Ulvesang
The Hunt


3.5
great

Review

by DungeonBoy USER (11 Reviews)
March 16th, 2018 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A continuation of their signature sound

Picking up right where they left off, Nova Scotia’s premier instrumental acoustic neofolk outfit, Ulvesang, have released The Hunt, the highly anticipated follow up to their 2015 self-titled debut. Again released through Nordvis, The Hunt is a continuation of their established sound found on their first record. Anyone familiar with their previous release can expect the same level of quality and sound herein.

The focal point of Ulvesang is the complimenting acoustic guitars of Alex Boyd & Ana Dujakovic. Often playing off of each other with rhythmic arpeggios and plucked melodies, their reverb laden sound is aimed to resonate with the primeval feelings within. There is a certain introspective quality to their music that evokes an array of emotions from a wistful longing to a peaceful tranquility. This time around, however, there are a few new elements peppered in. The addition of hand drums on certain tracks and the chiming bells found on “The End”, help carry certain passages. Throughout the album there are still the deep droning choral chants that help fill the space between the at times wandering, almost stream of conscious-like guitars. The overabundant use of chants, while sometimes effective, can come across more as a patch to fill the empty space between the guitars rather than strategically placed for their ability to elevate the songs. They are, however, one of this albums biggest strengths in achieving that ritualistic connection with the great wilderness.

Once again, the guitars are recorded direct in instead of with a microphone, and that distinct sound of a pickup is an immediately noticeable element to their music. While it is an unconventional choice for this style of acoustic instrumental neofolk, Ulvesang have combined this recording technique with heavy layers of reverb and delay to create their signature sound. It’s certainly unique, however in a way it somewhat loses the more natural feeling their acoustic guitars are capable of producing. In addition to their recording techniques, there is a slight looseness to the playing throughout which can both add to the natural atmosphere of their sound, but can also pose as a distraction when focusing on the intricate playing. While these criticisms can also be viewed and appreciated as artistic choices, there is no denying Ulvesang’s ability to craft beautiful and interesting songs which they have once again proven on The Hunt.

The biggest surprise on the album lays waiting on the penultimate track, “The Truth”, where we are introduced to a welcome addition of atmospheric singing beyond their staple oohs and aahs. On first listen, it caught me by surprise as I went into this only expecting instrumentals, but my reaction quickly turned into appreciation and a slight disappointment that these were not used more throughout The Hunt. They are a very welcome addition, and in my opinion add a fantastic new element to Ulvesang’s sound that hopefully they will explore more moving forward, as it works rather well with the music and atmosphere.

The Hunt is a wonderful addition to the instrumental neofolk realm. There might not be a great deal of evolution from their debut but their sound is still unique and distinguishable among their peers. Ulvesang’s future is still very bright, and wherever they go from here, I believe the same level of quality found on both of their albums will follow.



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user ratings (27)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
March 16th 2018


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Released today and streaming on Bandcamp:

https://ulvesang.bandcamp.com/

ButteryBiscuitBass
March 16th 2018


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Solid review mate, I actually prefer their debut to this, maybe that will change after a couple more spins, but I'm feeling a little underwhelmed.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2018


19348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, listening now. Getting Agalloch and early Ulver vibes from this.

Digging: Sweet Trip - Walkers Beware! We Drive Into The Sun / Stab/Slow

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2018


26453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Oh shiit

Digging: My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything

DungeonBoy
March 16th 2018


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys. I did decide to round down to a 3.5 instead of up to a 4.0 here, but it was a tough decision. At this point I also prefer the debut to this for a few reasons. I think the guitars sound a lot more dynamic and overall better on the debut. Comparatively they sound much more compressed on this and for a style of music so focused on the instrument, the tone and recording really does make a big difference to me. I think the song writing on the debut has a slight edge on this as well, but I think they are very similar records in terms of quality. I'm hoping it will grow on me more, though. I am definitely a big fan of this project.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2018


26453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

your new EP is better than this ;]

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2018


12235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

[2]



Even though this is really good. Haven't checked their debut though.

Digging: Steelbourne - A Tale As Old As Time

Evreaia
March 17th 2018


5225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was great. was in the need for something new like this.

CaptainDooRight
March 17th 2018


4359 Comments


dis pre chill

DungeonBoy
March 19th 2018


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Atari and Manosg (:



Manosg the debut is great, and I would definitely recommend it. I have it on vinyl and it's recently been my go to record to put on while I'm making dinner haha. Kind of surprised this hasn't gotten more attention around here, it's a pretty big release for instrumental neofolk/darkfolk/acoustic/neoclassical/kveldssanger worship.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 20th 2018


26453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

so far I'm not liking this as much as their debut



clearly some nice guitar playing, but I keep waiting for something else to happen idk it's a bit boring

Hawks
March 20th 2018


74171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really loving this.

Digging: Old Nick - A New Generation Of Vampiric Conspiracies

bnelso55
March 20th 2018


1353 Comments


I'm finally getting to this. Great review! I especially like how you touched on how the production/recording techniques (not too many reviewers do that) and that you included your reaction to the singing on "The Truth". We'll see if this tops their self-titled for me. Kinda have my doubts at this juncture.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2018


12746 Comments


Last one was pretty great, but it sounds like this just remains in the same vein? Was kind of hoping for an improvement.

Digging: Hundreds of AU - Acting from Remote Satellites

Hawks
April 19th 2018


74171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard the last one but I'm still loving this.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2018


26453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Hawks, I think you'll love this band. new album out Friday...hope you like flutes!

https://sangredemuerdago.bandcamp.com/





Hawks
April 19th 2018


74171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Niceeeee will check bro. m/

zaruyache
April 19th 2018


23878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

pagan bump

Hawks
April 20th 2018


74171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/ m/ m/ m/ m/

Pho3nix
April 21st 2018


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Darker than the debut for sure, I might actually up this to a .4 at some point



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