My buddy Steve, and cohost of our new metal podcast/vlogcast Mile High Metal Hour (shameless fucking plug) asked me the other day if I’d hear Ultha as it’s “totally my kind of thing.” Alas, I’d not heard the band, despite this album only having come out in December of last year and it being my kind of thing.

The “my kind of thing” he’s referring to is moody, post-ish, highly melancholic black metal, and Ultha is covered in that. On top of all the catches that drug me in, this album is fucking miserable. It’s devastatingly sad but not with the all the furious ethereal qualities that are associated with depressive black metal, a genre this album veers close to. Mostly in the vocals, with those pained, anguished screams. While DSBM seems to revel in the complex beauty of misery, Ultha just embrace it, whole heartedly, and without any sense of levity. It’s just here, this is what it’s like to die, or to know what loss is.

The music itself is beautiful but that’s a subjective opinion as I find these sounds and ideas engaging while this may be way more abrasive or to miserable for others. The sound is nice and thick, well produced, heavy on the bass and bass drum. Melancholic as fuck, but I mentioned that. Oozes atmosphere.

This may have ended up on my year end list for 2016 had I been aware of it in time. It’s well worth the listen even if it’ll most likely make you miserable.

Grab the album from the band over at their bandcamp page