20 Buck Spin
The San Francisco Bay Area has produced no shortage of exceptional death metal acts in recent decades, with an annual three-day festival solidifying their place in extreme music history. One of the newest bands to join those prestigious ranks is Ulthar, a three-piece whose members carry an impressive history with their past projects and create a dizzying monolith of heaviness with their debut album, Cosmovore.
Sprawling across monstrous themes of supernatural entities and the worlds that lie beneath our own, the band keeps their base sound rooted within a cacophonous swirl of black metal while maintaining echoes of their death metal predecessors, namely with the cavern-like production that surrounds the vocals. It adds a certain level of expansion into the mix, creating sounds that can range from bestial roaring to some of the most disgusting gutturals you’re likely to hear — all in the best possible way. The breadth of their music allows for a similar experimentation as well, incorporating layers of technical death metal, thrash, and even progressive onto the album, like what’s found in the bridge on “Asymmetric Warfare.”
With so many different styles of influence, Cosmovore can make for an unrelenting experience that gives the listener not a single moment of respite. Whether it is the pummeling fury from the opening title track, or the groove-laden riffs of “Entropy-Atrophy” that abruptly spiral into brief explosions of grind, it’s a listen that demands your attention with the head-spinning tempo and stylistic changes but delivers in droves. You only need to listen to the closing epic “Dunwich Whore,” where everything they’ve embarked on across the record is sewn together and capped off with otherworldly synth production, to really understand what a payoff can be.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: ULTHAR – COSMOVORE