Decibel Magazine is currently streaming Providence, the latest full-length from Bay Area blackened death practitioners, ULTHAR. The debut comes in advance of the record’s official unveiling Friday June 12th via 20 Buck Spin.
Recorded by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Deathgrave) at Earhammer Studios and mastered by Adam Tucker (False, Thou, Obsequiae) at Signaturetone Recording, Providence catapults the band’s signature brand of furiously-paced, inverted death metal and scathing angular blackness into new diseased realms of chaos and audio sickness.
Writes Decibel of the release, “ULTHAR deliver labyrinthine blackened death metal so masterfully you’d think they designed the maze or are the minotaurs pacing it. The cover of Providence continues the surreal tree motif started on debut LP Cosmovore. However, it trades in the psychedelics and colors for a muted palette and more gruesome cover. You know the statue in which Pinhead is stuck in Hellraiser III? It’s like that but a tree — and with extra nudity. The sophomore LP’s music similarly ups the ante over the Oakland trio’s debut. At times (‘Churn,’ ‘Cudgel’) you can practically hear the box fan, as the band summons Morbid Angel. The influences are often as unorthodox as that Trey Azagthoth technique, with the darkness of Incantation struggling against the strangeness of Demilich. The often opt for the icy blitz of Immortal, while they often split the difference for fusion takes such as Sulphur Aeon or even mid-era Behemoth.”
Stream ULTHAR’s Providence, courtesy of Decibel Magazine, at THIS LOCATION.
Providence, which comes cloaked again in the staggering art renderings of renown British fantasy illustrator Ian Miller with layout by Ross Sewage (Exhumed, Impaled), will be released on CD, LP, cassette, and digital formats.
In conjunction with the release of Providence, ULTHAR will appear on Gimme Metal for a guest DJ special Friday, June 12th at 3:00pm EST/12:00pm PST. Here, ULTHAR will sidestep the traditional guest DJ/host role and take their “curatorial event” into an abstract, hyperreal, two-hour radio experience. Don’t miss it! Visit www.gimmemetal.com.
Featuring members Shelby Lermo (Vastum, Extremity), Justin Ennis (Void Omnia, Vale), and Steve Peacock (Mastery, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Pale Chalice), the unyielding ULTHAR attack doubles down on Providence with figures becoming more sickening and shapes more savage. An immensity like spiraling ancient monoliths too tall to comprehend and bending inward upon themselves envelops adherents to this dominion. Duly diabolic voices guide this odyssey through the incongruous caverns of absurdity, obscure texts, and manifold vitriol.
Releasing at a time where our own world has devolved into a surrealistic nightmare of viral trepidation and encased solitude, ULTHAR’s Providence becomes a prescient view into the strange paradoxes that only months ago seemed unbelievable but now all too possible. Where horizons cease, where grace is dead, where nothing lives, so be it amen. Fans of Absu, Atrocity, Demilich, Immortal, Gorguts, Krallice, Blood Incantation, Sulphur Aeon, and the like, pay heed.
“Cosmovore had us all pretty blown away in 2018, but Bay Area’s bludgeoningest are taking it up a notch… blackened/death/misc/whatziz pot where these guys throw all their influences into is manically frothing over with rabid vocals, crazed flip-of-the-switch trajectories, and general desperate/brutal attack. With a pedigree coming split from so many other active/overachieving bands, you’d think they’d spread it thin, but ULTHAR continues to evolve and mutate into more mighty forms.” — Metal Injection
“…fucking monstrous stuff.” — BrooklynVegan
“Dissonant riffs and blastbeats tear into the fabric of reality with vicious vocals to create a superbly visceral onslaught from the very onset of the record… a huge sounding piece of Lovecraftian death metal excellence that is packed with oddities and estranged ideas that definitely set ULTHAR apart from the crowd once again.” — Nattskog
“…a masterful death metal record and one that I think fans are going to keep coming back to… The high powered riffage and massive bottom end come together to contribute to a sound that shows a deep understanding of oldschool death metal but which feels distinctly modern…” — Two Guys Metal Reviews
“If you are looking for unrelenting, dissonant, and downright unhinged blackened death metal with strong nods to grindcore and atmospheric tendencies, this is for you.” — Sleeping Village Reviews
“…after a mysterious and menacing overture, which itself grows increasingly intense, the song builds into an electrifying surge, with sharply executed drum work accented by start-stop bursts, wild whirling fret-leaping riff frenzies, and scorching vocals. The song’s tempo is in constant flux, and the instrumental performances are constantly head-spinning, and executed with top-shelf technical skill. It popped my eyes wide open and left a bit of drool oozing toward my chin….” — No Clean Singing on “Through Downward Dynasties”
“Sometimes it’s quite beneficial to one’s mental health to take a break from the current and very real horrors of life in the modern age and allow some strange, grotesque, contemporary death metal to lift us away to even more impossible realms. Providence makes for an ideal companion to just such a thing, and ULTHAR ought to be saluted for tearing a portal in our grim reality. ESCAPE!” — Last Rites
“Providence digs deep into a wellspring of chronic human perception wherein nothing is sacred and all is permitted, twisting meaning and nature and purpose into abject nonsense while mutated unfitting pieces of this organic maelstrom whiz by and deafen all trapped inside of it.” — The Sludgelord
“…if you are looking for some nasty, brutally powerful extreme metal though, ULTHAR are here to give you a damn good kicking.” — Blessed Altar
“…impossibly heavy, strangely haunting, and intelligently pulverizing… This band already should have been on your short list of this era’s most important newer forces, and this record should only push them up higher on that tally.” — Meat Mead Meta
“ULTHAR are beginning to carve out a sound that is fundamentally entrenched in the old school while sounding distinctly and increasingly their own. If you’ve yet to give the band’s technically sound, deliciously blackened style of death metal a spin, there’s no better time than the present. A thoroughly enjoyable and impressive release from a band that is fast becoming a mainstay within the old school death metal revival.” — Heavy Blog Is Heavy
“ULTHAR have crafted a classic; one that feels as seasoned as anything that’s come out on the last ten years. Somewhere in the vast reaches of space large, unrecognizable shapes are stirring, turning their baleful eye upon the Earth.” — Nine Circles