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Ulver Sic Transit Gloria Mundi album cover
3.74 | 15 ratings | 1 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Echo Chamber (Room Of Tears) (4:24)
2. Bring Out Your Dead (4:56)
3. The Power Of Love (5:38)

Total Time 14:58

2018 Vinyl release also includes:

4. Nemoralia (6:14)
5. Southern Gothic (4:50)
6. Transverberation (4:43)
7. Rolling Stone (9:33)

Total time 2018 Vinyl issue 40:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Ulver / music
- Martin Glover / mixing
- +Wolframgrafik / design
- The Bricoleur / mastering
- Michael Rendall / mixing
- Francis Bacon / artwork
- Paschalis Zervas / design

Releases information

Not On Label (Ulver Self-Released) - 3 File, ALAC, EP

2018 Vinyl and CD releases - House of Mythology (HOM 012)

The vinyl release includes 4 live bonus tracks.

Thanks to historian9 for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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ULVER Sic Transit Gloria Mundi ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

ULVER Sic Transit Gloria Mundi reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Back in the first years of 1980, I visited (with some fearless friends, of course) some catacombs in Palermo, Italy. It is an event that will stick in my mind forever. The catacombs were located close to one of the major cathedrals in Palermo in the cemetery yard next to the church. We paid an entrance fee, descended some stone stairs burying us underground, opened the creaky door and were admitted into the strangest world that was a combination of the sacred and the profane. Here, the famous, religious dead were on display in their official Catholic robes and hats. Some were displayed along the walls, others were sitting in their thrones or lying in their crypts, all on full display for the living to either idolize or wonder about. These dead people were in various stages of decay, but were somehow preserved so as to not give out the usual unpleasantries of death (odor, rot), however, they were some of the scariest things I've seen, their eye sockets empty and their mouths agape, some looking like they were laughing, others looked like they were screaming. It was strangely intriguing, but definitely not in a religious way, at least in my own mind.

Why do I tell about this experience? Well, first of all, this album cover depicts exactly what it looked like. These people ruled in their religious world at one time and their idolizers for some reason wanted to remember them and visit them. Now they reign through fear, fear of the dead or fear of their sins. The music on this EP reflects the atmosphere of these catacombs. Ulver has hit the nail on the head as to this weird obsession of the religious and the dead and the atmosphere that is generated from this obsession. So many dark, black and heavy metal bands have tried to depict this with their loud music, but Ulver, instead, kept the atmosphere but ditched the loudness years ago and ended up coming up with the real atmosphere that I felt in those empty, soulless catacombs, from the album cover to the music.

There are 3 tracks on the CD and the digital versions of this EP. The first two tracks come from the same mold (probably recorded in the same sessions) as the album they released prior to this EP; "The Assassination of Julius Caesar". The first track is "Echo Chamber (Room of Tears)" which uses synth loops and lines that give an echo-y sound with the unique vocals. The music has a moderate beat that stands out among the layers of synth, almost a pop-like sound, but far from being radio friendly. However, even though it hints at the more accessible sound of "Julius Caesar", it still reminds one of long, empty caverns and traditions or beliefs long dead.

"Bring Out Your Dead" uses rhythmic synths along with melodic keys, sounding a bit like Depeche Mode, but with a Tangerine Dream texture, mysterious, yet appealing. However, no band reaches the mysterious atmosphere that Ulver can obtain, the one that gives them the edge over any other music that widens the depth of their sound like no other. The music goes into an atmospheric feel as it ends.

The last track is a surprising cover of "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" "Power of Love". While it may seem strange a band as innovative as Ulver would resort to a cover like this, you need to hear it before you judge. The atmospheric piano and synths make this a much better version than the original, with some excellent effects that seem almost squeezed out of the instruments. The lyrics take on a whole new meaning with the new arrangement, giving it more emotion than ever before.

I wish I had a copy of the vinyl that was released in 2018, a year after the digital version. It contains 4 more tracks, live tracks originally recorded for the album "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" recorded in various venues. I am curious to hear the live treatment of those tracks since Ulver can completely recreate their music in a live setting. Maybe I will someday and then I can add that to this review.

Anyway, the music on this EP reflects the same style that was on the Julius Caesar album. Like the catacombs that I mention in the beginning of this review, this music has a certain vibe to them, where you can hear a false joy to the tracks that is somewhat covered with a bit of despair and grief. The real sense of the catacombs is an emptiness, but in reality, the bodies are there, but they are only empty husks, things that have long ago been transformed into just another inanimate object. The life that possessed these objects has passed from them, and the music here represents the long ago memories of that have actually been dowsed by the grotesque display of death. In an effort to try to make these church officials eternal by displaying their bodies, people have instead turned the memory of them into an ugliness that out shadow any joy they may have brought (supposedly) to those that wanted to remember them. That might not make sense to you, but to me, it best describes this music which to me portrays this goofy practice. If you delve deeper into Ulver's music, you will notice contrasts of both emptiness and beauty, you will even better understand how obsession with death is just an emptiness, dark and lonely, yet the promise of life and things that are better will bring a beauty to everything, even death.

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