Ulsect - Ulsect
Season Of Mist
Avantgarde Death
8 songs (42' 38")
Release year: 2017
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Andy

Self-titled and featuring members from Dodecahedron and Textures, Ulsect's first full-length reveals an echoing, impersonal sound, an indoor wrecking yard with tormented growls punctuated by clanging leads and riffs that are crushing enough to do justice to a Conan album. Unlike the brute savagery found in that band, however, the vibe is definitely a mechanized one. Ulsect is billed as technical death metal, but you won't find a lot of rake picking or fret wankery in this one -- virtually all the band's effort is spent on creating a harsh, dissonant atmosphere.

The sense of oppression never lets up; there are no soft portions, though there are a few quiet passages as one goes through the album. That, too, serves only to intensify the blasting you get 80% of the time; each pause in the assault merely increases the sense of brooding menace before the next chord drops on the ears with an even more final thud than the last one. But it's not all pure noise; the riffs of Our Trivial Toil bring some order to the chaos, running through nauseous arpeggios as the relentless beat drags its gloomy way through more sections of the factory the tracks seem to emanate from. Despite the mechanized quality of the music, Ulsect doesn't use the rhythmic beats of industrial or techno, but instead assaults the listener with chaotic beats pulled in from the band's death metal background. The drumming represents the band's approach: Partially buried in the mix under all the echoing bass and guitar (not to mention a good deal of windy industrial feedback), it's nonetheless complex and worthy of admiration on its own.

Dennis Maas's vocals are as dark and forbidding as the rest of the music, and are just as rough an instrument; snarling and indistinct, they echo as much as the guitars. The guitars themselves form a kind of percussion instrument much of the time, playing the unconventional rhythms alongside the drums, but they do gain melody, of a sort, in the distorted picking of the quiet portions, the most of which are found on the excellent An Augury. This is a particularly progressive form of death metal used to create atmospheres usually made in a black or doom form; I'm reminded a lot of Process of Guilt, or, occasionally, Ævangelist.

Overall, Ulsect succeeds in producing the atmosphere they seek to create, resulting in a cacophonous, intense atmosphere of death with some doom riffing thrown in. For those ready to get steamrolled by the musical equivalent of construction machinery, this is a great album to pick up.

Bandcamp: https://ulsect.bandcamp.com/album/ulsect.

Killing Songs :
Our Trivial Toil, Unveil, An Augury
Andy quoted 85 / 100
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