# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ulver - Messe I.X - VI.X

  by Paul Waller

published: 17 / 9 / 2013

Ulver - Messe I.X - VI.X
Label: KScope
Format: CD


Melancholic and powerful latest album from Norwegian former black metal band Ulver, upon which they have worked on several of the tracks with the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra

Norway’s Ulver have come a long way since their black metal trilogy back in the mid 90s. ‘Messe I.X-VI.X’ shares a similar style to that of their 2007 effort ‘Shadows of the Sun’ but it contains a far more mature palate of sounds and ideas than that album; there are still those John Carpenter 80s electronics which punctuate the songs, ‘Glamour Box (Ostinati)’ being a prime example here but the addition of the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra has added a grand depth and aching sense of melancholy to their sound. ‘Son of Man’ and ‘Mother of Mercy’ both stand out due to the clean and layered vocals. At points they shares many similarities to overblown prog rock, yet there are no cringe enticing moments. These eight minute epics are handled with such a knowing respect for the genre and the arrangements are so orchestral and lush that it instantly outdates any reference points. Ulver have done to prog rock here what Nirvana did to heavy rock. They have taken the cool bits and developed them, whilst at the same time destroying the bloated pomp and simply cut through any bullshit. It’s as close to a work of art as any music can possibly be. Repeated listens is the key and I would point out that a pair of decent headphones really does the band justice. Turning off the lights, closing your eyes and imagining a new Ulver based landscape may not be to everyone’s taste but by doing this you can truly explore the effort and depth the band have put into this recording. Not since Godspeed You! Black Emperor first appeared on the scene has a group dug to such depths as to really discover their own beating heart. Ulver has an unmatched back catalogue of exploration and depth, and ‘Messe I.X-VI.X’ is a fantastic addition to this. Where the band goes from here is anyone’s guess but if they called it a day tomorrow at least they could honestly say they gave it their all.

Track Listing:-
1 As Syrians Pour in, Lebanon Grapples With Ghosts of a Bloody Past
2 Shri Schneider
3 Glamour Box (ostinati)
4 Son of Man
5 Noche Oscura Del Alma
6 Mother of Mercy

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