Ulcerate "Shrines Of Paralysis"
There were times when I listened to "Vermis" (the predecessor to "Shrines..." for the uneducated reader) and that precision was off, albeit very minutely. The vocals for example on the bands 2013 opus felt some how lost in the mix and at times there was a sense of not actually being aware whether they had begun or not. They are some of course who thought this a clever use of the mixing desk to create that folly deliberately, but for me the storm of Ulcerate's sound needed that extra bit of definition vocally to turn a great album into an absolute classic.
Thankfully, here on the band's fifth full length offering, the vocals are prominent and whether you deem them visceral or based on intellect they are very much a centre piece of "Shrines Of Paralysis". Yeah, there's occasion when they do go under the churn of riffs, drums and bass but thankfully these are rare and do not distract.
As well as Paul Kelland's lyrical exploits being a point of particular note, the listener cannot miss the frankly fucking amazing performance of Jamie Saint Merat on the drums. They are powerful, punishing and utterly fucking relentless. The clever bit being that every other instrument is allowed to breath around them without any one detracting from the other. In a tornado of sound like the brand that Ulcerate stir up to say you can pick out the bass is testimony to their technical excellence at not just performance but at actual songwriting also.
Hoggard's riffs are of course merciless too. They are like being stabbed by a surgeon, with each slash designed to incapacitate whilst also make you nod in complete appreciation. There's geologists probably queueing up to take abrasivity tests on Ulcerate's riffs and they know the scores will be off the motherfucking chart.