The Ugly

I pressed play on Decreation, the second album from Stockholm’s The Ugly, fully expecting some spikes, beer ‘n’ Satan drenched black thrash. And while the band may have started out in that style on their demos, (I can’t speak for 2008 debut Slaves to the Decay), Decreation follows a much purer, black path of fellow Swedes  Dark Funeral and Marduk  which is no surprise, as Fredrik Widigs plays drums here and the mastering/mixing was handled by Marduk’s guitarist Devo.

So then, the Marduk influence is pretty clear, and The Ugly follow through on their end as Decreation is a vitriolic, wall of riffs, tremolo assault of frosty nastiness that actually gives Marduk a run for their money, especially if you were a little underwhelmed by Marduk’s Frontschwein offering. It also serves as a nice placeholder for the next Dark Funeral album.

It’s vicious, it’s got seething, searing melodies and it’s razor sharp with a relentless pace other than the few obligatory militant, stirring marches . It’s also rather singular minded, taking no real tangents or risks, being an utterly safe Marduk clone. But that in itself is fine, when done this well and confidently.

The likes of opener “I Am Death”, “Legio Mihi Nomen Est”, “Slumber of the God” and blistering “Crawl” bristle and blast with brimstone and a few atmospherics or moodier slower marches and stomps like “Decreation”, “Cult of Weakness” and “Niburu” keep things from being a mindless procession of speed. And of course its all flocked with scathing rasps (from Ingemar Gustafsson of short-lived Bloodshed– who if you recall recorded Inhabitants of Dis back in 2002) and a biting sense of melody and a razor sharp production.

Closer “Lognerna til Aksa” ends the album with a 6 minute monster that blends both ravaging, seething speed menacing marches cementing the fact I actually gave Decreation a little more airplay than Frontschwein, so take that as you will as I’m no black metal expert. But for a no nonsense 45 minutes of Marduk-ian fury you could do worse.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 13th, 2015


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