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Ulver - Blood Inside CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.89 | 173 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars You have to appreciate Ulver's creativity and artistic ambitions. The band plays whatever they want and they leave no room for expectation. However, Ulver has been sticking to an industrial/electronic sound for some time now, so I suppose one would have been safe in expecting an electronically driven album with Blood Inside. As that is a rather vague expectation, beyond the surface of the industrial/electronic foundation, this album is a completely unique and inexplicable blend of styles and sounds. Furthermore, the listener will be bombarded with music of the highest density. The listener will likely be discovering new things about the album even years after they've had it. Despite possessing all of those qualities, Ulver simply can't manage to write a memorable tune. Layers of sounds and effects should be added to embellish a composition, they shouldn't take over the composition. That is often the case here; you have solid ideas throughout, but they often get buried in an avalanche of noise. This makes the album difficult to enjoy. It also doesn't help that the general mood of the album is downcast. Surely a challenge is good for the listeners, but when you listen to Blood Inside you're often going to get confused about whether the challenge is in understanding the album or getting through it without cracking your own skull on the nearest hard [but blunt] object. And of course, after working yourself to exhaustion from restraining yourself through the first 8 tracks, the last one proves to be the most cacophonic thing you've ever heard (though that may be because you won't be able to think about anything, let alone another unbearable sound while that is going on).

The band sometimes gives the listener something memorable, however. The band does a great job building tension before that final track with "Your Call," "It Is Not Sound" puts a solid melody in the front and then erupts into a wild whirlwind of whatever it is that they are playing and we even see the band lock into a fun groove on "Christmas." Really, Blood Inside is an album that can be enjoyed, but they really make it difficult for you do so, much like the ping pong table my family got for Christmas. That took far too much work to assemble. I actually didn't pick that example because of the song on this album, by the way.

Ulver is truly a singular band, but Trent Reznor does almost as many awesome sounds and effects in his work and it is often much more memorable and enjoyable, even though there is generally a negative mood as well. I'll take a slightly less innovative record if it has more to connect to musically.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |


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