Ulcerate 12/02/2011 Bodega, Wellington
Bodega is an awesome venue with great sound and lighting and I was very excited at the thought of seeing Ulcerate playing tonight. I caught the end of the set from support band Bulletbelt a Black metal act from Wellington. They had a brutal sound and had the pit moving. They have a gig coming up with Molest the Episcopate from Auckland which will be worth checking them out again.
I had seen Ulcerate a few times before but it been quite a while since I had seen them last. Ulcerate were mind blowing. They have a very dark dense sound that takes you to another world. Soundscape is the words that come to mind. Like a Death Metal version of Tool but way better. Thereís layer upon layer of sounds but always keeping within the theme.
They have a new album out Destroyers Of All and as well as some of their back catalogue we got several of their new tracks. They opened with new track Burning Skies with Omens and The Destroyers of all off the new album thrown in for good measure.
Jamie Saint-Merat is said to be one of New Zealandís best drummer and this is not without reason Iím more of a guitar man than a drum guy but man could he play and he completely annihilated.
A lot of bands try to do too much with their music to try and show just how technical they are in an attempt to show how good they are. Sadly when this happens quite often it just becomes a blurry mess with too much going on it distracts the mind and turns to crap. Ulcerate have mastered the art of being extremely technical and very thickly layered but not to the point of overload. Itís a pleasure to listen to as it comes in waves almost adding a doom element to their Death Metal sound. Their songs are not traditional rock songs so they tend to be quite long with most of them coming in around the seven to eight minutes but they donít tend to drag on as they having plenty to keep the mind active.
These guys are one of New Zealandís finest Death Metal bands and with a set like the one they played this night I donít think many could argue with that. The pit swirled everybody came away with a smile on their face. After an hour long set we were left exhausted but very happy having witnessed Ulcerate at their best. I canít wait to see these guys again.
Originally a concept of Jamie Saint Merat and Michael Hoggard, together with the addition of vocalist Mark Seeney in late 2000, the foundation of Ulcerate was formed. Then under the moniker 'Bloodwreath', this line-up remained intact for all of 2001 whilst the band struggled to find a 'sound' both stylistically and compositionally.
Early 2002 brought a line-up change with the enlisting of guitarist Jared Commerer, and James Wallace to fill the now vacant vocal position - Mark having left to pursue his drumming. This new line-up brought a new level of focus to the band and work quickly began in constructing material that would later become the four tracks of the band's first recording effort. It was with this release that the decision was made for a clean slate beginning and so came the demise of Bloodwreath, and the subsequent rise of Ulcerate.
While it was fairly removed from Ulcerate's current sound and direction, this S/T 2003 demo proved to be a solid platform from which the band could evolve. It also helped garner a wider local appreciation with people beginning to recognise the style and songs. As it stands the tracks 'Subversive Supremacy' and 'Smash the Deceitful' are still popular regular inclusions in the current live set.