By Dr Abner Mality

A twisting and writhing entity of blackened death, Ulthar is a new name in the Californian extreme metal scene. As almost always seems to be the case, it boasts members from  Vastum as well as the crazed guitarist from one-man band Pandiscordian Necrogenesis. They have come up with a solid attack of Loveraftian death metal that mixes classic Morbid Angel/Immolation themes with a sort of slippery black metal feel at times. This is not what you’d call primitive DM by a long stretch.

The pace is usually blistering and the tunes twist and turn through mazes of riffs. Even so, this avoids the worst excesses of tech-death and the songs, while dizzying, are not that hard to follow. When I saw that “Dunwich Whore” lasted over 13 minutes, I rolled my eyes and prepared for the worst, but the track breezes by and avoids boredom. That’s a notable feat.

While there’s no doubt Ulthar is primarily a death metal beast, a touch of blackness is never far away. It lurks in the rasping screams and surfaces in occasional waves of cold, dissonant riffing,  “Infinite Cold Distance” being a good example of that. This band’s primary audience is composed of those who can appreciate both death and black metal.

“Cosmovore” is a worthy addition to the list of American death metal.