REVIEW: ULCERATE – “Shrines Of Paralysis”
There are certain bands that can really build an atmosphere and create a unique auditory world to get lost in, and Ulcerate is one of my favorites. You are thrown into the chaotic abyss of colossal guitars and mind bending drums; where you’re left to fall forever, further and further into the darkness. ‘Shrines of Paralysis’ is truly an anthem to madness. The back and forth, from chaos to order, then back into chaos, is absolutely intoxicating. This is one of those albums you leave on all night and enjoy the roller coaster of emotions elicited from the technical prowess on display. Ulcerate does technicality in a much different way than what you’d expect from a “technical death metal band”. I really love bands that are so unique; trying to even to compare them to another band doesn’t do them justice. They bring a new dynamic to the metal world that is truly refreshing. Now on their 5th studio full length, ‘Shrines of Paralysis’ picks up right where ‘Vermis’ left off.
‘Shrines of Paralysis’ starts off with a groove laden track “Abrogation”. A twisting track full of complex twisting drum patterns that warp the already bizarre riffs into whirlwind of chaos. I really love the hectic and drastic tempo changes in the track; they set the band apart from the majority of your more straight-forward tech-death style bands. One second you’re getting your ear blasted off the next is pure doom. “There Are No Saviours” is another great example of the back and forth they do so well from blast to chill. The chaotic effect of discordant guitars over these massive, incredibly dynamic drums creates a massive auditory presence. Each track is around eight minutes long, with “Shrines of Paralysis” clocking in at 9;26, and in that time they find a way to go from soft intro, building into a huge crescendo before falling softly into a diminuendo that leaves you panting and begging for more, multiple fucking times.
“Chasm of Fire” is another great example of the slow build up into a crescendo that Ulcerate does so well. The track takes almost a full two minutes to build into a thunderous roar and from then on they’re full throttle, blasts everywhere in all the right places, guitars screaming from the pits of hell. Here’s my one qualm however, it can be very easy to get lost in the super long tracks and they can become hard to distinguish from one another. While the riffs were massive and moving, they weren’t immediately identifiable like most listeners are so accustomed to. Ulcerate is more of the band that you throw on the entire album and let it play start to finish rather than pick out individual tracks. It flows so seamlessly that I feel like it was done intentionally. So while it’s certainly not a bad thing, it’s definitely different and needs to be noted.
The bottom line here is that there is a lot to process. Ulcerate pulls no punches what so ever and ‘Shrines of Paralysis’ is an absolute monster of a record. From start to finish you’re pushed and pulled through the chaotic, swirling madness. This is definitely a record to be listened to in its entirety rather than just cherry picking tracks out because of how well they flow from one track to the next. The atmosphere this band creates is absolutely intoxicating, with a very sinister beauty to it that will leave you begging for more.