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NATTENS MADRIGAL

Ulver

Post Rock/Math rock


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Ulver Nattens Madrigal album cover
2.90 | 71 ratings | 9 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Hymne I - Wolf And Fear (6:16)
2. Hymne II - Wolf And The Devil (6:21)
3. Hymne III - Wolf And Hatred (4:48)
4. Hymne IV - Wolf And Man (5:21)
5. Hymne V - Wolf And The Moon (5:14)
6. Hymne VI - Wolf And Passion (5:48)
7. Hymne VII - Wolf And Destiny (5:32)
8. Hymne VIII - Wolf And The Night (4:38)

Total Time 43:58

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Garm / vocals
- Aismal / guitar
- Haavard / guitar
- Skoll / bass
- AiwarikiaR / drums

Releases information

CD Century Media (1996)

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Century Media 1997
Audio CD$7.95
$4.08 (used)
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Century Media
Vinyl$74.99
Nattens Madrigal [Vinyl]Nattens Madrigal [Vinyl]
Import
2010
Vinyl$149.99 (used)
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ULVER Nattens Madrigal ratings distribution


2.90
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
23%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
21%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (23%)
23%
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)
10%

ULVER Nattens Madrigal reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars What does Ulver leave us with before there exploration into experimental territory? The definitive black metal album. From this album Ulver would make perhaps the greatest left turn in music history.

Looking back now let's attempt to analyze what the genius that is Garm did here. The question is why did they make this record, and why the change that is evident in Themes? From even the first release, Bergtatt, it was fairly clear that Ulver had something else in them, no one knew exactly what that was, but it was clear that there was more to this band and some of its members than typical black metal.

It is my theory, that this record was designed to show that Ulver was superior to its black metal peers, that Garm knew he was gifted, and knew that his musical direction would change. However, before he made that change, he wanted to "show-off" his greatness, to put something out there to the black metal genre and say to its cult following, "Beat this record, I dare you." Indeed, Ulver may have produced the CTTE of Black Metal. Not only this, but it helped set up the radical change that Garm wanted to undertake. Think about it, what better way to make the most drastic left turn in the history of music, than to create a record that is the pinnacle of something you do not even care to do anymore, rather than gradually adjusting your sound, but to make a large jolt that would shock people. A great marketing technique actually.

Am I reading too much into this? Quite possibly. For now I'll let the genius that is Garm/Trickster G. guide the way.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#89688) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 15, 2006

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nattens Madrigal is the third studio album from experimental extreme metal( avant garde rock act Ulver. Ulverīs two first albums Bergtat (1994) and Kveldssanger (1995) had proven that Ulver was not your average black metal band even though the music on Bergtat is definitely black metal. Kveldssanger was a big surprise for many people though because Ulver didnīt follow up their success on Bergtat with another black metal album. Kveldssanger is an acoustic and folky album. Nattens Madrigal takes us back into Black metal territory and is IMO Ulverīs most extreme album.

The music is not without melody though and weīre still treated with a couple of beautiful acoustic parts here and there. The fast tremolo riffing is actually pretty melodic as well. Iīm reminded more than one time of the legendary ( yet very unknown) Swedish death metal band Unanimated and their album In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead (1993) ( and remember I said it was the band and not the movie, so donīt come complaining to me when youīre treated with countless zombies and dead body parts coming alive after being injected with a green fluid). The vocals are raspy black metal style. The pace is mostly fast but not extremely fast ( hyper blasts).

The musicianship is excellent. The technical skills are great but itīs more the compositional skills that Iīm impressed about.

The production is a problem for me. Itīs very thin and the guitar has a horrible sound. The worst part is that this sound is made on purpose. This is how they wanted it to sound. Itīs an aquired taste Iīm sure because I have friends who like the thin black metal sound. I grew up listening to full and bass deep death metal production from Morrisound and Sunlight studios and I just never got on the black metal wagon ( with a few exceptions), partially because of the thin and to my ears annoying sound quality many of the bands chose to use on purpose. So you might enjoy it more than I do.

