Brought to us by current and ex-members of bands such as Vale, Void Omnia, Tombs, and Vastum, (and others), there’s a wealth of experience in this band. They also have a well-regarded debut album, which I somehow overlooked. On Providence we get 37 minutes of death metal, with an esoteric flavour and streaked through with blackened tones.
Ulthar work in inscrutable ways by combining many diverse elements into their music and somehow making it sound coherent and effective. Across the album we get influences from both the old and new strains of death metal, as well as elements borrowed from the technical, melodic, dissonant, atmospheric, and brutal styles. This melting pot is poured into music that seems to somehow have found a voice of its own amidst the countless death metal hordes. By drawing from a wide palette, Ulthar seem to have produced something singular.
The music is very well-written and constructed, presenting a precise and considered view of death metal. It’s a striking piece of work, more so for the fact that it’s also nuanced and intricate, despite the rampant brutality and atypical songcraft. Each song has its own identity, and these add to and shape the album as a whole in a way that makes Providence a joy to experience.
This really is an exceptional album, one which is deeply enjoyable and satisfying to listen to. Ensure you spend plenty of time with this one.