Nattens Madrigal

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Band Name Ulver
Album Name Nattens Madrigal
Type Album
Data wpisu 03 Marzec 1997
Styl muzycznyFolk black
Zarejestrowanych posiada ten album243


1. Hymn I - Wolf and Fear 06:16
2. Hymn II - Wolf and the Devil 06:21
3. Hymn III - Wolf and Hatred 04:48
4. Hymn IV - Wolf and Man 05:21
5. Hymn V - Wolf and the Moon 05:14
6. Hymn VI - Wolf and Passion 05:48
7. Hymn VII - Wolf and Destiny 05:32
8. Hymn VIII - Wolf and the Night 04:38
Total playing time 43:58

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Artykuł @ InfinityZero

08 Czerwiec 2010
Ulver is a unique band, to say the least. Their musical career has taken them through all sorts of genres, from their roots of Norwegian black metal to trip-hip, electronic, and ambient. One thing that has become well known about Ulver is that they always seem to please the audience that the genre applies to, and that’s mostly true with Ulver’s black metal period. I was first introduced to Ulver about a year before writing this review, and since my first time hearing the atmospheric and haunting black/folk metal masterpiece Bergtatt, I’ve been searching local CD stores and the Internet for a copy of an album by the band from their black metal days. I only just recently came across a box set for Nattens Madrigal, which came with a vinyl, CD and T-shirt representing the album. The album has arrived, and I decided to review it while it’s fresh in my mind.

Unlike their previous black/folk metal release, Nattens Madrigal is black metal at it’s most raw. That means it’s nothing but the traditional lineup: guitars, bass, drums. It also means machine-gun drumming, tremolo-picked guitar riffs, heavy distortion, and an overall speedy tempo. The first thing that I notice right off the bat of this album is how far they go with the distortion. There’s a lot of fuzzy hissing that makes the drums pretty far back in the production while the bass guitar stays pretty much non-existent until the last song, where it gets a short little section where you can hear it better. If the back of the record sleeve hadn’t mentioned that Skoll was in this album, I would have believed it. The distortion can easily hurt your ears if you’re listening to the music with headphones, and it can get a tad annoying until you’re used to it, but that excessive distortion highlights those guitars, making it clear that this is a guitar-oriented album, full of all the agression and speed you could want.

Almost every riff of every song seems to jump out at me from the sea of distortion, and a lot of the riffs are loaded with passion and emotion. Not only that, but they’re fast too. As soon as the album starts, we get a super fast tremolo-picked guitar riff with the drums keeping up speed in the background. Almost right away, we get a solo that quickly breaks into an amazing acoustic section, which will sorely remind you of Bergtatt. The folk section is maybe the best thing in the while album, but unfortunately, there isn’t any more acoustic passages on the entire album, which is a little bit disappointing. The drums aren’t bad, in fact, they’re quite good, but unfortunately, we don’t get anything outside of blast beats. There isn’t anything technical or detailed about the drumming, which is unfortunate, considering the drummer is AiwarikiaR, who had proven himself as a very talented drummer in Bergtatt. He can do much more than just blast beats, but in this album we don’t get to see that. It must have been part of the bands idea to make the album seem more raw, and it does, but it’s still unfortunate having AiwarikiaR around without fully utilizing his talent. The vocals are by Garm, and they’re great as always, and this time they don’t even touch upon being clean and melodic, which isn’t a bad thing for this album. Melodic vocals would not have gone well in this album. His vocals are all growl here. They’re full of energy, and are great black metal vocals, but how well you can hear his voice tends to fluctuate throughout the album.

Another thing to mention about this album is that there is a short section of ambiance in between each song. It lasts 15-25 seconds for most of the songs, and in my opinion it’s probably an interlude to let your ears rest before the next song crashes in. Every song on here has some memorable riffs in it, and each song keeps me interested. The box set was well worth the money, and I’m glad I have it.

So, despite minor problems here and there, Nattens Madrigal is a well-received classic piece of black metal loaded with excellent guitar riffing. It definitely doesn’t compare to Bergtatt, but I still enjoy listening to the album for its standout guitar work. For those black metalists that love it as harsh and as raw as possible, this album is highly recommended, because while raw black metal isn’t my favorite, Ulver definitely do it well, but I still think they should have toned down that distortion a bit. There would have been a lot more to hear if they had kept it at the level of distortion that Satyricon used in “Dark Medieval Times”. If you can’t tolerate what you hear in the first song, don’t bother with it.

Wolf and Fear: A great acoustic passage makes it stand out from the rest, and the whole song brings back memories, being one of the first Ulver songs I had heard.

Wolf and Man: A really powerful song over all, particularly in the beginning, and Garm’s vocals seem a lot more noticeable in this song.

Wolf and Destiny: Very good riffs in this song, as I write this review I have part of it stuck in my head. Listening to this song will get the song stuck in your head all day.

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Artykuł @ Satanicarchangel

12 Czerwiec 2013

Sombre beauty through harsh walls of static noise, an unlistenable masterpiece of authentic and desolate atmospheres

Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden is something of a unique record, taking the aesthetics of Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger to its logical extreme,
Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden is quite possibly the rawest most abrasive Black Metal album of all time. The entire album is drenched in a layer of static, buzzing fog that completely cloaks the music and distorts everything underneath it. The production is nothing short of awful and it takes a large amount of perseverance for your ears to become accustomed to the sound.

When ones ears finally adjust to the super raw production, one will be greeted to a highly melodic and atmospheric form of Black Metal that is full of excellent riffs and overall Black Metal excellence. Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden has some incredible guitar playing and has some of the best riffs I've heard on a Black Metal album. They're very melodic and they're also played very fast, there's also a couple of quick solos strewn around as well. The pace of the guitars remains at a constant blistering pace throughout Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden with the exception of Hymne I - Wolf and Fear where the guitars pave way for a nice, clear acoustic break and a break from the madness. This is the only moment in which the band lets up however as the rest is pure unbridled raw chaos. The dual guitar work on the album is quite possibly what makes it such a fantastic record, most of the times it sounds like one guitar is playing one thing whilst the other is playing something entirely different, yet combining to make interesting melodies. It brings to mind Iron Maiden material. Despite the riffs being incredibly raw and abrasive they're also very beautiful and melancholic, showing a sense of subdued beauty hidden beneath the dense layers of audio hiss.

The vocal work is excellent as well, Garm takes a very aggressive approach to the usual Black Metal screeching style and sounds like a man possessed. His voice really adds to the nocturnal atmosphere of Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden, Black Metal vocalists everywhere should learn from Garm off this album.

Apart from all the excellent qualities this album has to offer, easily its most defining quality is the super raw production. The production on Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden is tough as nails, so don't listen to it if you don't like audio hiss, lots of reverb, treble and feedback. But it's the albums insanely low production that gives the album its atmosphere, the atmosphere is akin to standing in a vast, empty forest in the middle of a cold winter night with wolves around you howling.

Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden will always remain as one of the most interesting, beautiful and above all, abrasive releases in the entire Black Metal scene. Ulver have created something very special with this release, creating a hauntingly beautiful album with some of the harshest production qualities known to man and also some of the best presented atmospheres. Even if it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing album, Nattens Madrigal: Aatte hymne til ulven i manden must be credited for taking Black Metal to its logical extreme.

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