If Blood Incantation, Tomb Mold, Demilich and Sulphur Aeon were to create a hybrid of death metal and black metal with lyrical content based off abstract and HP Lovecraft inspired lyricism it would be California’s Ulthar. In 2018, this band came out of nowhere releasing their debut full-length through 20 Buck Spin entitled Cosmovore and truth be told, it surely was well lived up the hype of how amazing, fluent and executed the music truly became. Now we have the sophomore album titled Providence. For a eight track and album running around 36 minutes in length, pretty much this is exactly where Cosmovore left off and this time around, these musicians have properly demonstrated that creating both death metal and black metal is not only what they’ve been playing the genre for quite sometime but I truly, firmly believe that this release is when they’ve started to experiment their sound just a tad bit incorporating elements of crust punk and even hardcore to a extent where it feels like I’m listening to Outer Heaven but Ulthar’s style, musical components, and songwriting on Providence has significantly improved big time.
Compared to Cosmovore, Providence introduces a playthrough demonstration of the artistic talent, complexity and expanded a tasty, yet very savory sound while the listener is immediately sucked in hearing concrete layers and more layers of manifesting, abhorrent and building a strong emphasis of musical brilliancy which showcases that Ulthar haven’t wasted anymore time and patience to understand what this release was directly coming for them. But if I were to easily describe the overall atmosphere, production and progressive undertones of Providence, it would be taking the earliest roots of Bolt Thrower, Vastum, and up to current day extreme metal bands such as Infernal Coil due with a less cancerous, doomy, abrasive and infusions of melody and technicality.
Just take songs such as Furnace Hibernation, Churn and Humanoid Knot where I feel the vocals, guitar riffs, drums and atmospheric passages have summoned a decipherable formula that not only worked flawlessly to Ulthar’s musical compositions, but rather taking this release to be creative than Cosmovore which is surprising because Cosmovore demonstrated how blackened death metal can unleash hellfire and carnage but Providence is one step further in the right direction to Ulthar’s career. Providence by Ulthar is not necessarily a masterpiece by all means but for a extreme metal record in 2020 released through 20 Buck Spin this is recommended for passionate extreme metal junkies like myself who want something chaotic and heavy.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Jake Butler