Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ulver - "Nattens Madrigal" [1997]

Artist: Ulver
Title: Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden
Genre: Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 1997

Track List:
  1. Hymn I - Wolf And Fear
  2. Hymn II - Wolf And The Devil
  3. Hymn III - Wolf And Hatred
  4. Hymn IV - Wolf And Man
  5. Hymn V - Wolf And The Moon
  6. Hymn VI - Wolf And Passion
  7. Hymn VII - Wolf And Destiny
  8. Hymn VIII - Wolf And The Night
To be frank, Ulver never were one of my particularly favourite bands. Sure they are a well-respected musical collective who have experimented with many different genres throughout their career - from folk/black metal (their debut "Bergtatt" is windely considered to be one of the seminal albums of this genre) to various avant-garde electronic stuff and psychedelic rock on their later albums, but nothing has touched me to the extent I'd consider it a masterpiece.

"Madrigal of the Night", however, deserves a special credit for sounding exceptionally noise and aggressive, to the level of becoming (in)famous as the most unlistenable album in the whole Ulver discography. Some people now call it the essential album of "true" Norwegian black metal, athough I think "The Blood Must Be Shed" EP by Zyklon-B would fit this role much better. Anyway, this album dues have a strange appeal exactly because of its rawness and aggressiveness. There's a well-known legend that explains why its quality of production was so poor: the band allegedly has spent the recording budget on Armani suits, cocaine and a Corvette, and recorded the album outdoors in a Norwegian forest on a 8-track recorder. Some people also add that it's hard to believe in, because there's no electricity in the forest (well thank you, Captain Obvious, but they could be using a portable generator or something like that).

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