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Ulver - Blood Inside CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.88 | 171 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is my first Ulver album and I have to say that if morbidly depressing is what they were going for with this album then they have certainly nailed it. What is it with Scandinavians and morose music anyway? Hell, my ancestors were Scandinavian – does this mean they were a dour lot too? Actually I remember great-grandma Anderson and she was a pretty stern old lady, so maybe it’s genetic after all.

Anyway, maybe it’s just because the sun is shining today, or maybe that I’ve been listening to mostly upbeat musical lately, but this stuff really is too morbid for casual listening, and I don’t much feel like putting enough energy into internalizing it to wallow in its doldrums (sorry, but I'm running out of synonyms for 'depressing').

And that aside, the band seems to be spending an awful lot of time layering both authentic and programmed sounds here, and in many cases for no really apparent reason. This album has the sound of a band that has possibly passed their creative peak and are resorting to buffaloing the listener with quantity over quality (it's a word, look it up). Just my opinion, but the gratuitous digital whining and painful piano-banging get to be a bit much after a while. This is a post-rock band, not Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, right? I like those guys by the way, but you have to be mentally prepared for that sort of thing.

On the up side are the unmistakably proggy “It is Not Sound” and the beautifully tense “Your Call”. On the down side are the first three turgid tracks and the rather bland “the Truth”. Oh yeah – and the closing “Operator” is an intense cacophony of sound even though it seems a bit out-of-place compared to the rest of this album.

I’ll have to check out a few earlier albums by these guys to confirm my hunch, but if I’m correct I suspect those will be a bit lighter on the wanton glut of sound and somewhat heavier on thoughtful compositions that demonstrate the musician’s technical prowess more than their studio savvy. We’ll see. Three stars I suppose (barely), but not really my kind of music. I already gave this one away to one of my kids.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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