Ultha - Belong (EP)

07 Oct 2019 - Thorsten

Black-Metal | Vendetta Records | Release date: 07 Oct 2019

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Cologne’s best ever (!!!) in Black-Metal are returning with an epic EP that blows your mind and soul. It seems as if this one is their last release, but there could not be a better way to say goodbye!!!

How do you write about a record with a running time of 37 minutes – in only two songs?! You cannot look at the sequence of songs because, well, there are only two. Can you look at any really significant difference between them? No, not with German black metal masters Ultha, though you might say that “No Fire only Smoke” is the more experimental track of the duo because of its slow beginning with the voice-over sample. You might also argue that track two, “Constructs of Separation”, a 21-minute-monster infused with a lot of doom-moments, is a bit more melancholic and gloomy.

When Ultha and Vendetta Records broke the news for this release they also simultaneously said that this would be their pen-ultimate record (before an infinite hiatus), the last one being released at the band’s own Unholy Passion Festival in December. So, this release is the beginning of Ultha preparing for their goodbye; is there a slight hint at that in the title of “Constructs of Separation”? Well, if there is then it’s well-hidden in plain view.

As usual with this band you should not expect anything less than uncompromising artistry as they are masters of their craft. There is hardly any modern black metal band that cannot make clever use of the double bass attacks and blastbeats, of harsh, distorted shredding and slowly winding clear motifs, yet there is hardly any modern black metal band that can match up to Ultha’s brilliance. They got this Wagnerian moment working for themselves – just as cleverly as the (ideologically discussion worthy) German composer of the 19th century they are able to hide a simply beautiful guitar line inside of a lot of noise only to push it slowly towards the foreground where it then can stand on its own and shine even brighter as it had to survive through all the “dirt and grind”. These are then the moments which make the listener feel heightened up to a point where he is as elated as that singular musical element. This ability to lift us up while still shredding along all the time is what makes this band stand out, makes the hair on our arms stand up, makes us wait for the final release at the beginning of December, and finally makes us wait for a comeback after aforementioned hiatus. We could hardly wait with arms more open.