Ultralord - We Hate You And Hope You Die - This Dark Reign  2006
8 Songs
Running Time: 41:53

Northeast Ohio's dirtrock community is home to a level of incest heretofore only acheived by a place called Alabama. At least the Akron area's interfamilial bonding is mostly of the musical sort. Therefore, when the lineup of new turd in the punchbowl Ultralord was revealed to be made up of current and former members of Fistula, Madman Mundt, Rue, and a host of other undesirables, I barely winced. My acceptance of the melting pot that is Ultralord was due to the fact that the above-mentioned bands all kick ass in their own slightly left-of-center way, while remaining true to the "If it's too loud, fuck you!" ethic that I prize in most groups.

While obviously taking tokes from the same bong and pulls from the same bottle of Jack as Fistula, Andy Strickland's vocals very nearly place Ultralord in the realm of black metal. High-pitched and raspy as all get out, his esophagus-rending delivery during "Wizard Pimp" shifts into simian howl  for the hammering "Pussy Witch". Corey Bing ( guitars/vox in Fistula, drums here)  packs a mean  wallop behind the kit, reminiscent at times of . It's when the sludgecrawl ending of "Pussy Witch"  slouches past, and "Black Maggot" begins that I had my first "What the fuck?!" moment. Damn near  identical in arrangement and vocal phrasing to Fistula's "Powers That Be" from their split with noise terrorists, Burmese, "Black Maggot" slams and smashes, heaving forth crustcore and Buzzo*ven worship with mighty fervour. I enjoy the fuck out of the song, yes, but I do question the need for what amounts to a lyrical rewrite of a song Ultralord's members had a hand in writing for another band. "Blood Sinner" shows yet another difference from the other Akron bands, the quartet being more than willing to venture off into hellfueled blues soloing for the latter half of the song, and contributing to the validity of Ultralord as its own unit. The majority of "Negative D" creeps by with all the speed of a three-toed sloth, but when you're plumbing the depths of humanity's sewer, things are bound to get a bit sluggish, and that's just fine to these ears. The molten molasses crawl of "Don't Fear The Reefer" skulks around for nearly two-and-a-half minutes before punching its thrashed-out fist into your ribcage, pulling out your heart, and showing it to you. The final third of "Don't Fear..." is made up of one of "those" riffs. You know the kind. The kind of riff where, when heard in some dive bar with a floor-level stage, where it's hard to tell if you're at a show or in a Navajo sweatlodge looking for your spirit guide, and all your bodily fluids have been replaced by $1 cans of PBR, causes a hundred hearts to drop out of a hundred asses, and two hundred fists to be raised into the air. That kind of riff - equally frightening and majestic. "Roach Destroyer" returns to sweat-drenched electrified blues, coming off like Alabama Thunderpussy on some serious downers, just in time for "Dirty Living", the guest bellows of Beaten Back To Pure's Ben Hogg joining Ultralord to send the album to its fiery end.

In the land of Akron, a hand has burst through the grave dirt, grasped the whiny sissified bitchfest that is screamo-core around its puny neck, and begun to slowly crush its windpipe. The hand belongs to Fistula, Rue, and now Ultralord as well. Nihilistic black metal as done by fans of Molly Hatchet and Bongzilla...yeah, that about covers it. Get Ultralord before they get you.  

www.thisdarkreign.com


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