Ulthar
Cosmovore

Coming to proper metal age, i.e. my teenage years, during death metal’s initial ’90’s explosion not only introduced me to what would become some of the greatest music on the planet, but it also introduced me and many like-minded individuals to the fantastically macabre offerings of H.P. Lovecraft. Considering that damn near every band at the time seemed to carry an unabridged volume of collected horrorisms by Lovecraft as lyrical reference and inspiration, it’s really no surprise that many new literary fans were brought to his writings unlike ever before. If I’m being truthful, the main reason I even chose to claim for review the Oakland based trio, Ulthar, and their recently released debut album, Cosmovore, was the fact that I am a big Lovecraft fan, and any fan worth their salt knows of Ulthar and its connection in the Dream Cycles of Lovecraft’s mythos.

When it comes to Ulthar and their black-death brand of extremity, the Cali trio engage in a style somewhat reminiscent to that of Absu, Immortal, and Destroyer 666, though mixed with an aura of Blood Incantation and strained through the essence of Gorguts. Not surprising when you consider two-thirds of the band have pedigrees in Vastum (Shelby Lermo) and Mutilation Rites (Justin Ennis), both whose influences can be found among Cosmovore‘s six tracks and 38 minutes. A cacophony that is clear, yet just filthy and tortured enough to please the most ardent of kvlt black bleeding heart diehards. There are some really quality ideas taking place throughout the album, and as whole, Cosmovore has a nice build to it, showcasing itself the most in tracks such as “Infinite Cold Distance” and album closer, “Dunwich Whore” (which I assume and truly hope this track is about Lavinia Whately and her hellish and abysmal “relations” with a certain someone/something).

It’s in these tracks that the somewhat misguided tag of psychedelia shows through in some interesting and unique ideas and flourishes. I say misguided because Cosmovore rages and while there is indeed a brutal “spaciness” to this album at times, a psychedelic trip is not really that prominent; at least not your classic, laid back, hippie inspired kind of trip. No, this is some Outer Gods sent from beyond the realms of reality and  manifested into dreamland nightmares of unequivocal abominations. Not exactly the trip  you may be looking for if regular ‘ol psychedelia is your bag.

My first few listens of Cosmovore really didn’t hit me that hard or leave me too ultimately impressed, and I didn’t have the lyrics when I was reviewing Cosmovore, so I can only hope that these are some intriguing and wild tales of abhorrent oblivion and other worldly and strange dimensions of time and space as the album’s songtitles and awesome and disturbing artwork imply they are; yet the more I listened to this bad boy, the more I really found myself digging this debut a lot. Yeah, most metal music and experiences in general tend to get better and open themselves up when you emerge in them more, but Cosmovore really deserves these repeated listenings and extra attention. Trust me, you wont be disappointed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
December 10th, 2018

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