Ulver
Nattens Madrigal


4.0
excellent

Review

by Angmar USER (24 Reviews)
March 11th, 2007 | 42 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nattens Madrigal is the definition of cliche black metal. With all the traits that make up the genre it would seem hard to enjoy. Somehow though this album is pleasing in a way that i hard to describe with words.

If any of you are familiar with the website uncyclopedia.com you most likely know it is a site similar to Wikipedia, but instead of providing facts, everything gets made fun of. When I am bored I often spend time on there laughing about the jokes made about the 568 some slipknot drummers, but one day I decided to search black metal. After chuckling at some of the silly jokes that were made I scrolled down to the “how to make a black metal album” section. Some of the steps were as followed: think of the most simple guitar riff and play it over and over at a fast pace, record everything on your dads barely working tape recorder, blast the drums as fast as possible over and over again, and so on. Although all of these steps seemed like they were cherry picked features from other black metal albums, it all made me think of Ulvers third release Nattens Madrigal.

Now if you have heard Nattens Madrigal you are probably aware it is one of the most stereotypical black metal albums ever released. In fact tales exist that the band members used the money from the record company on beer. After doing so recorded this album in the woods. Reasons for these rumors are understandable, because everything is recorded under some of the worst production quality in music history. The guitar tone has quite the buzz and drums are barely audible despite being able to hear the constant bleating of the snare. Garms vocals are always the usual high screech. In addition the entire album never lightens up accept a short acoustic break in the first track. So with all of these setbacks present, how could this possibly be an enjoyable album?

It would seem after all the noise you need to cut through in black metal, through all the bands that have made the bare bones noisy black metal, Ulver finally got it right. To start out with this album has an atmosphere to it like no other. The horrid production give this album a sort of melodic and chilling feel. Behind all the distortion in the guitar there is often a tremolo picked line that seems to hold everything together, not letting everything go to hell. For songs like “Hymn 7” are all raw and brutal on the outside, but after closer examination there is an epiphany of light.

Light is not exactly the word that firsts come to your mind whilst thinking about raw black metal is it? Although Nattens Madrigal never gives you much of a break from the chaos, despite some of the songs having strange noise breaks, there is something more enjoyable and pleasing that you cannot find anywhere else. This notion is hard to describe, and is one that must be heard to understand. Garms vocals also are a shed of light on this album, even though they are always the harsh scream there is something that separates them from others in the genre. Instead of being simply aggressive and treacherous, they convey heavy amounts of emotion and fit the music perfectly.

There is no amount of bass action in this album, if bass is present whatsoever it is covered up by the other instruments and vocals. Drum work on this album is really fast, all the time. Like a good deal of black metal blast beats are utilized throughout the entirety of this album, quite skillfully and in time. Lycanthropy is the theme that wraps up this album in a story of a man and a dark power that forces him to give into the beast inside. Although you cannot understand the lyrics when they are sung, reading them proves to be quite interesting as they all fit together and are brilliantly written.

Nattens Madrigal in all honesty should not be an enjoyable or pleasing album. After all this album practically defines cliche black metal. With the catastrophic production and little variation in song structure it should be extremely hard to enjoy. Reasons for this being a great album are hard to describe, something that Ulver did made this album beautiful. Whether it was the production styling, the guitar lines or the vocals Nattens Madrigal is a fantastic record.

what was good about this album
+The indescribable feeling everything has
+Vocally impressive
+Ulver pulled off stereotypical black metal, but added so much more
+Solid drum work

what was bad about this album
-The outright horrid production
-There is not much of a break from the chaos
-Only enjoyable in small doses
-Nearly impossible for some people to get into

Final Rating 4/5



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4
excellent
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Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Intransit
March 12th 2007


2797 Comments


Alot better than your last BM review.

Angmar
March 12th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah I'm nearly done redoing it, i need to either edit it or preferably delete and resubmit it.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 12th 2007


7927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decent review, but the conclusion needs some serious rewording.



Somehow though Ulver managed to pull off something incredible; by making some of the most ugly and beautiful albums in history.




That doesn't exactly make sense.



I also don't see this as beautiful in the least. It's not supposed to be. It's almost a statement, in my eyes. They created an album that's both the pinnacle of the raw-BM genre and the most cliche. It employs some of the most predictable elements and yet it's nearly flawless in it's execution.



And I think you really should have gone over myths about the creation of this album, it would have taken two seconds to find.

jrowa001
March 12th 2007


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. i still dont like this album, even though im a huge fan of their other BM stuff

Angmar
March 12th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh duh Cocaine I completely missed out on the creation myths ill add that in right now.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 12th 2007


7927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Other than that, I'd just work on the conclusion a little and I'll vote.

Angmar
March 12th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No problem :thumb:

Tyler
Emeritus
March 12th 2007


7927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Much better, I'll vote. Just one more thing:



defines clique black metal


*Cliché

TheHamburgerman
March 12th 2007


1535 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That uncyclopedia doesn't exist. At least not with me

Sepstrup
March 12th 2007


1567 Comments


Google uncyclopedia and http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Main_Page comes up.

A lot of it's funny. Like the page on nihilism.

Angmar
March 12th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah i know, I just didnt feel like writing up the whole URL.

[quote=cocaine]*Cliché[/quote]

Thanks fixed it.This Message Edited On 03.12.07

Dethtrasher
March 12th 2007


2211 Comments


Definitely better than your last review, good work. :thumb:
I will check out some Ulver material but I doubt that I will listen to this.

Nostalgia
March 12th 2007


64 Comments


Good review.

Call me weird, but this album is not as "raw" as most people say.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 12th 2007


7927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think it's pretty raw, personally.

Doppelganger
March 13th 2007


3124 Comments


www.encyclopediadramatica.com is dominant. Good review, though. I've heard Ulver's debut and it's outstanding.

Shattered_Future
March 13th 2007


1627 Comments


Uncyclopedia rules if you're looking for laughs. This album, on the other hand, is bloody irritating. I'm sure it would be fine with at least a little better produciton, but I just can't get past the fact that it sounds like it was recorded in a tin can.

FR33L0RD
March 14th 2007


6401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review

=========

I just cant stand the Bad Production of this albumThis Message Edited On 03.14.07

Angmar
April 1st 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Understandable

gmoneyguy
October 11th 2007


108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another nice review. It inspired me to put Nattens Madrigal on.

LifeInABox
October 11th 2007


3709 Comments


My favorite Ulver album. Essential album.



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