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Ulthar - Providence Music Album Reviews

The Oakland trio’s understanding of the art of death metal continues to deepen and spiral off into unexpected territory.

The work of H.P. Lovecraft looms large within the extreme-metal imagination, and the Oakland trio Ulthar—who take their name from one of the author’s short stories—is far from the first band to fall under its spell. The band’s sophomore LP, Providence, which is named for Lovecraft’s hometown, features album art studded with skulls and plague buboes, resembling one of those cursed Victorian mourning wreaths woven from human hair. Those surface-level clues immediately alert the listener that they’re in for an unsettling ride (and is, artistically, par for the course for Ulthar). There is a certain ghastly air to the proceedings, as though the trio had discovered a nest of eldritch tentacles in the cellar while recording and decided to keep on playing. With Lovecraft himself, the true horror was what a racist, anti-Semitic shitbag he was, but here, that wyrd atmosphere is conjured in good faith, and conducted with blackened grandiosity.
The people involved have decades of experience between them in the study and execution of extremity, from drummer Justin Ennis’s tenure in NYC black metallers Mutilation Rites and current project Void Omnia to vocalist and guitarist Shelby Lermo’s experience with Bay Area death cult Vastum and bassist and vocalist Steve Peacock’s time in off-kilter blasphemers Pale Chalice and Mastery. It is unsurprising that Ulthar is a good band, but Providence is not just a good record, it is a great one, and the reasons for that go far beyond its creators’ resumes.

They couch their devotion to old-school death metal orthodoxy within a modern context; there's no mud, or murk, or self-conscious efforts to sound lo-fi, and the technical aspects are presented plainly, without apology or artifice. Providence allows no time for niceties on its short, brutish opening track, “Churn,” from which “Undying Spear” offers a brief respite before the rippling melody is torn to shreds by an imperious blast. Ulthar’s sound mingles black metal, death metal, doom, and thrash, and they skitter between genres in the leaps of a scale. But Providence owes a particular debt to Finish masters like Demigod, Convulsed, and Demilich, an earlier cohort who innately understood the importance of tempering technical flights with grounded riffs and headbanging tempos.

There is a certain sameness to a few of the album's eight tracks, so those that take the time to experiment invariably stand out. “Through Downward Dynasties” creeps in with an eerie ambient intro, flush with whooshing synthesizer effects and ominous undertones. It soon explodes into a flurry of blastbeats, precise scales, and icy, controlled chaos. Album closer “Humanoid Knot” revels in its own strangeness, from Lermo’s unhinged cackling to its slow, juddering riffs.

Recorded by Bay Area mainstay Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios and mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording, the album just sounds good, always listenable despite its undeniable brutality. They started strong on their 2016 demo and hit their stride with 2018’s monstrous Cosmovore, but with Providence, Ulthar has raised the bar on themselves yet again. With each release, their understanding of the art of death metal continues to deepen and spiral off into unexpected territory.


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කමු ද ජුජුබ්ස් කෑල්ලක් 🍭🍭🍭🍭 (Let's Eat A Piece Of Jujubes)

🖊️අවශ්‍ය ද්‍රව්‍ය:
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🥇රතු කහ කොළ වර්ණක බින්දුව බැගින් .

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අද අපි කියලා දෙන්න යන්නේ දරුවන්ටම විශේෂ වූ කුකීස් වර්ගයක් ගැන. දරුවන්ට රසට කන්න පුළුවන් වගේම අම්මලට ලේසියෙන් හදන්නත් පුළුවන්. කඩෙන් මිලදී ගන්න බිස්කට් වගේ කල් තබාගැනීමේ ද්‍රව්‍ය මුකුත් දාන්නැති නිසා කිසිම බයක් නැතුව ළමයින්ට දෙන්නත් පුළුවන්නේ.
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