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Ulver - Shadows of the Sun CD (album) cover

SHADOWS OF THE SUN

Ulver

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.93 | 192 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is my first encounter with Ulver, so I never heard anything like this. A journey that I never found before this time in music. Imagine this: a bleak, iced plain of a tundra , illuminated by a weak flicker of Nordic sunset light. This is the landscape that come to mind when I listen to this album. You can imagine then the music: a cold, creepy, minimalist atmosphere, with long, suspend notes, accompanied by the utterly deep and warm voice of the singer. Every song is very melancholic, almost sad; not much happiness in this music, like the brilliant cover shows ( I got this album only because of the artwork, I'd never heard of Ulver back then).

The album starts with "Eos" a song played exclusively with a dim sounding organ, accompanied by vocals. Everything is slow, calm, and beautiful. The atmosphere is unforgettable. One of the best songs, even though it might not sound too appealing from my description.

"All the Love" has a beautiful intro, still played with only keyboards. Very simple, yet so profound and moving. The vocals come in shortly. The mood is lightened after a while, as the drums come in, with a downtempo rhythm, and a bleak sounding piano. The mood is even more lightened when a lovely sax solo comes in. After that, you can hear a dreamy, creepy piano riff that accompanies the vocals. Brilliant song, if you ask me the best song of the album.

"Like Music" has a much more relaxing atmosphere, thanks to some nice keyboards, which don't sound as dim as they were previously. The piano is active, less downtempo, generally everything is enlightened. Until half of the song. A threatening, creepy atmosphere comes in, played with keyboards an violin. That's how the song ends. Brilliant.

"Vigil" has an eerie, creepy intro: we hear different electronic sounds, but shortly after the piano comes in. The mood is enlightened and not creepy anymore, but still quite grim. I'm not too crazy for this song, but I appreciate the weird effects that you can hear.

The title track starts with an organ playing one note, until the vocals set foot in, and the mood is changed once more when the drums come in. The mood is really mellow, until the singer sings "Shadows of Tremor, Of The Sun". After that the atmosphere changes from really light, to eerie and creepy. Very nice.

"Let The Children Go" has a nice intro, but the whole song is very weird. All sorts of effects and instruments can be heard, creating a very strange, yet alarmed atmosphere. The vocals are desperate, the drums create threatening sounds, the sax and the vibes really ive an impressive touch. But the drums are the ones that really moved me. Brilliant song, as well as the weirdest song of the album.

"Solitude" reminds Black Sabbath's same titled song: the mood is relaxing but also melancholic and sad. But this isn't my favorite cut of the album, most definitely.

"Funebre" has a creepy and very short intro of drums. The vocals come in, and the atmosphere is suspended between creepy and relaxing. Some nice moments, especially from the singer, but not my favorite.

"What Happened" also isn't one of my favorites. It's almost minimalistic in many parts, sinister in others,. The last minute is practically silence.

"Shadows" no doubt is a great album, full of surprising and innovating moments, but I couldn't give it five stars. I think 4.5 is more than sufficient.

EatThatPhonebook | 3/5 |

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