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The Ugly - Thanatology

The Ugly
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 01 February 2018, 7:58 AM

To quote their Bandcamp “THE UGLY was formed in late 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden by Ingemar Gustafson (vocals) and Johan Eriksson (guitars), for the purpose of creating furious and relentless black metal with roots in the bands that put Sweden on the world map in the 1990's. They were soon joined by Peter Jonsson (bass) and drummer Henrik Östensson. In 2006 Per Rinaldo was recruited as an additional guitar player, and as the song writing progressed the band's sound evolved and turned into a truly offensive form of black metal.

In May 2008, they entered the legendary Necromorbus Studio in Stockholm to begin the recording of their debut album, “Slaves to the Decay.” “Slaves to the Decay” was released on the 14:th of November 2008 and was highly acclaimed across Europe, including marking a score of 9/10 in Germany's Rock Hard Magazine. The following years were characterized by several lineup changes, and eventually THE UGLY was strengthened by bassist Joakim Antman  and drummer Fredrik Widigs and all effort could be focused on writing the sophomore album which would become “Decreation” – a blasphemous effort with themes revolving around the destruction of the universe, cosmicism and Lucifer. It was recorded in 2014 with mixing being handled by Devo (Marduk) at Endarker Studios. “Decreation" was released in 2015 and was a big critical success. Time has now come for the mighty follow-up in the form of "Thanatology!”

Thanatology” greets you with a low key, distorted intro, leaving you to wonder what the sound will be next, but the worries are premature, the song kicks into gear after this brief melody. It hits hard from there, the vocals are crisp but deep, the overall balance in the instruments work together well enough to leave you appreciating the sound. Your foot will tap and your head will be banging along throughout. It’s a good start to the album.

The Stages of Demise” crashes through the barrier from where Thanatology left off. Hard hitting again, not holding back. They are not testing the dark waters, they are jumping in head first, and so are we. The drumbeat is faster and more intense than previous, because the guitar is reaching speeds you associate to Thrash and Melodic Death Metal. The combining sounds create a great mix, a sound that the band are embracing as their own. Heads will bang once more. There is a few brief seconds where it stops the tempo, but by the time you work out it has stopped, it starts back up again. A great sound from the Swedes.

Usurpator Vitae” has an almost DISSECTION-style start to it with The Blackened Thrash volumes are a return to form where The Ugly first started in 2008 with their first full length release: “Slaves to the Decay”. This song has the dark beat that also sounds like SATYRICON’s approach, the low vocals are hard hitting and felt in depth. This is a darker blend than previous songs. This is more Black Coffee than Americana with Milk, this makes for a good change, just as you thought their sound would remain from the initial songs, it takes off into the darkness. This song leads you into a better place.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Thanatology
2. The Stages of Demise
3. Usurpator Vitae
4. King of Death
5. Necro Worship
6. Sons of Stench
7. Temple of the Reaper
8. Begravningshymn
9. Pallor Mortis
10. Dressed in Death pt. II
11. Necromancer (Bonus)
Johan Eriksson - Guitars (2004-present)
Ingemar Gustafsson - Vocals (2004-present)
Per Rinaldo - Guitars (2006-present)
Joakim Antman - Bass (2012-present)
Record Label: ViciSolum Productions


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