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. Even if the comparison is valid, it still doesn’t do Ulver justice as they’ve always been uniquely “Ulver”.
If you’re already an Ulver fan, chances are you’ve already bought this or are planning to because you know and love their unique style. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing Ulver, I highly recommend picking this up. In fact, whatever CD you were planning on buying, forget it, get this instead.
Favorite songs: In The Red, Dressed In Black, It Is Not Sound.
Check out the video on the CD for It Is Not Sound (…), it’s one of the better videos I’ve seen in a long while.