Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis

The genre of death metal has defied all odds, aging gracefully as acts continue to push the boundaries of extremity, technicality, and the genre’s sonic palette into many different subsets. Starting with the almighty Death, you could trace the evolutionary branches into any of the myriad of styles that exist today in any direction. For instance, one of the more interesting fringe developments is atmospheric death metal; in direct lineage of Death’s technical and progressive style, Gorguts incorporated a nuanced intensity with avant garde musicianship and a muddy Lovecraftian atmosphere that paved the way for the likes of Mitochondrion, Portal, and New Zealand’s rising stars Ulcerate.

FULL ALBUM STREAM: Bless Your Ears With Lowlands’ Gloomy Post-Punk Debut, Lovers Blessings

Saying any particular genre is dead has to be one of the lazies things a (supposed) music fan can do. Punk bears the brunt of these types of claims, but I’ve seen virtually every genre from hip-hop to black metal to jazz receive some variation of this critique over the years. Saying this is an indication of laziness more than anything else; given the intersection of genre proliferation and the ease of music discovery, there’s really no excuse for missing the multitude of bands who either pay homage to or actively progress virtually every genre in existence. Post-punk is a solid example of this – so many people are content rocking their Unknown Pleasures shirts and remaining oblivious to the fact that the genre didn’t start and end with Joy Division. There are notable installments made in the genre each year, and with their debut album Lovers Blessings, NYC-based duo Lowlands makes a compelling case for why they’re the post-punk act of the year.