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Ulver - Blood Inside CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.89 | 173 ratings

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3 stars Ulver have proved themselves to be geniuses in the experimental vein of progressive music. Their audience is quite minute, and unfortunately so. I'm convinced that loads of fans of this style of music are completely oblivious to their existence, and that is the shame. It's not the type of music to gain any sort of advertisement, eschewing all notions of commercial success and conforming to modern rock standards. I tip my hat to the band for such a noble act, but, unfortunately, in doing so, they have cut their audience down so drastically (though, of course, if they hadn't done this, then their music would also have drastically changed).

Blood Inside is Ulver's '05 release, and has taken advantage of (but not abused) all the technology available nowadays to make their trance-inducing experimental music. There is a minuscule amount of guitars, and a large amount of electronics and vocals, with a touch of symphonic keyboards (Wakeman style, sometimes). There's even some orchestra (synthetic or not) throughout the album. It all shapes up to be one ecstatic trip, an unforgettable and yet hazy experience. With every listen, new layers to a song previously unnoticed surface. The eerie, dark atmosphere is endlessly gripping, and all the methods of painting this picture are nearly-exclusively original Ulver ideas. Trickster's voice, jumping from the whole bass tones, to the higher notes would seem to completely clash with the music when heard separately, but together it's obvious that these sounds were meant to exist cohesively.

There is very little here that is reminiscent of much other music on the Archives, particularly the popular prog (an oxymoron, no doubt), and this vaporous electronic post-rock plays a stark opposite to prog metal, the mechanical, highly-strung, tightly composed, heavy-on-the-musicianship type of music. This style of music offers blissful dreams and ominous visions, but rarely any staggering structures or mind-boggling solos. Ambient would not justly define their sound - for there are many exciting moments with much percussion, whereas most ambient is simply smoggy mush (Fripp & Eno, for instance). However, this album (and most of Ulver's discography, mind you) has lots of "mush" to keep you satisfied. Adding to the mush factor is the deficiency of many melodies or riffs, and the presence of a huge array of instruments and samples creating a "wall of sound".

Trickster's voice, along with a thousand and one styles of synthesizers and whatnot, hypnotic drums, and an almost-minimalist orchestral touch, are the driving forces behind the psychedelic excursion. Whether your searching for an ghostly trip or just some fresh variety from mainstream prog, Ulver's music is a must-hear, and the Blood Inside is one of their finer outputs. I would suggest Perdition City above this, however.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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