Ulver
Nattens Madrigal


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
September 2nd, 2005 | 660 replies | 42,286 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Ulver's first three albums are seen by many fans as their 'black metal trilogy'. One has to wonder why, considering that the centerpiece of the trilogy, Kveldssanger was an entirely acoustic Norse folk album. Bergtatt, Ulver's first album is a blending of the two styles seen on Nattens Madrigal and Kveldssanger. Nattens Madrigal is am extremely raw black metal album.

Ulver
Garm - Vocals
Lead Guitar/Acoustic Guitar - Haavard
Aismal - Rhythm Guitar
Skoll - Bass
Aiwarikiar - Drums

Allegedly recorded in a forest, Ulver's third album is not the easiest listen. The production causes the vocals to be mixed lower than the guitars, the drums to be hard to pick out and the bass to be literally impossible to hear. With all of this in mind, Nattens Madrigal is very possibly the greatest black metal album ever recorded. It's rawness, for black metal fans is an added bonus, while for non black metal fans, is an annoyance. The album opens up with a raw tremolo picked riff. Just 30 seconds into the first track, we hear a raw and very speedy guitar solo. This is the sound that is present throughout virtually the whole album. The whole disc, aside from a few short (and incredible) breaks, is raw and grim black metal at it's blackest. So what makes it so special? In every song, there are some incredible and beautiful melodies, sometimes pushed into the background of the sound and sometimes being a huge part of the sound. One of the best parts of the album is Hymn I. About 1 minute into the track, the instruments drop out to leave harmonising acoustic guitars picking folk melodies. This displays the early sound of Ulver and unfortunatly, this is the only taste of Ulver's folk sound on the album. The ends of songs are followed by ambient parts, hinting at the future of Ulver.

Nattens Madrigal is a concept album written about a man who immerses himself in 'evil spirits' and becomes a werewolf. Nattens Madrigal translates to 'Madrigal of the night' and the sound of the music would certainly reflect the title. Hymn VI, a major highlight of Nattens Madrigal is a surprise and a completely unique black metal track. The opening riff is incredibly happy and switches between furious black metal and the happy riff. Not only is it unique, but it is a brilliant song. The songs on Nattens Madrigal have plenty of diversity for a black metal album, certainly much more than your average Darkthrone or Gorgoroth album. They even pull out a piano for Hymn VIII. Really, the problem with Nattens Madrigal is it's production, which, for a good portion of it's listeners, isn't a problem at all. Nattens Madrigal, despite it's production, is a strong contender for greatest black metal album ever. Like Emperor before them, Ulver inject something into black metal which is impossible for most bands: beauty.

Pros
Incredible riffs and melodies
Garm is a great vocalist
Crazy drumming

Cons
The production is terrible for anyone but a black metal fan
Not so easy to listen to in one go
Bad production

Reccomended Tracks
Hymn I (Wolf and Fear)
Hymn VI (Wolf and Passion)
Hymn VIII (Wolf and the Night)

FINAL RATING: 4.5/5



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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Happymeal
September 2nd 2005


330 Comments


I've only really heard stuff from Kveldssanger and I didn't like it much to be honest. I'll see if this changes my mind about them. Nice review as usual.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 2nd 2005


2125 Comments


Bergtatt is probably a better one for you to get. If you get stuff from this, get the three reccomended tracks.

Ad Absurdum
September 3rd 2005


44 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review, excellent album.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 3rd 2005


2125 Comments


What are your favourite tracks?

analrightstart
September 3rd 2005


96 Comments


sounds interesting, might have to have a listen sometime

Ad Absurdum
September 3rd 2005


44 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favourite track? 'Hymne I' or 'Hymne V' I would say, but I think that the album has to be experienced start to finish to be properly appreciated.This Message Edited On 09.03.05

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 3rd 2005


2125 Comments


Those are my favourites too.

masada
September 3rd 2005


2733 Comments


This actually seems like it would be kind of cool, and I hate most black metal.

Arrakakaka
October 20th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very classic. It takes raw to another level, and it just rules.

The lyric sheet that I got has the lyrics in the language they use, and then English. The lyrics are so evil.This Message Edited On 10.26.05

black\m/metal
November 14th 2005


24 Comments


Why is this under electronica?

Shadows
Moderator
November 14th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Because that's what they play now.

I like this album a hell of a lot. I won't give it a 5 for personal reasons, although it is easily a classic.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 25th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ulver is such a hard band to classify. Only one of their three "black metal" albums is purely BM, being this one. Bergtatt is BM influenced though, but a little more experimental. Kvevsetessenslar (dont remember how to spell it, haha) is a folk album, more or less. Then they became a trip-hop/electronica band and now, with Blood Inside, I haven't the slightest idea on what to classify them as. We need an avant-garde section.

halfdeadhippo
June 20th 2006


52 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For whatever reason, this is the one album with this style of raw production that actually makes it work. It's like melodic static and I love it.

TheTastyLettuce
June 28th 2006


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only just recently got into this album, it's pretty static, but I suppose that's one of the reasons why it's so addictive

King_Of_Terrors
June 29th 2006


52 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll have to re-download this album. The one I had didn't have the tracks labeled so I deteled it because I am an indiot. This review really makes me want to go download the album. I am now.

Krabsworth
July 12th 2006


31 Comments


I love this album so much. I really like the raw gritty production I don't mind it.

nelg666
September 20th 2006


2 Comments


Definitivamente el mejor album de Ulver, totalmente bestial, el sonido raw es exactamente lo que necesitaba para ser una verdadera obra maestra del verdadero black Metal. El sonido de las guitarras es perfecto y penetrante y la manera en que la bateria "ametralla" tus oidos es estimulante.

Si te gusta el Black Metal creo que este es el mejor disco de la famosa trilogia black metal de Ulver, ya que es el unico que es en realidad Black Metal.

nelg665@yahoo.esThis Message Edited On 09.20.06

jrowa001
January 18th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didnt really like this album cuz of the weird production and sound quality. i cant deny the brilliant songwriting and musicianship but its hard for me to enjoy when i have to strain to listen to it. i prefer their advant-garde stuff

FR33L0RD
January 19th 2007


1464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Production is HORRIBLE
Amazing Guitar Melody & riff
Drumming & Bass are not good at all mainly because of the bad productionThis Message Edited On 01.19.07

Angmar
February 4th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[quote=shadows]User Album Rating: 1.5

Because that's what they play now.

I like this album a hell of a lot. I won't give it a 5 for personal reasons, although it is easily a classic.[/quote]Change ur mind much




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