Thomas Jacob Jr.
Ulcerate - Shrines of Paralysis
Technical Death Metal / Atmospheric Sludge Metal
One of the common refrains I hear from friends and colleagues in regards to the more extreme music I listen to routinely goes: “Why do they have to scream?” or “How can you listen to that screaming stuff?”. For many years I was of the same mind, but lately as my horizons expand into more experimental and difficult styles of music, I have begun opening up to the whole concept of growls, shrieks and croaks in extreme metal. I think the main issue most people have is the expectation of clean, melodic vocals. Growling isn’t necessarily meant to replace or emulate clean vocals — in fact their purpose in the arrangement of a song is usually more closely related to the rhythm section, the bass and the drums. There are many ways to incorporate screams into heavy music, and as with anything there are groups that do it better than others. All of which is just a long way to say that Ulcerate, with their unique blend of technical death metal and sludgy riff metal, are among the premiere acts in extreme metal who understand how to incorporate these heavy elements into something fresh and exciting. Shrines of Paralysis is a dark ride unlike anything else released this year, but the variety in riffs, grooves, and pummeling death metal constantly keeps things shifting and interesting.