Saturday, 6 June 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Ulthar, "Providence"

By: Zak McCune

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/06/2020
Label: 20 Buck Spin

“Providence” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Churn (2:09)
2. Undying Spear (5:22)
3. Providence (4:42)
4. Through Downward Dynasties (5:24)
5. Cudgel (5:09)
6. Funace Hibernation (4:12)
7. Narcissus Drowning (5:04)
8. Humanoid Knot (4:34)

The Review:

It has been two years since the angular death metal trio Ulthar released their debut album, Cosmovore, which enveloped listeners in the maw of cosmic insanity by shredding traditional elements of black metal, death, and doom only to sow more chaos, track-by-track, with their own brand of thudding d-beat and wretched progressive vistas of an - to use their own words Infinite Cold Distance”.

With Ulthar’s sophomore release, Providence, the same cosmovoric annihilation is supplied, but something is different. It is tighter, angrier, and exhibited with less astonishment and more fury. At onset, Shelby Lermo’s (Extremity, Vastum) riffs continually lurch towards the conventional yet suddenly shift into aggressively cool prog-oriented scales only to be viciously broadsided by Justin Ennis’ (Vale, Void Omnia) massive wall of thudding drums, and the tracks’ momentum pivots into something even more crushing and bizarre than what came before. It is bewildering and exciting to hear this sort of controlled experimentation and Ulthar’s frenetic curiosity of ‘can we make this as disorienting as possible without just pummeling the audience with volume or blast beats?”

With each aggressive track on “Providence”, rhythms are constantly locking into and, then, unpredictably dislodging themselves from the previous, while Lermo’s and bassist, Steve Peacock’s (Pale Chalice, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis), horrific shrieks spill out over top. Ulthar delves into weird genre places that either no other band can or is smart enough to even try. Very early on with “Providence”, we can tell that Uthar has shifted their gaze for this record. Away from the greater unfeeling coldness of absurd and voidic space, they’ve returned. Plummeted back to the surface of a hellish planet. “Providence” digs deep into a wellspring of chronic human perception wherein nothing is sacred and all is permitted, twisting meaning and nature and purpose into abject nonsense while mutated unfitting pieces of this organic maelstrom whiz by and deafen all trapped inside of it.

You can pick up these 8-tracks of agonizing shred by Ulthar from 20 Buck Spin, as well as streaming “Providence” on all digital platforms.

Band info: facebook