Emotionally Intelligent, Icy
A journey is expressed in this album, a wayward trek through Ulver’s native land of ice and snow. Ever changing and constantly growing, Ulver has hung in there over the years to come back with a symphonic EP. This album is haunting and infectious, absolutely beautiful and complex with a clear emotional intelligence. Messe I.X-VI.X is a must-have album. Dare we go as far as call it a masterpiece? We dare.
Ulver, a band from Norway, was established in 1993 and has a deep influence from Norwegian folk metal. They have previous work in heavy forms of metal; most generally the “black metal” category. In 1999 the band publicly requested that particular branding refrain from describing their current projects. With respect to them and to the amazing album they have recently released, we will not to mention it again.
In just under 45 minutes, Ulver brings six astounding symphonic orchestrated tracks that are pure bliss. Messe I.X-VI.X is a classical album in all respects, but it still contains elements of electronic music. While the title suggests religious songs, tracks like “As Syrians Pour in, Lebanon Grapples with Ghosts of a Bloody Past” are heavy handed with violins and tremendous elements of sorrow. The band describes their own music as sorrowful, but to hear their majesty of sorrow by way of this album, is choice.
If the instrumental woes from the other tracks can’t bring forth any elemental spirits, there is always “Mother of Mercy” and “Son of Man,” which are the two tracks that have the aide of frontman Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg. For all engineering purposes, this album is flawless and its songs are given the appropriate life span for the full effect of expert production and musicianship.