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Ulver - Terrestrials (with Sunn O)))) CD (album) cover

TERRESTRIALS (WITH SUNN O))))

Ulver

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.28 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

frippism
3 stars Deemed by many as the absolute most anticipated semi-pretentious hipster metal album of the year, the collaboration between Norwegian weirdo ambient former metal-heads Ulver, with the ever most terrifying wall of noise that is the drone metal guitar duo Sunn O))), even I was joining the hype. These two bands are practical celebrities of the underground music world, who have inspired and intrigued the world of modern experimental/underground music. I was finally convinced to go ahead and pre-order the thing when I saw its beautiful artwork. "A portrait of our sun, captured in the wavelength of hydrogen alpha light"- sure, whatever dude. But the cover just sucks you right in, and more or less encapsulates the general feel of the album- an eerie, mysterious, though pulsing and violent ambient live improvisation made by two very progressive bands (one of them, sadly, not on this site).

To describe the sound would be a bit difficult. Undoubtedly it attains the subtlety and aurora- like beauty of the later Ulver albums- strong in its ambient colors and its warm melancholic sounds. The great thing about Sunn's presence in the album are the underlying tones they give, the strong guitar feedback which quietly reverberates throughout most of the album. You feel Sunn's presence to be more than cosmetic only after a few listens to the album, but in reality they are responsible for giving out most of the atmosphere here. They do their part and they do it well, often sounding like they are standing away in the not-too-far horizon, dishing out their absolutely brutal walls of distortion in an utmost gentle way. The more traditional sounding instruments do the trick, adding more beautiful textures to the album and giving you something more material to hold on to and to focus on.

The first track- "Let There Be Light" is probably my favorite. The slow build up is beautiful, and the trumpet that comes in really carries this track through all the way to the epic drums that come in towards the end of the track, which are heavy and primitive sounding and take the track to a very satisfying finish. "Western Horn" continues with the... horns, for the most part serving up for a very pleasant listen but it does outstay its welcome a bit. "Eternal Return" also builds up nicely, and ends at the only part with vocals on the album, with Kristoffer Rygg dishing out his instantly recognizable voice. It's a really holy moment when he sings, with a simple yet effective chord progression. The song mellows out slowly, with bits of harpsichord and other weird sounds swimming about before the song sinks to silence.

Overall the Sunn O))) & Ulver collaboration could've been better, longer, somewhat more groundbreaking, but the bands still manage to make a very strong ambient album with positive profound contributions from both bands. It is always a fun listen, with bits that are truly awe-inspiring and beautiful. A good listen for any fans of the band, or anyone who has meaning to try them out. 3.5 I'd say

frippism | 3/5 |

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