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One of black metal's best - 100%

Hawks10Pec, March 12th, 2009

When most people think of Black Metal, bands like Darkthrone, Emperor, Mayhem, Burzum, etc come to mind. Ulver is not a band that most would think of when thinking of such an extreme form of music. Today, Ulver is a band that plays a mix of Ambient, Electronic, and various other types of experimental music. If you are a fan of their more recent releases, you would never expect an album like Nattens Madrigal to come from the same band. Nattens Madrigal is a raw, evil Black Metal album with some of the worst production ever heard on any record of any genre. What some people don't know is that before the new, experimental Ulver, they were once one of the best bands in the Black Metal genre and this is their crowning achievment.

I'm going to start off with the best part about this album and that is the vocals. The vocalist is Kristoffer Rygg, better known as Garm. Garm has two sides to him. He can either sing in a beautiful singing voice or he can do some of the most menacing Black Metal screams known to the genre. On this album he goes with the latter. Garm sounds like a man possessed on Nattens Madrigal. If you're looking for him as a singer i advise you to go get an Arcturus or later Ulver album because you're not going to find any beautiful singing on this album. Black Metal vocalists everywhere should learn from Garm on this album.

Now as i mentioned earlier, the production on this album is very, very terrible. In fact, there is a rumor that the band actually recorded this album in a forest because they spent all their money on beer. The guitars on this album, although very low in the mix are played extremely well. This is probably the best guitar playing on a Black Metal album. The riffs are very melodic for such a raw album. They are very melodic, but are also played very fast. There are also a couple of quick solos here and there. The pace does slow down for about a minute on this album in Hymn I when there is a nice break from all the madness for the acoustic guitars to work their magic. It only lasts about a minute and then its right back to the chaotic nature of the album. As for the bass guitar, it is non-existence. I couldn't hear the bass for one second during this album and i doubt anybody will be able to hear it.

The drums on this album are played in one style and that is blast beats. Fast, crazy blast beats is the style of drumming for the entire album and the only time it stops is when Hymn I slows down. Also, at the end of each song there is about 30 seconds, sometimes more, of Ambient parts. After that it blasts right into the fast tremelo picking of the next song.

My advice is, if you're a Black Metal fan, you should get this. That is if you don't already have it. This is my favorite Black Metal album of all time, even beating out some of the greats such as Transilvanian Hunger, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and In The Nightside Eclipse. I'm not going to say any highlights because every song is a highlight. Classic album for sure.