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 Ulver: Messe I.X - VI.X review

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Gwonam
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PostSubject: Ulver: Messe I.X - VI.X review   Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:11 pm



To preface, my anticipation for this record was at an unprecedented height due to many untapped energies in Ulver's arsenal. Namely, the acquisition of Mothlite/Guapo/Miracle/everyman in every band Daniel O'Sullivan should have made Wars of the Roses an unforgettable affair, much like the rest of the past and future quartet's back catalog. A sobering reality; the album wasn't as well received as its predecessors, and they were focused on touring and revising their older tracks and creating a stage presence putting the wolves out for the night. On top of the hefty work ethic that Ulver go to the job with, expectations remain in the loft if only for their namesake career of shape-shifting and genre defying themes.

Messe I.X - VI.X battles with familiar Ulver tropes, visiting the brink and extracting the innermost essence of themselves to personify their sadness, oddities and triumphs. As Syrians pour in, Lebanon grapples with ghosts of a bloody past embarks upon a very particular journey of turmoil which, from its eerie and disjointed beginning, form the precedent for the band's opinion on current events. They're not ideological or even political through the track, instead offering an all too realistic expression to these developments.

"We live in troubled times. The song itself has a distinct Middle Eastern feel to it and coupled with sounds of vultures and war that title seemed both appropriate as well as contemporary. But we have no ideology for sale. Only our sadness."

Shri Schneider features a collage of Daniel O'Sullivan's electronic sheen on the band's psychedelic composition performed in no small way by the Tromsų Chamber Orchestra, echoing overcast days left somewhere in the now vacant Perdition City. It exists as an anomaly to the album's very tragic themes while staying perfectly in line with them. The following track, Glamour Box (Ostinati) follows up with a haunting chaos of the Silence EP backwash meeting traditional neoclassical in the purity Ulver helped proliferate the genre with years before it was vogue.

Son of Man begins Kristoffer Rygg's preachy resistance to blind belief, with a somber delivery akin to darker Blood Inside tracks such as Blinded by Blood or Your Call, and spares no metaphor for death as he exhales the following epiphany after announcing each failure since the beginning of time:

What kind of choir of angels will receive us?

Then, from nothing, it explodes into a dissonance of music never before heard from Ulver: a triumphant, symphonic discord charging headlong into the abyss of unknowing where it came and where it is going. The descent of this track allows the unholiness of Noche oscura del alma to revive the dead, with its very evident manipulation and effects. It is the darkest of nights.

Mother of Mercy chokes the light out of the affair further by admitting - and even embracing - all of man's transgressions and still yearns for fairness. Ulver aren't strangers to utilizing Christianity, Judaism or Islam into its paraliturgical approach to philosophy and invoke the dead of Jerusalem to paint the sorrow of our age, so fascinated with death and melancholy that the killing fields are anything but gone. They've only invaded the holy land and desecrate it with the trepidation met in the churches, mosques and monasteries of a time long before we were anything but alive.

Ulver state the claim of our obsession with the dead and prove it with unerring accuracy. What are we but our past?

5/5

Flawless, thought provoking and an all around brilliantly composed record.


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PostSubject: Re: Ulver: Messe I.X - VI.X review   Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:22 pm

Enjoyed reading this - why not post a track(s) son?

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PostSubject: Re: Ulver: Messe I.X - VI.X review   Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:51 pm

I posted the whole album in the other thread, but here!

http://ulver.bandcamp.com/album/messe-i-x-vi-x

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PostSubject: Re: Ulver: Messe I.X - VI.X review   Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:15 am

My bandwidth is at 100%
I will have to remember to hit this up on October. 1st lol

Godamn Uncharted 3 download was 30G

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