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Alan Averill

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Ulsect | ‘Ulsect’

It would be a crime against music not to recommend certain albums, and loudly.

This has been out since May, and ashamedly I’ve put off reviewing it for a sheer lack of superlatives since that point.

Capturing this – trying to, rather – feels pointless.

The best one can really do in the face of such powerful, air-sucking power is to just say get it – then close the door, sit, stare, and allow yourself to be absolutely overcome by its tumble of molten scree.

Granted that is probably not so helpful a musical description. But that’s because describing it feels a little redundant in the face of simply listening to it and being taken inside the singularity.

Colossal Force

The guys in Ulsect come from Textures and Dodecahedron, who were and are both fantastic bands.

They are not two bands you’d lump together though, other than where they’re from. Yet that’s what’s happened here.

It does not sound at all like what you’d expect from a fusion of the two bands.

There is none of Textures’ gilded melody.

And at the same time, for their part, Dodecahedron’s somewhat forebidding approach is somehow mellowed in their contribution here. The band members thus meet in some altogether other place.

And where is that exactly? The colossal force of this music suggests Mercury, Venus, the asteroid belt, or some other dimension where the solar system’s most violent collisions and eruptions sound. The pounding delivered by this fantastically heavy album makes the surface of the moon look like it has been merely pockmarked.

To break it down into individual tracks seems invidious. I know that takes credit away from the sublime creative effort that has so obviously gone into it, but it’s a backhanded compliment: it is not to be enjoyed in simple songs.

It is to be enjoyed as an extended tumult with periodic excesses of bombardment and ascension. One is simply a speck stranded on its escarpments and faces, powerless against its fearsome weathers.

Its accelerations and reversals beggar gravity.

Crushing Momentum

You seriously want to hear this thing. I haven’t been so smitten since Dodheimsgard’s ‘Ad Umbra Omega’.

Twenty years on, it recalls the spirit of Emperor’s ‘Anthems’, albeit without the stirring lyricism: the sheer daring in making extreme metal actually command such force and power is like some sort of magic, and that’s just on record – before experiencing this live. (One might simply expire.)

Of course it sounds nothing like it. I mean that what has been achieved here is a harnessing of musical momentum whose energy is absolutely unstoppable. In ‘Anthems’ case that energy went nightward; in this case it comes down from the heavens like the sky itself falling in.

So there we go. Make of that what you will. For my money this is a modern classic in the making, embarrassed by a simple accolade like ‘the best of 2017’, and deserving of a place in the home of any underground enthusiast.

To just extend the Emperial metaphor an instant, the only thing I can do is quote them in what I feel is the best possible upsum of this remarkable band:

“No measurement can prove their weight.”

5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 11/07/17

  1. No good then Ted

  2. loada balls

  3. truly amazing record. very addictive too. My personal favourite this year.

  4. Eoin McLove Says:

    The music sounds potentially interesting but the atmosphere is undermined by the death core vocals.

  5. Panopticon Says:

    My sentiments exactly. Review piqued my interest so gave a listen. Music sounding interesting but when the vocals came in I knocked it off.

  6. Earl Grey Says:

    Give it a few more spins lads. I dont find the vocals off putting at all – in fact I find them impressively back in the mix, not forward at all – to me they’re much more of another instrument or sound in the palette, certainly not some ‘bro. Keep at it, its so rewarding.

  7. Tis almost like a hardcore version of Ulcerate in places. I like it.

  8. My favourite record of the year so far. The vocal style wasn’t what I expected but not in a bad way. As a whole, I found it a fresh new take on modern DM.

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