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Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP CD (album) cover

ATGCLVLSSCAP

Ulver

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.87 | 33 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. ULVER are a band who can't seem to sit still, they need to change the style of music they play on a regular basis. The title "ATGCLVLSSCAP" is an acronym for all of the astrological signs in order apparently. I didn't know that Daniel O'Sullivan from GUAPO was part of this band. Actually he and ULVER's electronic expert Kristoffer Rygg and SUNN O)))'s Stephan O'Malley have been part of band called AETHENOR for many years. Rygg was quoted as saying this about ULVER performing live, "It took us 15 years to muster the will and want to interact with society, that is to perform live...". So I can just imagine how nervous they all were when they did the series of live shows in Norway that this album was culled from. Nervous because it was sort of an experiment by the band to play these shows by playing improvised music. The music here is dark and features lots of electronics and a fair amount of droning. Experimental is the word and the band I thought of the most when listening to this was SWANS.

"England's Hidden" opens with church bells and this will go on for a long time until joined by sparse sounds before 1 1/2 minutes. These sparse sounds will eventually take over. This sounds like orchestral drones, maybe electronics. It sounds like mellotron after 6 minutes and it sounds amazing! It blends into "Glammer Hammer" where it changes quickly into more of an instrumental "rock" mode with drums, guitar keyboards and more. It calms down before 2 1/2 minutes but then this powerful sound drops like a bomb before 3 minutes. Some great percussion work here as these powerful outbursts come and go until they stay almost to the end. "Moody Stix" is percussion galore not so surprisingly considering the song's title. It's an interesting tune with other intricate sounds that help out, but percussion dominates.

"Cromagnosis" features experimental sounds that build while the guitar and other sounds come and go. This is pretty cool. It turns louder with drums around 2 minutes, man this is good. It's very repetitive but I love this stuff. A change after 6 minutes as it picks up in tempo and becomes catchy. "The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible" because they are spirits? Sorry, couldn't help myself. Sounds echo and there's lots of atmosphere and it's somewhat haunting. An adventerous track that is really out there". Also a great headphone track as most of these are. "Om Hanumate Namah" is also haunting and experimental. It sounds like electronics but it's hard to tell. We start to get a guitar melody over top before 2 minutes then it kicks into gear with drums and more as the guitar continues. Some vocal expressions too. These guys have some really good ideas.

"Desert/ Dawn" is dark with nature sounds like frogs etc. These high pitched sounds come in almost squeaking as a beat follows then experimental sounds as it builds. So good! The organ starts to drone at around 4 1/2 minutes and eventually the droning starts to over-power everything else. It's incredible the way they change things up ever so slightly while keeping the same theme. "D-Day Drone" is exotic and full of atmosphere to start as yes it starts to drone. Suddenly after 5 1/2 minutes it feels like danger is near, a dread is about to fall on us. Then a sampled voice can be heard before 7 minutes and it will continue until after 8 minutes.

"Gold Beach" again has lots of atmosphere that seems to hover and slowly pulse. The organ shines here creating atmosphere. "Nowhere(Sweet Sixteen)" is a re-working of their "Nowhere/ Catastrophe" song from their "Perdition City" album. This is the first true vocal track where the vocals are the focus as we get a beat with electronics. I really like the chorus where he sings slowly with his deep voice "Catastrophe" repeatedly. "Ecclesiastes(A Vernal Catnap)" opens with the atmosphere rolling in as deep spoken words arrive then piano. Another headphone track. The book of Ecclesiastes starts to get quoted in the singing after 3 1/2 minutes. Powerful stuff. "Solaris" ends it but I thought the previous track would have been the perfect closer. Sounds drone and it sounds like strings as well and they do get aggressive or maybe it's just sped up.

If you like your music dark and experimental like SWANS you should really check this out. Man this took a lot of listens before I started to really get into this. Another fantastic album from Norway.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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