This self-titled debut is the very first output for Ulsect. But the cast was already promising. Members of obscure black metal band Dodecahedron and progressive Exivious (like Cynic or maybe Obscura) or the more modern Textures join to create an avant-garde death metal unit. So I can understand why there was no demo or anything else in advance of this label debut.
The result is exactly as you might expect. Dissonant harmonies melt into furious baneful blastbeats combined with rhythm-oriented staccatos. Like the unorthodox approach of Ulcerate meet the progressive thinking of later Gorguts and some more modern kinds of heavy music.
Many moments have this calm attitude. Although the harmonies are dissonant and quirky, the resulting atmosphere remains relaxed. Just to take a sudden burst into furious blastbeats. And take another turn in more playful chinkings, soundscape driven carpets of post-anything-eske dystopia.
But on the other hand there are those baneful passages, forming a bleak and nihilistic atmosphere. Ulsect creates a great tension between those gloomy and discomforting moments towards their relief in either total eruption or dissolution into fragmented decresendos. And between those emotional and atmospheric parts there are strongly calculated rhythm-oriented passages as a well fitting contrast.
Over about 42 Minutes, “Ulsect” is a continuous journey. Often fluent between the songs, sometimes consequently connected by the instrumental interludes “Moirae” and “An Augury”. But always in the right balance between emotional explosion, well thought staccatos and more calm, atmospheric parts. Although many moments are on a very high musical level, dealing with difficult timing, Ulsect never acts intellectualisesed. This record is in a constant flow, coherent yet intelligent at any time.
But if you want to catch Ulsect from their best side, just listen to “The Ending” or “Maunder”, because those are the most impressing compositions on this album.
Fans of Ulcerate, late Gorguts or Departé should definitely listen to this record, since it offers the same atmosphere and instrumentation complemented by a more modern approach with some more rhythm-oriented moments. It is not simply a clone yet another view on the very young genre of post-death metal.