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Wars of the Roses


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Audio CD, October 30, 2012
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Wars of the Roses + Messe I.X - VI.X + Childhood's End
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Editorial Reviews


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kscope
  • ASIN: B004QK6TX2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Murat Batmaz on May 3, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Wars of the Roses is another worthy entry into the Ulver discography.

The album achieves a fine balance between the more guitar-driven sound of Blood Inside and the atmospheric elements of Shadows of the Sun, Ulver's previous two albums. However, it is neither as densely layered as the former nor possesses the evocative flow of the latter.

Rather, it amalgamates musical traits from its predecessors while re-shaping them with a more direct approach. The album derives its power from being extremely varied, as it is comprised by far-reaching sonic experiments. The opening track, "February MMX," is strangely addictive, despite being Ulver's most upbeat piece of work to date. Although the band describes it as a pop song, it breaks pop music conventions as it carries the unique Ulver stamp. From the way the percussion is used to the entire arrangement, the simplicity of the composition works perfectly to express the underlying apathy intended to portray.

Except for the last track, none of the songs are overtly long. Mostly, each track is anchored to a single key motif, be it the subtle strings, the intense musical passages, or Garm's vocals. And while the songs may sound like they are uneventful in their flow, repeat listens prove extremely rewarding. There are flashes of brilliance in each and every composition waiting to be discovered - and as predicted, they're carefully written into the pieces. Any person who calls themselves a fan will be blown away by the brief piano melody on "Providence" or the insanely sad sounding intro of "September IV" - consider the dichotomy in the main melody and vocal style, for instance. There is also the song "England," an instant favourite because it offers some of Garm's most giving vocal performances ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IcemanJ VINE VOICE on June 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If Ulver has taught their fans anything, it's to expect the unexpected. I've even prefaced reviews saying that their albums are so unexpected that it's expected to be unexpected, therefore becoming expected. So it's ironic that when I first popped this album in, not knowing what to expect at all, what I was hearing was very unexpected. I was totally confused, just like I just confused you. The last thing I expected was Ulver to make a mostly calm, sparse, rock sort of album. I can hear more regular ol' drums than I've heard since Nattens Madrigal.

But this album is far from their best work. Many songs have not quite enough going on in them to keep me crawling back for more, notably "Norwegian Gothic" and "Providence." I don't mind calm or atmospheric songs at all, I mean, I like the Teachings in Silence EPs for God's sake. But both of these seem a bit flat, and parts of other songs too. There isn't much of any atmosphere being created nor any ultra-experimental or wacky stuff found on every previous album.

"Stone Angels" is alright, it's probably the most experimental song, but I usually don't like songs with someone reading something over them, especially if they take up one-third of the album. It reminds me of "Where Stone Lions Prowl" by Sol Invictus, I'd rather listen to that. My favorite song is probably "Island," I really do like the atmosphere this song portrays; it sounds like you're on an abandoned tropical island listening to Ulver. Maybe more songs just need bird sounds. "February MMX" is probably my second favorite track, and that's probably because it sounds closest to something off "Blood Inside."

Maybe I'm just hanging on to the past, but I really am having a bit of trouble with this one.
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By JA on August 21, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a "good" cd for Ulver to release. If I could change one thing, it would be the long drawn out "Stone Angels" song at the end which is very very long with simple textures of sounds and a man reading a poem over the background sounds. It's the type of song you can listen to once or twice, but really, the album ends before the last song "Stone Angels" starts. Overall this cd doesn't have the same impact that "Shadows of the Sun" did, even though this one is more upbeat and has a different feel overall. Shadows was a 5 star album, this one a 4 star, and the newest one "Messe..." a 2 star (barely).
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Format: Audio CD
I have listened to this album in many different places: sitting before the ocean, driving through the desert, lying in bed, huddled in front of a camp fire, and the music seems to know and change accordingly. This music is soulful. Buy ten copies now.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By pancake_repairman on May 17, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
A soft breeze of an album that drifts by uneventfully. If your dream collaboration is Sting and Amy Lee i highly recommend it. If you have followed Ulver's discography from black metal thru experimental electronic/avantgarde you already know Shadows Of The Sun was a retreat from the landmark originality of Blood Inside into safe new agey territory. This album branches out from that into a more organic piano based sound, but it's all very uniform. Insipidly pleasant lightweight neo-classical backing with languid croony vocals upfront which refuse to contribute any distinct melody.
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