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Ulver - Perdition City - Music to an Interior Film CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

4.01 | 224 ratings

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Trickster F.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A Musical Journey

Even for Ulver's standards, Perdition City is an unusual, extraordinary album, and the fact that it is most often regarded as the group's Masterpiece is not a mystery - in my opinion, this is their most successful album, where ideas, inspirations, mood and atmosphere all fuse into one amazing, incomparable experience - something I like to refer to as a Musical Journey.

Lost In Moments, the first track, quickly proves Ulver's reputation of being the masters of shapeshifting - the composition is done impressively well with changes between dark Electronic sound and ballad-like mellow parts with pianos and Trickster G.'s(also known as Garm). Garm's vocal performance deserves its own mention in this review. It is, simply put, his best so far - you can hear emotion, passion in his vocal delivery here, done more professionally than ever - showing that his talent as a singer develops with time. The first track is really a great opener, with its saxophone that suits the mellow parts incredibly well and is very appropriate and "screams" high notes when the next bizarre Electronic part should start. When one song contains so much diverse information in it, is a common question whether a group achieves the transition between the above- mentioned parts successfully or not. Good news here, because Ulver certainly do. Moving on to the next track, Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses, it is also one of my personal favourites. The dark mood from the first track remains here and carries on to the next track, as well as the whole album, however, the sound has changed between the first two songs. It is more minimalistic, melodic, and I especially appreciate the last few minutes of this track where Trickster G. wails with passion. The song is over and the rest is the core of the album - what makes it the journey it is. The first two tracks and also the last one, undeniably make the accessible, more straight-forward side of this recording, whilst the other composition is more minimalistic, at times ambient, at times even catchy memorable, at times beautiful, but more often disturbing. This is where you truly start to understand why it is a Musical Journey, as the sound is not as important as the overall "feel". The Future Sound Of Music, an obvious reference to the Electronic project The Future Sound Of London, as a more quirky track than its predecessors, instantly shifting listener's attention from whatever thoughts he was inspired by the music back to the music itself, later exploding into a heavy Electronic sound. I haven't mentioned it before, but I truly believe that Perdition City is also proof that Ulver are not merely a group that progresses between every album, but also constantly have moments that are rather proggy, though not in a traditional sense, for they are used in an original way nobody had before them. We Are The Dead is a very atmospheric track with spoken word in it and creates a spooky atmosphere before minimalistic Dead City Centres with its return of saxophone and a film sample. Pianos show up here as well, just as they do on many other compositions here. The short Catalept leads into Nowhere/Catastrophe, which is easily the most enjoyable track here and most song-like, with its own chorus, sung by Trickster G. skillfully, and even some guitar work, which was present throughout the album only in the shape of background noise. That, accompanied with use of Electronics, create a remarkable composition.

I could use the same positive adjectives describing the album over and over, but it is a better idea to just form a conclusion. This is truly a masterpiece of progressive music and as innovative as an album released in our century can be. It is neither too inaccessible to scare away the newbies, nor lacking the depth that would last for many many listens. Perdition City is simply one of a kind, an album that should be heard by anyone regardless of their tastes, as it is one of the most important records made in the last few years if not *the* one.

Trickster F. | 5/5 |


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