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Ulver - Blood Inside CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.84 | 163 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars In this album, Ulver explores sounds, moods, soundscapes, electric and acoustic sounds, original and non-original loops and samples, and traditional composition. Sometimes they do it all at the same time. This creates an amazing sound that is very original. This is prog rock at it's best especially among the sub-genres of Post Rock and even RIO. There is a heavy use of keyboards, both electronic and acoustic and a lot of interplay of dissonance and melodious hooks throughout. If you were to compare this to anything, it would be like a mellow version of The Mars Volta where you can hear a lot going on, but the various sounds, melodies and etc are easier to pick out. There is a similarity to Kayo Dot also especially in the timbre of the vocal delivery and the difficult-to- understand lyrics. I find the instrumentals are easier to follow than they are for Kayo Dot however. Vocals are very mysterious, brooding and dark, but at times they even approach pop sounding vocals, but in a very warped way in that no melodies are easily picked out of the individual tracks.

There is a theme going on in this wonderful cacophony of sound. According to the Garm, the key words that describe the music that is going on here are heart, blood, red, rose, beauty, violence, body, life, death, ambulance, hospital and so forth. It is psychedelic, progressive, sad and sanctified. It is beautiful, strange, experimental. The subject matter deals with birth, death and the suffering in between. There is such an amazing balance of old and new with this album, in the instruments, in the vocals and samples. Sometimes you hear singing that sounds like something from antiquity, other times it sounds very modern, almost like a warped Alan Parsons. You get tastes of electronica at times and at others you get classical elements, even a section from Bach at the end of the amazing song "It Is Not Sound". As far as the vocals; it's almost like the vocals are trying to be optimistic but the lyrics and the melodies keep preventing that from happening. That's the best way I can explain it. You have to listen close, this is not music you can appreciate by just having it play in the background, you have to dig into it.

There is no doubt that this is not for everyone. But that shouldn't keep the serious prog listener from trying it out and really giving it a chance. Listen to it closely though before passing judgment. Don't make the mistake of lumping all of the tracks together though, or you will only get the impression that this is just a wall of noise with a lot of unfocused things going on. First listen to each track individually and pick out the elements in each: a little jazz here, a little classical there, a little bit of something else over there. I think this is just genius. I know not everyone will agree, but I love this stuff! Not everyone can pull this off, the combination of old and new and balance it all out so well, though it probably leans toward the strange and dark more than the normal and humorous. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece of post rock and I will rate it as such. 5 stars.

TCat | 5/5 |


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