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Lyckanthropic Journey. - 90%

IcemanJ256, October 29th, 2004

This is probably the most simplistic and minimalist Ulver release. It is a monotone, electrically engineered, lycanthropic journey through the night. The album has a distinctive dark atmosphere like I've never heard anywhere before, only hinted around on maybe three other Ulver releases. By looking through the booklet, there are images of modern, mysterious, unsettling, dark rooms and streets, which seem to match the music's mood. All the pictures are at night, like the movie takes place in some freakish world where the sun never rises. Garm's vocals are absent on this album, making more of an empty, lonely feeling. The songs flow into each other like a cycling electric current, brilliantly composed. I'd have to say the album is more similar to post-rock, with its extreme minimalist aura: many parts of this album have a steady, but faint background rhythm or constant noises, and the tones and melodies keep changing slowly. The album has a contemplative and lonely feeling, like someone in a huge futuristic city with people everywhere but they are somehow isolated and diverged.

Some tracks worth pointing out are Track 10, which is a deviation from the rest of the album, sounding like a factory out of control with a bunch of mangled industrial sounds attacking you; Track 9, which contains a strangely groovy electronic sound; and Track 7, with its beautiful, blossoming piano melody.

When I first got this, I didn't think it was that good, probably because most of the album sounds the same, but after a while I realized that it's really something that has a certain atmosphere and mood that I've never heard before, and can barely explain. You will start noticing the subtle differences listen after listen. You really need an open mind and patience to let it grow on you. Metal? No. Talent? Yes.