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This is an amazing album. It holds beauty beyond words. Throughout this review I will attempt to do my best to describe the album’s full beauty. But let’s kick things off with a quote from Garm, Ulver’s vocalist, and his feelings about “Kveldssanger.” He once said in an interview that “Kveldssanger” was a very immature album, but it was pretty good based on the youth of the band. I don’t know where to start with what’s wrong with that sentence! I will now explain why that statement by Garm is immature with my review on this album.
First of all, this album is not metal. It is an all acoustic album. No drums, no distorted guitars, and no harsh vocals. What we have here is classical guitars, flutes, cellos, and Gregorian chants from Garm.
The guitars are perfect on this album. Haavard is one hell of a classical guitarist, and he certainly shows that here. He was extremely good on “Bergtatt,” with distorted guitars, but here he gets a chance to show off his classical guitar skill. Haavard is this album. Every song is dominated by his stunning guitar work. I don’t think anyone older could have pulled it off any better, making Garm’s comment seem rather stupid.
AiwarikiaR, the usual drummer for the band, does not get a chance to drum here. However, he plays a mean flute. AiwarkiaR plays the flute very professionally, and is really an effective force on this album. It fits nicely. Again, Garm’s “immature” statement looks pretty dumb.
There is a guest cellist on this album as well. The cello really works here too. It helps to keep the dark atmosphere going. It also adds a low sound to contrast the guitar and flute.
Another way to prove Garm wrong is using his own vocals on “Kveldssanger” against him. When was the last time you heard anyone, young or old, sing in a tremendously powerful baritone voice to acoustic folk music? His voice here is amazing. It is very low, deep, and incredibly full for anybody, never mind a teenager. He sings this way with no metal instruments backing him up either. It really works. He can be heard on seven of the thirteen tracks, which just isn’t enough. I personally would have preferred every track to contain his wonderful voice.
All of these elements on this masterpiece can hardly be considered immature. I don’t know what Garm was thinking, because what he is doing with Ulver today is certainly not nearly as mature as this.
Highlights: All tracks featuring Garm, especially Ulvsblakk, and Østenfor Sol og vestenfor Måne. These two tracks are awesome!