Nattens Madrigal is a great album and thatīs even though it has a production that I donīt enjoy much. But on the other hand the production does take away the fourth star I would have given Nattens Madrigal and I will only give it 3 stars. Ulver would totally change their style after Nattens Madrigal so this is the last chance to hear why Ulver was one of the genre defining and biggest black metal acts in the nineties.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#192173) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 07, 2008

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars After the purely folk piece that was "Kveldssanger" Ulver released this piece of music. I honestly don't know if I can think of a more extreme 180. This album is pure, straight up black metal. For those who are not quite sure what that is, (at least musically....we all know about the church burnings) black metal is a very raw, abrasive genre of music. Usually features long, repetitive songs of manic tremolo picking, blast beats and shrieking vocals. It is often, purposely, produced with low quality.

This album hits everyone of those points. Every song is at least 4 and a half minutes long and nothing but blast beats, a distorted buzz that I can only assume is guitar, (being frantically picked into oblivion) and shrieking. There is the occasional, and I mean occasional riff, and the only real break is a 40 second acoustic section in the first song, (which is quite nice) and the very end of some songs.

There is the occasional solo which for black metal is quite unconventional. The vocals are actually tolerable. They are not the usual really high pitched black metal shriek but more of a throaty growling. Also, they can be a but buried in the wall of sound anyway so it may not matter. Finally, you want low quality? I have heard some lo-fi music in my day, but this album is truly low-fi. Hell, even for black metal the quality of this album is impressively low.

So that is it. This album is as straightforward black metal as you can get. A wall of distorted, static guitars and blast beats, extremely low quality and a total lack of song structure. That is no fooling around black metal. I personally am not a fan of black metal. I am not sure how someone can enjoy five + minutes of nothing but tremolo picking and blast beats. I can't even give this album a two, because a lot of Ulver fans may not like this, since it is absolutely nothing like their other work. It is not like most others works a prog fan will come across. Only recommended if you are a fan of black metal.

One Star

*JJ runs into the forest shrieking*

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Send comments to JJLehto (BETA) | Report this review (#294709) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 16, 2010

Review by Guldbamsen
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Back when I was a teen, living just on the outskirts of Copenhagen, I was never far away from the woods. They became my playing ground as well as being one of the greatest places to collect your speeding thoughts surrounding everything that is possible to cram inside a 15 year old boyīs head, who thinks that the world is a pretty big place - and fast becoming even bigger just through his pursuit of music.

The forest was often used as a place you could party, and many a Fridays we, my friends and schoolgirl sirens, would built enormous bonfires and play music all night long. At the time Prodigy and Oasis were big just about everywhere and seeing as we all had the hots for at least one of the attending girls, weīd let them hear "Firestarter" or maybe even "Wonderwall" - if you thought you were in there ;-) As night unfolded and we got more intoxicated by our mixed drinks with vodka-beer-pisang ambon-whiskey-orange juice-rum-thingy, we always seemed to end up putting this particular album on, not really thinking about the horrible consequences it would have on our love lives. Well who needs love at 15, when you have a dark brooding forest, Norwegian Black Metal and a giant fire that seems to lick the leaves off of the highest oak trees around you? We certainly didnīt thatīs for sure... And the birds ran screaming into the night leaving only us blackbirds, as you can probably guess.

For the prog community Iīd strongly recommend you try Kveldssanger from 1995 first or even the two last releases, before you start exploring this utterly black and bleak record. The music is black metal with itīs coarse sounding evil voice and great big melodious riffing that in time will melt together as dense storm clouds of sound with the vocals being the shattering lightning occasionally breaking through the thicket. From time to time we get small doses of the Norwegian folk flavor that flavored their 2 first outings and made them stand out from the large masses of newly formed black metal bands back in those days. This is a return to traditional black metal, and as Umur says in his review, you can really hear how they intentionally worsened the sound during production - bringing with it a very whispering thin coating of just bad recording technique, but hey that was on purpose and if you talk to anybody who listened to Ulver, Burzum or say Darkthrone back then, theyīd say that it sounded the way it should and damn-right evil to boot.

