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Selfmadegod Records is more and more active, which is something I can only applause, as good labels and releases will always have my support. I do buy some stuff from them once in a while and in my recent order, along with some EPs and new Megascavenger CD, I purchased this jewel – a split 7”EP of Graveyard / Ulcer!!!! Damn, I didn’t even know that something like this was planned for release, so it was a great surprise, when I found it on the Selfmadegod website. Good news and of corpse I quickly made my order, as I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to have such a killer release (even if 500 copies is quite a lot, so there was no risk it will sell within few days). I really like the idea of having both bands together and more so, I like the fact that one of them is Polish and everything has been unleashed by a Polish label – call it a local patriotism hehe! Anyway, EP comes in really cool layout, as usual nice drawings from Rafał Kruszyk and I also like the deep red burgundy wine colouring of the layout!
I think everybody knows already what to expect from Graveyard – nothing more or less, but a pure old school death metal, heavily influenced by the Swedish scene and classics like Dismember, Entombed and Carnage. They even managed to recreate that wonderful Sunlight Studio sound, with this incredibly characteristic and one of a kind guitar tone, which I – and so many other maniacs I guess – love so much. Obviously no one will say that Graveyard plays anything exceptionally original here, but who would care? I don’t, really, I just totally worship this band’s recordings. Their debut album is such a killer recording, so is the MLP “The Altar of Sculpted Skulls” – all full of excellent (Swedish) riffs, fantastic dark, evil atmosphere and filled with great aggression and energy. What else can someone expect from a death metal release? “Ye Incantation” is just a superb track, I mean it. That first riff, sounding like taken directly from “Left Hand Path”, does the entire job and instantly forces me to bang the skull!!!!! Fuck! This song has excellent feeling and I really appreciate Graveyard’s music. Also the sound is just great. From the other hand the cover of Celtic Frost (“The Usurper”!!!) has slightly different production, maybe not as good especially when comparing it to the brutal sound of the first song. But this cover is decent, well played, so certainly it is a good addition to this EP!
While Graveyard is already a well established underground death metal band then Ulcer isn’t as popular and known to many maniacs. Not yet at least, as they’re about to release their CD on Singaporean Pulverized Records (“Grant Us Death”). I never heard any of their previous releases: demos or the debut CD “Serpent Trinity”, which was self financed and I guess even here in Poland it isn’t that well known (let me just add that the band features members of Deivos, Abusiveness and Blaze of Perdition, including the ever busy Mścisław a’ka Revenger and Wizun – how do they do this that they have so much time to play in all these bands and always deliver a great quality over the quantity remains a secret to me, but well done!). So, this is my first meeting with Ulcer music and I’m really glad I could finally listen to them. I’ve heard that the band plays quite Swedish influenced music and that is something not so common here in Poland. We used to have Hazael years ago (THORRRRRRRRRRR!!) and recently Vexatus and The Dead Goats, but still this kind of music is not so common on this ground. Ulcer surely knows their influences and uses them in correct way, not necessarily copying one or two bands, but putting something more into their sound. Their only song from this EP (“No Room in Hell”) is definitely nicely brutal and aggressive, the riffs are not too melodic, but more straight forward and relentless, providing a good portion of lethal energy and uncompromising attitude and a very nice, more harmonic guitar solo in the end. Yeah, this band is really good, maybe not as good as Graveyard, but good!
Both bands from this EP are about to release their new albums soon – Ulcer will unleash “Grant Us Death” and Graveyard will release “The Sea Grave” (a must to have to vinyl!!!!). After listening to this EP I cannot wait to hear both albums, my hunger is now very, very strong, so you better run or I might bite your head off and something… No, but seriously – Graveyard never disappoints and Ulcer is also a very good band, so this EP is just a must to have in the collection, nothing more is needed to be said.