Ulver
Svidd Neger OST


4.5
superb

Review

by Tyler EMERITUS
August 7th, 2007 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ambient electronica that's as direct as it is atmospheric.

There's often a concrete motive to contemporary songwriting. Regardless of what happens, the goal is more often than not to write something listenable. Whether the routes taken to craft a "good song" involve the perfect hook, a good beat or something totally different, it's safe to say that in many cases songs are being written just to be enjoyed, and there's really nothing wrong with that. It all seems fairly obvious, and for me to point it out in such a bloated, arrogant and pretentious way is, well, arrogant and bloated. The only real reason to frame an idea in such a way is to present the obvious.

The obvious, in this case, is that very few albums craft themselves as experiences.

The album in question is not beyond contemporary songwriting. It was not written with any ulterior motives; it's an album you're going to enjoy listening to. It is, however, also a release you can get totally lost in. Crafted as the soundtrack to the Norweigan film of the same name, Svidd Neger (which I will not translate) is ultimately nothing more than that. The movie is, to be frank, completely fucked up. Filled with racial epithets, axe-murders, alcoholic servants of god and some hardcore farming action, it's quite surprising to say that the soundtrack is absolutely beautiful. Ab-so-fucking-lutely-beautiful.

The album is not something you'll grasp at first, though it's not to say you won't enjoy it right from the get-go. While the ambience it creates serves as an excellent backdrop (it is a soundtrack, after all), true appreciation for it might not come until you dive right in. With the right listening climate, Svidd Neger possesses the ability to take the listener on a twisted journey. Lending itself to the quasi-formal tone you're currently reading, the album is highly sophisticated in its presentation. Strings cascade between methodical drumming, contradicting the occasional blips, bloops and sound clips from the film. Horns weave in and out, but they're mixed in such a way that they're not nearly as intrusive as they've been in past albums, namely the saxophone on Perdition City.

While the compositions are separated into tracks, Svidd Neger is best taken when you're hard-pressed to notice the separation. Absorbing the album as a whole ensures that the aptly titled "Waltz of King Karl" wont contrast harshly with swooping percussion found in Sadface. The melancholic strings rarely seem out of place with the electronic backdrops, and while the music is increasingly textured, it never becomes invasive. The sound manages to be highly ambient all the while benefiting to any extra attention you give it.

Svidd Neger was the group's first official foray into feature film composition, yet at a mere 32 minutes it's shorter than their work on the short film Lyckantropen Themes (but only by one minute). With length being the only detractor, the album is an experience that's over before you want it to be. Mirroring the light-hearted yet concurrently disturbing aura of the film, Svidd Neger can be appreciated on a myriad of levels. Put it in the background while you work, or lose yourself. Not unlike the highly controversial film it's paired with, the album can craft an experience you'll not soon forget, only with less…well, just watch the movie, you'll see what I'm getting at.



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user ratings (186)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Short, brief and arrogant. Just how I like it.

There was only so much I could say, seeing how it's barely half an hour and mostly ambient.

Zebra
Moderator
August 7th 2007


2647 Comments


I've never seen this film but have heard the soundtrack. This type of music might have worked for a movie but it sounds really bad on its own. All of these songs just sound really dry and plain, they're also to short to really progress or go in any type of direction.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dont know, I was never big on it and then one day it just sort of clicked with me. I like this more than Perdition City, that's for sure. The rating is a little presumptuous but it's definitely between a 4 and 4.5 for me.

Also I wrote this on almost no sleep, I just sort of felt compelled I guess. That's why it's really bloated. I have to stop saying bloated.



BloatedThis Message Edited On 08.07.07

Confessed2005
August 7th 2007


4520 Comments


Your reviews are always entertaining.

I really want to see that film now, sounds rather surreal.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It is pretty surreal, but it's really, really weird. I havent seen the whole thing though. I have a copy of it somewhere though. I watched about half of it but I couldn't get the subtitles to work properly.

Confessed2005
August 7th 2007


4520 Comments


Weird films are often the best.

Point and case; American Psycho. But I want to read the book.

NemesisDivina
August 7th 2007


141 Comments


great review, Tyler. I might just check out this album, being a huge fan of Perdition City and all :D

londoncalling457
August 8th 2007


2711 Comments


I have this, but have never listened to it.

Cravinov13
August 8th 2007


3854 Comments


I should get this.

mozartv
August 8th 2007


27 Comments


Good Review, but I probably won't get this. Soundtracks aren't for me.

lospokey
August 8th 2007


87 Comments


I'm a big fan of the early material not so much their later material, but they still excel at the experimental/progressive/ambient music they play now

Hatshepsut
August 9th 2007


1997 Comments


Good review. Seeing some without grammar mistakes is refreshing.

Unreal
October 13th 2007


229 Comments


this is a really rewarding listen, i have high hopes for their new album

Metalikane
November 16th 2007


851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably the first time Ive ever listened to a soudtrack before watching the film. I am in love with this record and now I must see this movie. This Message Edited On 11.19.07

Angmar
April 21st 2008


2688 Comments


Incredible soundtrack, probably has a place in top 5 Ulver releases.

Ominous Inane
June 27th 2008


188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Comedown is one of the best things this band has done, just perfect.

fireaboveicebelow
December 31st 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

never fails to amaze me

BallsToTheWall
May 27th 2009


49148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed.



Some of the best dark ambient i've ever heard.

Digging: Pohgoh - In Memory of Bab

mothergoose
June 20th 2009


308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could easily give this 5 stars. It's plain brilliant.

BallsToTheWall
June 20th 2009


49148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Favorite song is Wildcat. The vocals are chilling.



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