I am not 15 anymore, but I have strong emotions surrounding this very release - and every time i put the album on, I picture myself climbing the highest trees in the woods, screaming my lungs out - howling lycanthrobically at the white moon, jumping through bonfires with a careless look in my eyes thinking never ever will the day come, when the world around me turns me into a grown up and make me forget the beauty of night and the smell of wood fire and sweat on my clothes. It never did.

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Send comments to Guldbamsen (BETA) | Report this review (#384663) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The ambient transitions between songs and the acoustic break in the middle of the opening track prove that Ulver hadn't completely lost all ability to handle a recording studio for Nattens Madrigal - the absolutely dire sound quality on the black metal which takes up the bulk of this piece is 100% on purpose. On this album, Ulver take the lo-fi aesthetic which in moderation can add an interesting aesthetic effect to black metal and takes it to a ludicrous extreme, more so even than the likes of Burzum or Darkthrone who infamously went out of their way to reduce the sound quality of their albums in order to attain the atmosphere they wanted. The end result is an album which, if you aren't in the right mood for it, is an outright chore to listen to.

And yet...

There's a strange transformation which comes over the music when the sound quality is this bad. The instruments - particularly some of the higher-pitched guitar solos - often cease to sound like conventional rock band instruments at all and become more reminiscent of out-of-control industrial machinery or shrieking electronics. The vocals from Garm are so full of anger that they often sound as though he is fighting to get them out, like if he didn't give his all he would be completely lost in the mix. The rhythms and repetitive patterns which make themselves apparent in the music are powerful and hypnotic, and save the piece from being mere noise for noise's sake like, say, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. And the ambient interludes between songs provide a brief and haunting counterpoint to the full-on ugliness on show here. And the songs are in fact much more varied than they have been made out to be - the intro to Of Wolf and Passion suggests a sort of romantic power black metal, which is a combination I'd never thought I'd here.

After this, Ulver would turn away from black metal for good, but this last album is a challenging but I feel unique aesthetic contribution to the genre, and is certainly the best example I can think of of an album where a deliberate lo-fi recording style leads to a distinctive and individual aesthetic which simply could never have been captured in any other way - an aesthetic which is perfect for the album's concept, the saga of a man turned into a werewolf and who eventually embraces the wolf within him due to the misdeeds and cruelty of humanity. Ulver would leave black metal behind after this release to explore other musical avenues, but to those who have already sampled and enjoyed Ulver's work - particularly Bergtatt, their debut - I recommend it as perhaps one of the most intriguing experiments in extreme metal. That said, you'd be well-advised to manage your expectations accordingly; if you simply don't like lo-fi black metal you're not going to enjoy yourself here.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#625074) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 02, 2012

Latest members reviews

2 stars Ulver never fails to surprise. After that accoustic folk-rock album Kveldssanger, they return with a primitive black metal album. The sound is down the Darkthrone alley. What a contrast to Kveldssanger ! The music is pretty OK. I have to admit that I prefer Darkthrone or even Emperor to this ... (read more)

Report this review (#232283) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars OK. Let just start by settling what i'm rating here. It is popular on this site to avoid the 5 star rating for non-prog albums, for obvious reasons. I don't like doing that, i am rating a black metal album in the 1-5 star scale, 4 meaning "excellent" (just putting the "...adittion to any prog collec ... (read more)

Report this review (#204966) | Posted by Revan | Tuesday, March 03, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album is not for fans of later Ulver stuff. It's not like their other electronic albums, it's just primitive black metal with a very bad production (even by black metal standards). I'm not a fan of black metal, however, i've heard much worse. It is considered as a classic by fans of this ... (read more)

Report this review (#66642) | Posted by lordoflight | Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's about time someone reviewed this one. This album is seriously not recommended for anyone. Unless you're a fan of raw, primitive black metal with the worst production you'll ever hear. I happen to be such a person. Although the sound might seem terrible at first, underneath there's an amaz ... (read more)

Report this review (#60527) | Posted by | Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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