Ulver
ATGCLVLSSCAP


4.1
excellent

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
January 18th, 2016 | 399 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Having folded and condensed a dozen times over the course of their evolution. "ATGCLVLSSCAP" sees the band collapsing in on itself in order to become something new and otherworldly.

"Ulver are cataloguing the death of our culture two decades before anyone else has noticed its inevitable demise." It's a quote that one can really get stuck on. With scorched beginnings Ulver has transformed a dozen times to become this amorphous and transcendent collective that defies musical constraint. In their evolution, Ulver have receded and condensed into something new, showcasing a logical confluence between Terrestrials and Messe I.X-VI.X..

ATGCLVLSSCAP is Godspeed by way of Pink Floyd by way of Sunn O))) by way of a jam band catapulting head first into the ineffable abyss that graces the cover art. It's an conglomerate of a dozen types of sounds and styles that melds into a surprisingly unique yet familiar package. One would hesitantly describe the band's latest record as "post-rock," albeit without the builds, climaxes or superfluous junk that comes with it. Whereas a post-rock tune convinces the listener that the slog to some cathartic climax makes the whole thing worth it, Ulver manage to bring the focus to the peripheral facets of the genre. A static line of electronic blips and subtle guitar will go nowhere, but that's fine. The amount of layers and textures going on make each track blissfully complex and infectious.

ATGCLVLSSCAP is the result of a dozen shows performed in the wake of the band's emotionally ravaging album, Messe I.X-VI.X. Had that information not been revealed beforehand it would be it difficult to tell that this is a live album. A lot of studio magic must have occurred to make it sound the way it does, because the lush production sounds equally suffocating and empty creating a unique sort of hallowed aura. Ulver pay special attention to this backdrop, as it makes every song sound similar, even when they're vastly different. The starkly minimalist "D-Day Drone" and "Desert Dawn" feel akin to the funky psyche fest that is "Moody Stix." Meanwhile the trippy “Om Hanumate Namah” is seemingly tethered to Earth in contrast to the celestial "The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible.”

Moments of duality like this are rife in ATGCLVLSSCAP. Blackened noise stands back to back with soulful groove creating a feeling of unease. This too, is in stark contrast to the overall spiritual and hypnotic state that Ulver create. ATGCLVLSSCAP is constantly lulling the listener into a trance only to challenge them by overloading the senses with harsh sounds and unpredictable shifts in mood and tone. It's challenging, but not in the bull*** way that moderately "weird" music is described. Ulver have truly made music to pummel the psyche and push the boundaries of how music can affect the senses and emotions of the listener.

It is easy to get lost in the task of describing what Ulver has done here. Boiled down, it's a electronics heavy jam album. At its purest, ATGCLVLSSCAP is sensory deprivation in a decaying cathedral; a hypnotic invocation of minimalism and emotional battery that leaves the listener in a different state. After the album has coursed through every empty space within the listener, a numbness sets in. Whether that numbness is from a lack of nothing, or an abundance of something remains to be said because ATGCLVLSSCAP is impossible to pin down. ATGCLVLSSCAP will be different for everyone. But undeniably, it's an entrancing piece of music, collecting every bit of Ulver's legacy and throwing it to the wayside, making room for something transcending the band's 30 year existence.



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user ratings (248)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2016


1480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1 | Sound Off

Been fanboy-ing over this for nearly a week now and man is it something to get lost in.

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2016


40738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this and the new Sun Kil Moon have been pretty huge disappointments

zaruyache
January 17th 2016


19853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

You said post-rock so I have to jam it.

Digging: Grotesque - The Black Gate is Closed

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2016


1480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1 | Sound Off

I don't think anyone will like it as much as I did but srs if you just sit and trance to it you'll probably really dig it. I just really fell into and I it felt amazing.

zaruyache
January 17th 2016


19853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

didn't you just have this at a 4.3 or am I dreaming

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2016


11587 Comments


"beforehand it would be it difficult to" extra 'it'


Great review man, really well written. I really want to check this based on that single I heard recently. For some reason the album title appeals to me too.

"this is a live album"

Even cooler, I had no idea.

Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide

IAmWarhol
January 18th 2016


57 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Where`s the dig it function?

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2016


11587 Comments


Up in the corner above the bar graph it says "user ratings". Click that and on that page near the album title it has a dig button.

ShitsofRain
January 18th 2016


8097 Comments


scrolling the album art is fun

Tunaboy45
January 18th 2016


16583 Comments


Good review, I'll probably give this a listen.

Artuma
January 18th 2016


29866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not digging the album title and cover at all

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

InFlamesWeThrash666
January 18th 2016


8484 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the album title is really stupid tbh

Digging: Bokassa - Divide and Conquer

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2016


16045 Comments


cosmogramma

tommygun
January 18th 2016


26839 Comments


wtf is that album title

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2016


14070 Comments


Basically frontierer orange mathematics artwork

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2016


40738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"wtf is that album title" first letter of all the zodiac signs or some shit

EvoHavok
January 18th 2016


7655 Comments


Excellent read, Xeno!

AlphaBetaFoxface
January 18th 2016


89 Comments


Only people will likely accuse Frontierer of ripping it off because they are a smaller band

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2016


1480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1 | Sound Off

The album was recorded live in 12 cities at their performances. There are 12 letters in the title. I have no idea if they stand for the cities in which they were recorded but it's a good guess?

Gyromania
January 18th 2016


25915 Comments


awesome, can't wait to hear this



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