Last elevated locally on the drum riser in Power Trip during a November Sound on Sound Fest make-up show headlined by tour mates Cannibal Corpse, Chris Ulsh drives the Dallas thrash unit at peak ramming speed 200 shows a year. Somewhat miraculously, then, between their breakout 2013 bow Manifest Decimation and 2017’s Nightmare Logic, the local Houston native eked out enough studio time to cut a fourth full-length with Austin metalcore trio Mammoth Grinder, which he leads from the front microphone. Cosmic Crypt boosts the hardcore punk tempos and death metal riffs of its three predecessors.
“I learned a little more about production this time, or how to get the sounds out of a studio that I hear in my head,” offers Ulsh. “The other two records [for Relapse Records], we’d have a tour coming up and I’d be pressured to make sure it was ready. Especially with Extinction, we didn’t have enough money for another day in the studio, and the day I had to record vocals my voice was pretty much shot.”
Punk kid or a metalhead?
“I had a separate punk and metal journey when I was young, but if I had to pick one, I’d say I was a punk kid, because that was the music that made me realize I could play this song if I picked up a guitar. I didn’t think that when I listened to Slayer.”
Ulsh laughs – amiable, self-effacing, 24/7 singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer for Hatred Surge, the Impalers, you name it.
“[Mammoth Grinder] was always personal, because this was my high school band,” he told Decibel this year. “There were so many times I should’ve put it down, but picked it back up because I was so critical of our old material. I wanted to outdo the last thing we did.”
Sat., Feb. 10, 9pm