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Ulver's Most experimental electronic - 85%

IcemanJ256, October 29th, 2004

This album contains one 24-minute title-track filled with a swirling resonance of static, mysterious sounds, and haunting, surreal melodies and textures. It is probably the freakiest and the most bizarre Ulver album. Let me tell you... when I first started listening to music in general, I never thought I'd some day be enjoying something like this, but here I am.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to own the original version of this album, because it was limited to 2000 copies. I have "Teachings in Silence" which combines both of the "Silence" EPs (even that was relatively hard to find). That is now pretty much the only way you're going to find either of the albums now. This album made my Ulver collection complete, except the demo. If you thought Themes... or Perdition City were bizarre and unpredictable (well, they are, but...) this is 10 times more. It is definitely not a solid, epic 24-minute song like something progressive rock bands do, instead it is a strenuous, chaotic experiment gone out of control. It is very laid-back though, the ideas are very spread apart and abstract rather than intricately jumbled atop one another, further proving Ulver's ultra-musical-flexibility and ingenuity. It's almost as if they were just fooling around with recording equipment and electronic instruments, and released whatever they came up with, barely refining it; but it makes for a very interesting and unique album and I'm definately not trying to insult the band.

The album begins with a creaking, buzzing noise, which continues on for a few minutes to build an atmosphere, until the first main melody is introduced. The advantage of dragging something on in music so long is when something finally changes, it is much more exciting. It changes into a very distant, brooding melody, that almost sounds like something from Godspeed You Black Emperor's "f#a#infinity" (Post-rock stuff) and then flips around into a more straightforward, very mysterious piano melody, sort of sounds like there was a radio out of tune before and finally it is coming in clear, which was unexpected. This is one of the best single melodies Ulver has made. It starts to fade out and some kind of robotic vomiting noises start to get louder (...yes). It goes back to what the CD started off like, which I think is pretty cool, and then a sudden swirl of beeps appear and fade into a bunch of disorienting, scrambled sounds. Ok, I'm done explaining it. That's 16 minutes into the album, you get the idea.

This is a worthwhile addition to anyone's collection that likes unique music. It isn't even very similar to other Ulver releases, and that's saying a lot. It is another stepping-stone to the devious and prolific career of Ulver.