Ulcerate - Altars - Neck of the Woods - San Francisco, CA - 11/8/2023

After unleashing one of the most pummeling and demoralizing releases of 2020 with “Stare into Death and Be Still”, via Debemur Morti Productions, this New Zealander outfit has been leveling audiences in Europe for a few years. Finally making their way to North America, the band brings Aussie Death Metal trio Altars with them. Once the show was announced, we immediately marked it on our calendar as you never know when you might catch these guys again.


After two local opener bands that we sadly missed, Altars took the stage with ravaging brutality and intensity. This band is quite loud and their old-school punishing riffs are quite massive alongside the deep and powerful growls. The band’s sound is not too complex, but it does create a very thick and powerful atmosphere. We sadly didn’t get any shots of the band as we arrived a bit after they started and didn’t get a good spot up front. However, these guys are a great opening act as they deliver heaps of intensity.


Nearing 10 PM local time, Ulcerate took the stage in a commanding way. The band has a very expansive sound with crafty technical/Avant-garde elements mixed in with a crushing Death Metal foundation. Unleashing a wave of sound, people immediately started moshing in the small venue while the band laid waste to everybody with their imposing music.

We like heavy and punishing stuff, but Ulcerate just takes things to a whole new level while having a refined and highly elaborate sound. On the completely opposite of the Tech Death Metal spectrum from bands like Obscure, these guys focus on delivering intensity and aural devastation rather than focusing on the notes and technical proficiency of their songs. This creates a completely demoralizing vibe that anybody even remotely curious should check out.

The Lifeless Advance
Cold Becoming
Drawn Into the Next Void
Dead Oceans
There Is No Horizon
End the Hope
Dissolved Orders
Stare Into Death and Be Still
Everything Is Fire

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Be sure to catch this tour as they completely deliver a unique and crushing experience. Thanks to the people at Earsplit productions for hooking us up and the great and friendly staff of Neck of the Woods for letting us roam around with our camera, while avoiding getting trampled by the mosh pit.

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