and the slow, atmospheric passages reminiscent of ISIS. Their use of repetition seems to owe as much to SHELLAC as to SUFFOCATION, and their ability to move the music forward at what seems like a crushingly slow pace while in fact playing quite fast is hypnotic,” [wrote Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here:]
In 2011, ULCERATE delivered ‘The Destroyers Of All’, their their second album issued through Willowtip Records. A challenging listen, the effort was once again received exceptionally well by critics, with Phil Freeman, AllMusic, recommending it to “fans of progressive, forward-looking metal” (more here):
ULCERATE features: Paul Kelland – vocals, and bass, Michael Hoggard – guitar and Jamie Saint Merat – drums