The Ugly
Thanatology

Stockholm’s The Ugly are back with album number three and follow up to 2015s decent Decreation. Not much has changed as the band still has ties to Marduk (whose Fredrik Widigs plays drums and the mastering/mixing was handled by guitarist Devo), and thusly the sound shows it with a frosty, razor sharp, slightly melodic take on blistering black metal.

The sound is relatively the same to Decreation,  with a heavy, heavy Marduk, Dark Funeral, Dissection, Sacramentum, Naglfar, Funeral Mist hue with a focus on blistering, relentless tremolo assaults. But it’s done really well and with some really nice slicing melodies (maybe more so than Decreation) and maybe a smidgen more pacing and control.  Case and point, the opening title track has a couple of really cool mid paced marches/chorus that repeat and second track “The Stages of Demise” has a killer, searing riff in the chorus. So two tracks in and I’m pretty damn impressed.

The rest of the album follows suite with 8 more tracks and an interlude. They mostly follow the Marduk/Dark Funeral template but a couple of longer tracks like “Usurpator Vitae” and “Begravningshymn” deliver a more controlled pace. “Usurpator Vitae” even features a Satyricon like groove and saunter between hyper speed tremolo vortexes. But for the most part, you know exactly what you are getting with the likes of “King of Death”, “Necro Worship”,  utterly ripping “Sons of Stench” and shreddinly melodic “Temple of the Reaper”. 7 minute closer “Dressed in Death Pt.II” (pt I was on the 2008 debut Slaves to the Decay) ends the album with a killer mix of vitriol , venom and restraint, showing these guys are edging thier way to be major players in the genre. Heck, its in their bloodlines.

I’m actually given this more attention and listens than Necrophobic’s Mark of the Necrogram as it has better, more seething melodies and more viscous energy that is really scratching the melodic black metal itch.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 23rd, 2018

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