Ulcerate are perhaps the greatest metal band to ever come out of New Zealand. Admittedly that isn't really saying a lot, but the point remains that Ulcerate fucking rip. Few bands have the sheer testicles to be this loud, oppressive and punishing. They are a band who leave you in awe after every crushing riff and whose devastating growls are nothing short of apocalyptic. When you listen to their latest offering Shrines Of Paralysis you feel your world coming apart at the seams. This is the next step in sonic obliteration.
While the bands 2013 offering, Vermis was certainly a masterwork I feel like this record takes their sound to a more intricate level. Rather than simply bludgeoning there is a strange sense of poetry behind what the band has to offer on Shrines of Paralysis. The melodies are taken to a new level and the overall delivery of the production is top notch. It shows us that Ulcerate are a band who have no limitations, who can take their trademark sound and add layers of magic to it that leave you choked out and trying to come back to life. This is a band who are not afraid to make you suffer, in fact I think they kind of enjoy it.
When this record comes to its crashing conclusion, with the fittingly titled End The Hope you find yourself trying to reflect on something that is clearly greater than any one of us. Shrines Of Paralysis is a record that leaves you with a sense of completion, that takes you up, crushes your face in, and then lays you back down, surprisingly gently. Ulcerate have gone above and beyond with this latest release and at this point I'm honestly unsure how anyone into extreme metal can't love them. In fact - it seems like they might have found the end point.
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