It's weird to think it's only been 6 years since I first heard Ulcerate's first full length "Of Fracture and Failure." That album was a brutal onslaught mix of Gorguts and Immolation. It fairly received a good bit of acclaim. A couple of years later found them incorporating more of what is now known as the Ulcerate sound and received far more praise.

Around that time it's as if they decided death metal needed an answer to black metal's Deathspell Omega. They answered that call beautifully and painted dense, bleak, atmospheric soundscapes that would draw the listener in. From that point forward they have been honing that sound.

Depicting their songs as bleak soundscapes is an understatement. The songs are overwhelming melancholy. They demand the listener to do just that, listen. Each listen will bring out more nuances. It's not something that is easily digested. Each release has found me requiring many listens to form a final opinion as well as something I need to be in a mood for. Vermis is not something that you put on for a quick spin. It's demanding in the most brutal and beautiful way.

There's a reason these guys continue to gain the favor of critics and why you see it on the top or near the top of many best of 2013 lists. They are a well oiled machine (possessing one of death metal's best drummers, see them live to believe it) and have honed their craft so perfectly. Each song could drown the listener in its sonic assault while simultaneously raising the bar for the entire death metal genre.