Review Summary: A beutiful Norse folk album from the dudes in Ulver.
Ulver is a band that has never really released the same album. When you compare their most recent release to something earlier like Nattens Madrigal it is hard to believe the same artists made it. Even in the “Black Metal Trilogy” of Ulver all three of those records had very different qualities. In The middle of the “Black Metal Trilogy” is an album that strangely isn’t black metal at all. This album is known to us as Kveldssanger, and it is a Norse folk album.
Taking another look back at Ulver’s releases you will see that their debut Bergtatt had a lot of soft folk structured sections. Imagine all of those sections off Bergtatt put into a whole album without any of the black metal parts and you get Kveldssanger. This album is consists of mainly acoustic guitar and is also blended with many other different types of instruments. Some of the additions include a cello and similar stringed instruments. Also there is not percussion whatsoever on this album. It is a very simple piece of art but it is very beautiful.
Throughout Kveldssanger we have the one and only Garm providing vocals. Although a good amount of the songs on here are instrumental when Garm does sing it is a huge standout. Like I mentioned earlier there are no unclean vocals, throughout the whole album Garm sings and chants majestically giving a very interesting feel to Kveldssanger.
Although Kveldssanger proves to be a beautiful Norse folk album like many fine things in life it is not perfect. Unfortunately the entire album is clocks in at a mere 35 minutes. In addition the album doesn’t have very many upbeat songs excluding a few of the instrumental tracks. In Addition there are 13 songs on this album, a high track count for only 35 minutes on the album. The Track lengths range from 19 seconds to the finishing track “Ulvsblakk” which has length of about 7 minutes. In the long run though this album hits you with much more than the average 35 minute long album.
Another Unique feature of this album is the addition of flutes. The Flutes sort of add a medieval type feel to the album. For the most part the guitar playing in this album is brilliant. The acoustic guitars provide a simple yet beautiful and majestic sound that truly is wondrous. Aside from the shear quality of Kveldssanger, there is not much in the way of repetition. Each track although soft is different, a task which can be difficult in folk.
Really there isn’t much to say about Kveldssanger. It is a simple album, yet great on so many levels. Kveldssanger proves to be extremely beautiful and soft without repeating itself or getting dull. It is sad that Kveldssanger is only a mere 35 minutes long because it has so much to offer. If you are a fan of folk, soft music or just would like to try more out this is for you. On the other hand if you only like the brutal side of Ulver and don’t want to branch out I suggest you avoid this.
Beautiful in every sense of the word
The addition of instruments like the flute
Not very repetitive
Only 35 Minutes long
A lot of short tracks
Not for those who only like Ulver’s Black metal side