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It is often hard to write reviews for “Different” metal albums such as Kveldssanger. Most metal fans prefer the more standard heavy distortion, blasting drums, powerful riffs and such. I believe metal is mostly about the beauty of the music. And what beauty this is...
One cannot really be objective reviewing something so soothing and yet invigorating, light and yet dark, relaxed and yet intense as Ulver's second LP Kveldssanger.
Ulver take a totally acoustic approach at folk metal, if it still can be called so. This record is filled with exceptional clean vocal, acoustic guitar and subtle orchestral harmonies, melodies, and atmosphere. There is nothing on this album that will make you bang your head, mosh or fall off your chair.
Where Ulver really shine is composition. The songs are short in time but long in replay value. The album is just around 40 minutes long, but I repeatedly catch myself listening to it over a few times in a row. The individual songs themselves are beautiful pieces of music, but only when listening to the whole album can one truly appreciate the genius of Ulver. Each piece fall perfectly with the previous and the next, creating a continuity rare albums have achieved. The diverse build-up to Utreise (which I consider to be the peak of the album) is so well done, you can hardly hold your current mood and stop yourself to succumbing to the flow of the music. The final two songs conclude the album, but also prepare you for a re-listen.
The atmosphere on this record is absolutely mesmerising. You easily drift into the world Ulver make with instruments and vocals. Garm’s vocals are heartfelt and powerful, ethereal and very close to the listener. The melodies fall together amazingly well, and don’t leave you wondering if that note should really be there. The songs drift from the cold, bitter northern snowy barrens, to the safety of a mountain cabin, to a dark forest of a misty morning. It is truly not describable in words, the pristine feeling one gets listening to this album. The flow is so natural, the listener doesn’t even hear the brakes between songs or the change in melody. The deep soundscape consumes you completely and you hardly notice the otherwise excellent musicianship on this release (that not being a bad thing considering all the over-technical bands out there).
I could go on and on about this magical album, the second in Ulver’s fantastic pre-electronica trilogy, but you should give it a listen or a hundred and experience this epitome of “non-metal metal”.
An undisputable masterpiece, and probably the nearest thing to musical perfection.