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Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.74 | 115 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Not being familiar with the vast discography of this Norwegian collective, and aware of their post-rock designation, I was pleasantly surprised that "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" has much less to do with the musical cataclysms of that genre and much more to do with a prog oriented spin on the New Romantic era of the 1980s. Now that's not as far fetched as one might imagine. Some of the more resourceful bands of that time had recaptured the flag of self indulgence that their punk forefathers had scoffed at less than a decade earlier. Thank goodness for that, and ULVER distills that blend of gaiety and gravity as though they have been practicing it since their inception, which maybe they have.

Others have experienced flashbacks to their huge hair favourites while dialed in to this recording, by house phone of course. I'm going to add to the list by tossing a crumb in the direction of MICHAEL CRETU's ENIGMA, particularly on the epic "Rolling Stone", which unfortunately degenerates into the same quagmire that defines the ending of every post rock track ever. The trio of "Southern Gothic", "Angelus Novus" and "Transverberation" best distill the reverbed reverb, booming yet sullen vocals, and drawn out melodies of that time. The latter is perhaps the best SIMPLE MINDS song never recorded by SIMPLE MINDS.

"The Assassination..." doesn't push the boundaries of its retro style in a momentous manner, which might be more blessing than curse. I suppose they do take a stab at it in the final track, and its not quite the bloodbath one might have expected.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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