Listen: Ultha Crushes Every Doubt
You may do a double-take even before you’ve heard a note of Ultha’s debut album, Pain Cleanses Every Doubt. After all, any extreme metal fan might want to make sure they’ve read correctly that a chaotic black metal act from Europe most closely aligns itself with … USBM artists. You might suppose that the emphasis is most often the opposite, the trueness of an American act trading in European wares. But Ultha of Germany draws a spiritual link to MS faves Yellow Eyes, Xasthur, and Sun Eater (and we’ll add Nightbringer, Akhyls, and Leviathan), ie. American BM acts that taunt gatekeepers of kvlt but tantalize lovers of the mournful, bottomless, and frenzied.
Once hooked, you’ll also halt and re-read that Pain Cleanses was created by a band aged only six months, and that the album reaches US audiences Friday despite a 2015 release in Europe. That might sting — an album for followers of USBM unknown to its native audience is cruelty defined — but it also means that its follow-up already looms on the horizon. Crank it up!!!