Label: 20 Buck Spin
Its almost a decade since Steve Peacock – bass, vocals, Justin Ennis – drums and Shelby Lermo – guitars, vocals Created Ulthar. Since their very first effort the trio from Oakland which members also play in Vastum, Mastery and Tombs, have made a great impact as their riffs were always unique oozing an elegance as it blended perfectly blistering blackened elements and death metal brutality coming from the very depths of underground, always performed perfectly if we speak in technical terms. So ‘Cosmovore’ and ‘Providence’, made Ulthar well known to the underground circles and everyone expected their next work in order to established their name and why not capitalise it before they become bigger and bigger. Surprisingly, they return 3 years after, with two new albums to be released simultaneously.
The first one, entitled ‘Anthronomicon’, is a seminar of song writing evolution, as the amalgam of technical death and blackened death of the Americans now is shaped into a monstrous crescendo of blasts, riff after riff tornado, twists, turns and multi direction surrealistic trip into the extreme. The eight songs seem to work as a whole and while each one of them can stand by its one, yet if you hear the album in its entirety you can get a glorious taste of furious technical death metal, full of complexity and diversity. In this effort they easily had one foot in modern approaching (similar to Blood Incantation or Tomb Mold) and the other one in old school feeling (Nocturnus or Gorguts) also the band balanced the melodic side with the furious pummeling tempos.
But Ulthar can’t rest in this seek for perfection and exploring new musical horizons, as they continue with ‘Anthronomicon’’s sister album entitled ‘Helionomicon’. Featuring only two songs almost 20 minute long each one of them, that appropriately titled ‘Helionomicon’ and ‘Anthronomicon’, we can say after several listening, that we are dealing with an avant-garde album/statement, a melodic journey through clouds of distortion noises, galloping chords and chugging midsections, throaty verses and roaring screams.
Both albums share parts of the same work designed by the 76 years old, famous British fantasy and macabre illustrator Ian Miller. Lyrics are chaotic, enigmatic, bizarre and even drugging into poetic if not psychedelic labyrinth paths of morbid fantasy.
Ambitious, progressive, epic and perfectly executed, both albums will make all fans of Gorguts feel proud that finally a band managed to follow the giant steps (and legacy) of their favourite band as their inspiration made Ulthar to give birth in to two monumental albums (as they wisely chose to break the 80 minute material in to two parts rather releasing a double LP) filtered with their strong personality and talent, that will cement their fame into fans of extreme music worldwide.