Ulver - Blood Inside
Jester Records
Avant-garde
9 songs (45:49)
Release year: 2005
Jester Records
Reviewed by Daniel
Album of the month

The wolves are back with an album that is as refreshing as it is challenging and exciting. In case you have lived in a deserted island since 1997, Ulver no longer play Black Metal, in fact, they are as far from Metal as they could ever be; so expect no loud guitars, blast beats or growled vocals; well actually, expect all of this, but in a way you can’t even imagine. With that already said, those of you who are up for something new and exciting (that isn’t Metal), read on; you might just have found what your tired of the same ol’ shit soul has been begging for.

What I’m about to say may sound a bit exaggerated but I find it true. Metal has certain structures to which we have already become used to. In order to appreciate Blood Inside, the listener will have to leave behind that “conventional” way of appreciation, and in a certain way teach himself to expect the unexpected. That is the beauty of Ulver and Blood Inside.

Blood Inside is an album were electronic soundscapes dominate and layers after layers of sound are seamlessly blended together with every single genre you can think of. I find it simply awe inspiring how many different influences are thrown into the mix. Everything from Jazz and Classical to Electronica and Ambient coexist and merge into one amazing listening experience. It is quite hard at times to manage to understand everything that is going on at the same time, especially because the songs tend to morph unexpectedly into something very different than what it originally seemed; so be patient and spin the album several times.

The album opens with Dressed in Black, with its gloomy electric tones and ambient environment; soon enough the song explodes into a thick electronica, drum machine ridden frenzy with piano lines flying all over the place. And the album only gets better from there with Ulver experimenting and crossing over genres with such bravado it’s unbelievable. Highlights include the monumental song Christmas, which will leave you absolutely amazed with Garm’s astonishing deep and somewhat seductive vocal performance over an epic sounding musical extravaganza of horns and synth. It Is not Sound proves Ulver’s capabilities to develop songs in unexpected ways by mixing heavy beats with great string arrangements, ambient elements and a synth performance of Bach. In the Red is also one of the most surprising tracks. The song starts as another string/synth arrangement/beat combo, but as the song comes near the end, it morphs into a Jazzy-Swing piece; I promise that after several listens I still wonder how they managed to make it work. Anyway, these are only some examples of what this album has to offer; so stop wasting time and run to get it; I guarantee you'll become addicted to it.

Production wise the album is perfect, thanks in part to the collaboration of Ronan Chris Murphy (famous for his work with King Crimson and many others). Everything is arranged to fit perfectly, especially Garm’s voice which is simply marvelous every time, electronically altered or not (the song Christmas works as a perfect example). I find the production of these kind of albums a very hard task, specially because of the many layers of sound involved, and to manage to make it all sound balanced is quite a feat, so hails for the production.

In a time were Metal and music in general seems to be stagnate, Ulver stand proud as the wolves they are, refusing to let music die and on the contrary, pushing the envelope further and further.

Blood Inside is absolutely essential in any music loving person’s collection.

Killing Songs :
All are amazing but my favorites are: Christmas, It Is not Sound and In the Red.
Daniel quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Ulver that we have reviewed:
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Ulver - Messe I.X - VI.X reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Ulver - Wars Of The Roses reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Ulver - Perdition City reviewed by James and quoted 95 / 100
Ulver - Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell reviewed by James and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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