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Ulver Childhood's End album cover
3.20 | 61 ratings | 2 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. Bracelets of Fingers (Pretty Things Cover) (4:12)
02. Lament of the Astral Cowboy (Curt Boettcher Cover) (3:25)
03. Can You Travel in the Dark Alone? (Gandalf Cover) (2:33)
04. Soon There Will Be Thunder (Common People Cover) (2:54)
05. Today (Jefferson Airplane Cover) (3:20)
06. Street Song (13th Floor Elevators Cover) (4:02)
07. 66-5-4-3-2-1 (Troggs Cover) (2:54)
08. I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night (Electric Prunes Cover) (5:14)
09. I Can See the Light (Les Fleurs De Lys Cover) (3:22)
10. The Trap (Bonniwell's Music Machine Cover) (4:03)
11. Everybody's Been Burned (Byrds Cover) (3:15)
12. Dark is the Bark (Left Banke Cover) (2:27)
13. Living in the Past (Chocolate Watch Band Cover) (2:44)
14. Velvet Sunsets (Music Emporium Cover) (2:14)
15. Magic Hollow (Beau Brummels Cover) (3:14)
16. Where is Yesterday (United States of America Cover) (3:58)

Total Time 78:12


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Line-up / Musicians

Thanks to lss28 for the addition
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Childhood's EndChildhood's End
Audio CD$6.96
$9.93 (used)
Childhood's End by Ulver (2012-07-03)Childhood's End by Ulver (2012-07-03)
Audio CD$50.96
Childhood's End by KSCOPE (2012-07-17)Childhood's End by KSCOPE (2012-07-17)
KSCOPE (2012-07-17)
Audio CD$50.57

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ULVER Childhood's End ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ULVER Childhood's End reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guldbamsen
2 stars Castrated classics

Listed here on PA as a genuine studio album, Childhood's End by Norwegian chameleons Ulver is really an ode to the late sixties. All of the 16 tracks here are among the first wave of psychedelic rock that hit the airwaves some 45 years ago, so if you're looking for new material from this shape shifting rock group - you'll have to wait awhile until the release of the upcoming album, which in turn should be in the making as we speak.

I refer to Ulver as chameleons because of their inability to stand still musically. Starting out as an experimental black metal band with one foot buried in ancient Norwegian folkloric music, these guys have since then played all electronic, post rock, post metal - and some rather indefinable genre-less sounds that have cemented their position as one of the few truly progressive bands of the modern rock scene.

Childhood's End should be an album made for yours truly - it really should. Back when music really started to unfold beyond the mundane to me, it was mostly the sounds of the sixties that spoke to me. Here was music that was wild and untethered - free as a bird and all that jazz, and it hit a nerve with me in a most peculiar way that still resonates with me deeply. I can still put on a Jimi Hendrix album or a Grateful Dead jam and loose myself for an hour or so and come up on the other side of it and feel rejuvenated and alive in that hippie-peace out-love conquers everything type of way. It's naive, yeah I know, but I love it - and I can feel it right down in my bones!

Add to that, I think I have every album from where these tracks have been lifted off - and some of them still remain personal faves. So when you then count in just how fond I was of Ulver back in my metal days of Obituary and bonfires, you may get an idea of how much this album should work for me..... But it doesn't! Sadly no. Maybe it's because I've heard the original tracks to death and back and have trouble seeing them in a new dressing, but I sincerely doubt that is the sole reason for my disappointment. Personally I think it's all about production and how some musicians seem to be incapable of leaving 'mistakes' alone. Letting the odd howl and screech be as it is. Childhood's End is far too clean and sterile to these ears, and that is in itself an error Ulver should have been able to track miles ahead of it actually occurring - seeing as they once ditched the studio antics in favour of raw unadulterated power, back in their black metal beginnings.

The original songs here, like The Pretty Thing's Bracelet on Fingers or Street Song by 13th Floor Elevators fed off the rawkous garage drive. -A thing that literally pushed the tracks into another dimension altogether, and yet on here they seem like mere shadows of themselves - reduced to lukewarm indie rock with mellow tasteless vocal delivery. It's much the same one faces with songs like Living in the Past by the now legendary Chocolate Watch Band and Velvet Sunsets from Music Emporium. The music seems like professionally recorded tracks inspired by Steven Wilson techniques and studio multi tracking gone completely berserk. Don't get me wrong, I happen to love Steven Wilson as well as his producing skills, but would I really like them transcribed onto my favourite psychedelic rock music from the sixties? No way in hell! Big mistake.

All of the songs lie uncomfortably close to the originals, which again shaves away any real room for improvisation or multifaceted imaginative b pieces interwoven in the old school batter. No siree! If they indeed had done something to that effect, I would better have understood their production choices, but alas - this was not to be.

I may sound tough, and I guess I would be lying if I said that I didn't find some form of enjoyment in this release, but if I really have the urge to listen to these brilliant classics, I'll pull out my old record collection any day over this. Childhood's End does have its more breathtaking moments, and especially the modern twist on Jefferson Airplane's delicate and fragile love song Today, sounds oddly beautiful and robust all at the same time here with its low bass vocals and doomy atmospheres. Still, I'd rather have the real McCoy thank you...

My guess is that the younger crowd here on PA will find a lot to love on this tribute album, and that is probably mostly down to them not knowing the originals like the rest of us. If such is the case, then I heartily recommend this recording, and I sincerely hope it will ignite a fiery sonic journey back through the wild and soulful annals of psychedelic rock that once flew like milk and honey in the skies of marmalade, where Lucy once sat cross-legged in amazement with a splif hanging from her lips.

Review by TCat
3 stars With Ulver's back catalog of albums and them being the non-specific genre wizards, you would think they would be able to make amazing translations of psychedelic covers from the 60s right? Well, it definitely sounds like it should work.

Being a huge fan of Ulver, I always suggest this band whenever someone asks me for something new and different. There is always a Ulver album for pretty much any taste in progressive rock. When I heard they were doing an album full of psychedelic covers, I thought it was going to be amazing. I hate to admit that I was somewhat disappointed in this album though. All of the songs get the Ulver treatment in that they keep their psychedelic sound, but there is something not right about the production or the sound. The vocals for the most part are emotionless and there is a definite lack of dynamics here, usually something that Ulver has been good at. There are a few tracks that stand out well here like "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night", "Bracelet of Fingers" with it's spooky evil sound, "Dark is the Bark" has a nice instrumental section with a heavy use of synthesized strings, "Velvet Sunsets" and "I Can See the Light" both have some lush and beautiful sounding harmonics which are very original and progressive, and a few others, but there isn't much that stands out here. If there had been a little more emphasis on a specific instrument here or there, it might have made a big difference. As it is, the vocals and instruments all seem to be mixed at the same level with no highlight anywhere in the mix. This kind of gives the music it's psychedelic sound it's true, but it also makes the covers sound rather same-ey throughout. I can't help but with there was a little more variety in the sound.

But, it's still a decent album nevertheless. Just nothing amazing or outstanding like I have come to expect from all of their other albums. I'll come back to it, it's not like it is an album that will be shelved forever. But it's also one that I won't get really excited over either. It might be a good album to get the younger listeners started in exploring Ulver's music or in 60s psychedelic music, but I can't really see much more value to it than that. I guess it's a labor of love mostly for the band, but I wish it had more dynamic and variation to it.

I have to consider this one good, but non-essential. It's not a complete write off but it's nothing outstanding either. 3 stars.

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