Ulcerate – Cutting The Throat Of God

Have you ever have made a number drawing as a child? You probably know what I mean; a drawing that consists of all numbered dots and where the idea is to connect those dots carefully and neatly in order. They are also called dot-to-dot drawings. You start by drawing a line from the point number one to the point number two, then to the point number three, and so on. Creativity and ingenuity are not involved: blindly follow the numbers and then eventually a drawing comes out. Everyone happy!

Well, everyone happy? I, and one or two classmates with me, didn’t like it at all during my childhood. My resistance to having to make it met with little understanding from my teacher and classmates; they found it entertaining. Although I don’t know the band members of Ulcerate personally and I don’t know anything about their youth, I am sure as a child they would crumple up such a drawing, stamp their feet on it and condemn it to a one-way trip into the trash bin. After all, since the beginning of their existence (2002), the New Zealand trio has been averse to predictability, to following the usual path and to neatly coloring within the usual lines.

Their previous album Stare Into Death And Be Still (2020) is full of compositions in which avant-garde, technical death metal in a blackened ambiance is interwoven into a glowing anthology of progressive rhythms and unruly melodies. It will probably not come as a surprise that this is also the case on Cutting The Throat Of God. But besides the fact that the musical past is confirmed on the new album, there is also plenty of room for further development. Yes, I know … on Stare Into Death And Be Still the band already performed at an incredibly high level and then I casually drop the words “further development” here?

As contradictory as it may sound, in addition to the typical, mesmerizing and sometimes uncomfortable dissonance, compared to the previous album, there is slightly more attention to the melodic side and further intensification of the feeling that the music evokes. The result is an album full of unconventional, grandiose songs such as the fascinating The Dawn is Hollow, the downright overwhelming To See Death Just Once and the enchanting Undying As An Apparition. They are all deeply rooted in dynamics, technique, and heaviness and, despite their impeccable darkness, feel relatively (!) accessible.

You still get an inventive, deep-rooted fusion of controlled chaos, dizzying experiments, and surprising, non-linear patterns, but the music has also been refined. Monotony is an unreal word on Cutting The Throat Of God. Elongated, unpredictable compositions – with an average length of just over eight minutes – create an album full of complexity, dissonance, and disharmony, without losing sight of the mutual connection for a moment. The songs are overloaded with aggressive, dark, repetitive and abstract patterns, unparalleled rhythms, unwavering directness, the most compelling phrasing and sudden changes in tempo, atmosphere, and heaviness.

And with that we immediately have the greatest strengths of Cutting The Throat Of God. These lie in the compositional twists and the unapologetic emphasis on atmosphere. The striking, unconventional twists or lighter intermezzos (The Dawn Is Hollow, Transfiguration In And Out Of Worlds, Undying As An Apparition) not only give the songs their own character, but they also create a natural, warm ambiance. And that atmospheric, slightly uneasy mood ensures that the album leaves an eventful, moving impression.

Relying on intense grimness, contradictory melodies and more relaxed tempos, the trio continuously searches for unconventional integration. Claustrophobic dissonance, the band calls it themselves. Undulating, driving, untamed riffs culminate in almost cinematic melodies. Impressive, intriguing, inhospitable drum patterns provide a dark, abstract, and ominous contrast. And despite the ponderous, ashen abundance of massive sound, the band manages to keep it approachable. All transitions are carried out naturally. Nowhere does it sound contrived or fragmentary; the natural, fluid flow of both the songs and the album ensures that the band is never caught in frivolous, thoughtless inconsistency.

In addition, the album has a sharp production, which ensures that each detail can be perceived in finesse. This way, every touch of the cymbals, no matter how slight and subtle, is clearly audible. Lyrically, on Cutting The Throat Of God, Ulcerate addresses topics such as ethics and morals and explores the delicate boundary between moral reprehensibility, extreme depravity and the irreversible descent into obscurity. Ruthless lyrics such as: ‘Toward a bitter end. Unceasing dereliction. Unrelenting decline. Desolation is the arc of life’s motion.’ (The Dawn Is Hollow) and ‘Remnants of bitterness choke all life until silent. Nothing to negate this malicious blood, yet it runs through everything. Awake to exist. Alive to expire.’ (Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds) the trio hurls at you. Not only will you be welcomed at a high-quality level in terms of playing, but you will also receive thought-provoking lyrics. How delightful do you want it?

Cutting The Throat Of God shows an Ulcerate that has further refined, deepened, and optimized their winding, dissonant, extravagant, and atmospheric death metal. The trio presents and performs their menacing expression of extreme metal at such a phenomenal level that the word flawless could be used by some. I always say that there is no such thing as musical perfection… but you probably won’t come any closer than this.




Debemur Morti Productions, 2024


  1. To Flow Through Ashen Hearts
  2. The Dawn is Hollow
  3. Further Opening the Wounds
  4. Transfiguration In and Out of Worlds
  5. To See Death Just Once
  6. Undying as an Apparition
  7. Cutting the Throat of God


  • Michael Hoggard – Gitaar
  • Paul Kelland – Basgitaar, zang
  • Jamie Saint Merat – Drums