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Blood Inside

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 12, 2005
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Product Description

Ulver are evolutionary concept artists who've exaggerated and blurred the lines between every musical form they've been enveloped. They have been nominated to the Norwegian Grammy Awards, Spellemannsprisen, twice, in different categories. Album features 9 tracks.

Review

This ain't rock'n roll. This is evolution on a grand scale! -- Kerrang!

You could file it under spoken word, electronica, metal, pop, or art songs, and be right every time. It's Ulverific! -- The Village Voice
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The End Records
  • ASIN: B0009RQS5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,791 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm going to start this review with a warning to all newcomers to the Ulver sound...

WARNING! DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT IF YOU DO NOT CONSIDER YOURSELF A DEVOTED AND AVID MUSIC LISTENER / LOVER / JUNKIE / FANATIC /ETC. YOU WILL NOT REAP THE REWARDS OF THIS RECORD IF YOU DO NOT PUT IN THE TIME.

There, Now that thats over with onto the review of Ulver's "Blood Inside". This was my introduction to Ulver, as much as I hate to admit it. I wish I had jumped on the Ulver band-wagon earlier, but for my defense, it took me this long just to find out about the band. Ulver's sound is truly unique, It denies all categories, genres, or labels. Its has elements of Classical, electronic, ambient, metal, soundscape, Jazz, blah blah blah You get the picture. Its incredibly hard to compare Ulver to any other Band or sound out there...Ulver is Ulver and thats all there is to it.

"Blood Inside" starts with the electronic intro "Dressed In Black". A great opener in my book, although I hated it when I first heard it, after a few listens to it the complexity of it struck me and I started to really enjoy it.

It ends with a pulsating sound with wavy, chillingly hypnotic vocals That kick off the next track "For the Love of God". This is one of my favorites of the album, Its another song with more electronics then anything else. Although there is some interesting guitar work, drumming, and solo's, This track is ruled my the synthesizer, and it rules with an iron fist.

The Bells at the end means it time for another of the best tracks from the album; "Christmas". This song is influenced by classical music much more then the previous two. Having String passages, percussion Bells, and brass instruments alternatively blaring at all times.
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Finally! This album is overdue; I've been Ulver-thirsty for some time now. I guess I got spoiled with so many EP's in 2002-2003. Although Ulver's next musical accomplishment is always unpredictable, this album feels like more of a natural evolution than their previous transitions. "Quick Fix of Melancholy" and "Svidd Neger" started adding more violins, pianos, and things like that to the mix. I didn't think the band's production and polished sound could get any better, but it seems like it did on this album. Everything just sounds so acoustically fine-tuned like the architecture of an orchestra hall.

"Dressed in Black" starts out with a heavy, frequency-shifting tone, slowly adding piano, Garm's voice comes into the mix, eventually transforming into a lavish instrumental section that keeps building up, and then breaking down into a wacky piano loop, slowly fading out with some ambient sounds.

"For the Love of God" this song is just hard to explain. It reminds me quite a bit of the Perdition City style. Somehow it just feels like a big, futuristic, busy city at night, going through a subway tunnel and on the street and Sometimes only the imagination can explain what Ulver sounds like. Maybe the lyrics help this imagery out: "Going down faster than the light / Going down deeper than the dark"

"Christmas" has got to be the best song. It starts out with some faded, almost drab sounding bells, with a very faint, yet warm sounding violin melody. It gives the beginning a very cold feel, like Christmas is too cold to enjoy this year. Then the familiar (but so unfamiliar) wild Ulver beat begins, including Garm's sailing vocals, continuing with the bells, adding plenty of horns and wild percussion.
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Ulver...what can you say about a band that seems to reinvent itslef on nearly every release? Most bands that do this are said to be "finding their own sound" or "experimenting" but one does not get that impression about Ulver. Each of their releases sound extermely calculated, like the sound they achieved is exactly what they were going for. Blood Inside is no exception to this. It sounds really nothing like any of their previous work (as noted by another reviewer, closest to the A Quick Fix of Melancholy EP, my personal favorite). Despite this, Ulver sounds so comfortable in this new sound.

The most pleasing thing about this album in my opinion is that it's not instrumental. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed their instrumental EP's and soundtracks but I really like the vocals that Garm (or Trickster G, Krystoffer or whatever he's going by this month) provides. I've always thought he has an excellent voice even since their "black metal" beginings but his "clean" vocals are just outstanding. While his vocals are definitely stunnig here, I still stand by my opnion that his best vocal work was on Arcturus' The Sham Mirrors.

Whenever I've mentioned Ulver to the uninitiated, the question of what they sound like inevitably comes up. Trying to explain what Ulver sounds like to one that has never had the pleasure of hearing them is like trying to explain what a Picasso or a Van Gogh "looks like". People will probably think I'm nuts but if I had to make a comparison, I'd probably say something like "imagine if Bjork was three Norweigan guys that used to play black metal, instead of a gal from Iceland". They both have consistently put out unique "electronic" albums over the years, backed by strong, distinct vocals.
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