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. Its also a High point for Garm’s Haunting vocals, don’t ask me why its just a track where they really shine. This is defiantly one of the stand-out tracks of the entire album, You won’t find yourself skipping this one.
Then “Its Blinded By blood” which is an absolutely beautiful track, It’s a very relaxing and Serene Song. I can’t really say much about it other then its another of my favorites of “Blood Inside”. You have to listen to it to really understand why I love it so much.
With the strange lullaby-like chirpings at the end of “Blinded By Blood”, You know its time for “It is not Sound”. Which is the only “Single” from “Blood Inside”. A very un-traditional Single to say the least, with a strange drone and vocals holding the spotlight for the first minute and a half. This is another of my favorites, Its another track which shows off the more electronic sound of ulver. It also sports an insanely long,(around 1:18 long) but not boring keyboard solo near the end of the song.
Then “The Truth” Kicks off which, not to sound like a broken record, is another favorite of mine. This song is very hard to describe. It is a very progressive track with classical and electronic elements to it. Its confusing and relaxing at the same time…if thats even possible. It starts to end with Garm’s singing backed by some insane teddy bear vocals (thats no type-o)
then ends with tambourines, a great bass riff and Garm shushing the listener.
Then comes “In The Red” which is a cool song with a very swing/jazzy style to it. The highlight of this song really is the
way they go about it. Proving that Ulver can do whatever the hell they want to do. You wouldn’t think a band could start from Black Metal(which is a notoriously elitist Genre) to using elements of Jazz and swing! But its a great track and doesn’t ever get boring. Your toes will be tapping to the great rhythm that last throughout the entire track.
Now for “Your Call” which is my least favorite song from “Blood Inside”. It just doesn’t Have mcuh going for it except the great ending which leads into the chaotic “Operator”.
Boom! after the less then great “Your call” ends “Operator” immediately blasts through your speakers. An Insane track, which truly Denies all categories. This is another Track that you have to listen to to understand. It has everything, even a great solo thrown in for your listening pleasure. A very intricate song, which will require many, many listens to truly understand… in fact, I just listened to this track while I wrote this section of my review and found 2 little parts underneath everything else. And those underlying parts are what keep people always coming back for more.
If you’ve only listened to this record a couple of times and didn’t enjoy it as much as some of their other (recent) work, give it a few more listens. I’m not trying to convince you that this is the end all be all of Ulver, that this is Ulver’s best work and if you like “Perdition City” (for example) better your nuts, or even that this is the Pinnacle of Ulver, there may still be more to come. Just on a side note, in case you haven’t noticed, Ulver may not be for you.-If not read my giant Disclaimer at the beginning of this review- For example if you want some music to go to the gym and pump some iron to, Ulver Probably won’t float your boat. “Blood Inside” is a record to sit down in a room by yourself and listen to, doing little else, other then appreciating it for the masterpiece that it is.
So to conclude this review I’ll say that if you are looking for some good music, (be you a fan of metal, classical, electronic, or the like) Look no further, the answer has been right under your nose the whole time, it was for me!
If you managed to read this entire review, and didn’t feel like kicking me in the teeth after doing so, or found it remotely interesting, appealing, or helpful please take a second out of your busy day to press the “yes” button next to “Was this review helpful to you?”
-Igar the Terrible