Ulcer: Grant us Death

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    Grant us Death from Polish death metallers Ulcer is a release which does not really ignite any fires of passion for its admittedly accomplished and impressively crafted musical animosity but it is still a release you can happily and want to come back to time and time again. Enriched in the depths of old school Swedish death metal, the album is a nasty violent cacophony of exhausting and malicious intensity engineered through raptorial riffs and blood thirsty rhythms for a more than pleasing confrontation.

Formed in 2006 by guitarist Lucass as initially a solo project for himself, the band soon grew with the addition of vocalist D.ssipline, guitarist Mścisław, and bassist Kuba. Two demos A Property of God? in 2006 and Slitwrist Society the following year were recorded though never released, each just spread amongst fans. As Kuba left the band second vocalist Angelfuck joined up and debut album Serpent Trinity was recorded in the summer of 2007, though again it was not released, just passed around like the previous  demos. A period of quiet and ‘inactivity’ followed before the band re-emerged in 2011 with drummer Vizun and bassist Kamil added to the ranks.  With a change in musical direction and new material primed to be unleashed, the band which features present and past members from Deivos, Blaze Of Perdition, Squash Bowels, and Azarath, signed with Pulverised Records, Grant Us Death their first voracious full assault upon the world.

The title track emerges from a melodic invitation within a foreboding ambience which gives no real essence of the decayed inferno Grant Us Death Coverto come. It is a ravenous assault with caustic vocals complimented by group shouts bristling upon uncompromising rhythms and a gnarly intent and sound from bass and intimidating guitar riffs. It does not exactly trigger mass euphoria but the track leaves one bursting with eagerness to delve deeper in to the album whilst basking in the already impressive corrosive malevolence on offer.

The strong start is elevated by the following Devilspeed, the start of a trend as the following Bloodpainted Salvation and The Love Song each take the album to ascending plateaus. The first of the trio is an adrenaline charged surge of rampant riffs and demanding rhythms crossed with malice soaked vocal squalls. Like the majority of the album the intensity created by guitars and bass saw across and ravage the ear with little relief or mercy but still leave one enthralled and eager for more of their violating presence. Bloodpainted Salvation pins the listener to the floor by the ear and savages the senses with further annihilatory intent and skilfully sculpted violence whilst the last of the trio is an inspiring furnace of rabid intensity and predatory synapse bruising sonic barbarity infused with a magnetic melodic teasing which takes the track impressively away from the pack.

From here as good as the likes of Godcremation, Devialize, and My Lord Has Horns are, the album fails to find the same heights again but nevertheless leaves a full satisfaction for the senses to devour with the inventive and accomplished sounds displayed to ensure the release is a formidable and appetising proposition again and again.

The closing track When Horror Comes brings a different flavour to the album and does give the album a heightened departure. Its mix of blackened death metal and almost gothic metal like vocal mesmerism captivates the imagination from start to finish, the constant harshly grizzled riffs and energy stretched and embellished with potent shadows and rich sonic flames to leave intrigue and a sustained appetite to follow the creative exploits of the band as they evolve further.

With an exclusive macabre painting by Bartek Kurzok (Abigail, Demonic Slaughter, Goat Tyrant) for its artwork, Grant Us Death is an album deserving of attention and a release fans of bands such as  Entombed, Nihilist, and Autopsy will find plenty of maybe not original but well-crafted and passionate sounds within.

www.facebook.com/Ulcerdeathmetal

7/10

RingMaster 21/02/2013

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Masachist: Scorned

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It is impossible not to be impressed and driven by enthusiasm in recommending all to check out the second album from Polish death metallers Masachist. Wearing its influences like proud badges, Scorned is a thrilling vigorous ride of corruptive spite and destructive passion driven through the senses with rabid intensity and skilled violation. The band pulled strong acclaim upon themselves with their outstanding debut album Death March Fury three years ago and has repeated the act with what one assumes will be similar if not further elevated rewards in its wake too.

Formed by ex-Azarath and ex-Yattering guitarist Thrufel, the band slowly took shape as the search for like-minded members for the musician proved less than simple. 2007 though saw a turning point for the project with the addition of drummer Daray (Dimmu Borgir, ex-Vader, Vesania), the pair soon writing two tracks for a promo. Bassist Heinrich (Vesania, ex-Decapitated, ex-UnSun) and guitarist Aro (Shadows Land, Torquemada) were the next additions to the line-up with finally vocalist Pig (Anal Stench, ex-Decapitated) bringing his corrosive and malice dripping tones to the band to complete the compliment before the band surged into making their debut album. Between the two releases Masachist also chose to play three exclusive gigs, two of which were as the support to French band Gojira, and at the beginning of 2012 they were part of Covan Wake the Fuck Up.

Released through Selfmadegod Records digitally and Godz of War Productions physically, Scorned smothers the ears with thick 260469_275856522514837_1225489317_nexhaustive intensity and thunderous rhythms wrapped in atmospheric blackened breath and incisive fiery riffs through opener Drilling The Nerve, a title apt for the effect of the album let alone the song. It is a slowly squeezing expansive weight rather than an outright onslaught with the vocals of Pig scarring flesh with his bile seeping delivery and the compelling bass of Heinrich an ebbing and flowing predator darkening the already oppressive shadows. It is an excellent start which evokes thoughts and emotions whilst one is buckling slightly under the ominous voice of the track. With sizzling guitar play within ever shifting energies and pace let alone intent, it is an immense proposition to start things off but only the beginning of the corrosion.

The following unpredictable and ravenous The Process Of Elimination and its successor Straight And Narrow Path both turn up the sonic heat with accelerated energy and all their muscles focused on thrashing the senses. Throughout though the music twists and turns within the ear and often in on itself, to offer a magnetic and compelling unpredictable dance of brutality. The second of the pair especially is a constantly moving creature, its shifting personality whilst staying within its sinewy frame and directive, a fire of caustic breath veined by a delicious tight groove. The wrong footing break midway is an extra treat of misdirection ensuring you return to the song again and again to fully absorb it and the surrounding infectious abrasion whilst discovering its malevolent intent.

Though some tracks do not quite live up to the high quality of others, the likes of the insatiable and insidious Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.) and the sonic tsunami Opposing Normality less gripping compared to those mentioned before and others like Higher Authority, they are for the main contagious brutes of accomplished and pleasing power and invention, and all standing heads above many other offerings from other genre bands this year. This combines for an album which just fires up the passions from start to finish, a release which feels like a living ever shifting beast with each caustic endeavour and returning engagement.

The album concludes with firstly the two part Liberation, its first part a sonic predator you cower from whilst beckoning it in further and the second an evocative and distorted blister of sound, and finally the only track which failed to impress, Inner Void. It is a track with a wealth of outstanding features, ideas, and sounds but it does not connect like any of the others with emotions and thoughts. It is a song though which needs time and multiple returns to delve within its heart and one which does emerge with more persuasive results over time.

In a year where there have been many impressive death metal releases there has not been as many which inspire and provoke the depth of pleasure and reactions as Scorned, so all we can suggest is that you too let Masachist loose on your minds and souls.

https://www.facebook.com/MASACHIST

RingMaster 17/12/2012

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