ReviewUlcerate is an unusual band from an unusual place. That unusual place is New Zealand, and for me they are the first band from that spot on the map. Their neighbors in Australia tend to be weird too, so I guess it's not surprising that they have a weird sound, but that's going to take some explaining.
But shockingly, it works, especially in the slower parts. "Beneath" seems to be the highlight, being the heaviest and slowest track on the album, but opener "Burning Skies" and the closing title track also have a great deal to offer. There are times when the dissonance gets out of hand, though. My problem with Deathspell Omega's Paracletus was that it had too much dissonance, without anything to ground it, and here it starts to push that line on "Cold Becoming" and "The Hollow Idols". The songwriting might not be the problem, because if the heavier parts were louder in the mix that may have solved the problem. And most of the time, this is satisfyingly, dangerously, challengingly good music.
The Verdict: Is post-death metal the next thing, or is Ulcerate going to remain an oddity? Either way, it's unique for the time being, and worthwhile. It's a grower, too, so even though I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars now, I wouldn't be surprised if I think more highly of it by the end of the year.