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Albums Turning Twenty III: Nattens Madrigal, by Ulver

- Friday, March 3, 2017

3 February: David Bowie – Earthling
18 February: Lost Highway OST

3 March: Ulver – Nattens Madrigal

25 March: GWAR – Carnival Of Chaos
22 April: Ani Difranco – Living In Clip
20 May: Foo Fighters – The Colour And The Shape
30 May: Dimmu Borgir – Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
16 June: Radiohead – OK Computer
8 July: Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk
16 August: Mayhem – Deathcrush
30 September: Portishead – Portishead
25 November: nine inch nails – Closure

    The year 1997 was a big one for me both personally and socially. I was deeply involved in music, writing, and the arts, and my personal life was winding up in a crescendo of self-discovery and debauchery. That was twenty years ago and I am writing a little bit about each album on their release dates.

Today, we look at Norwegian band Ulver’s third album, Nattens Madrigal – Aatte hymne til ulven i manden



Ulver - Nattens Madrigal

    Nattens Madrigal – Aatte hymne til ulven i manden (translated: “Madrigal Of The Night – Eight Hymns To The Wolf In Man“) is the third album by Norwegian band Ulver, and the final in what is considered their “Black Metal Trilogie”. While it does still contain brief acoustic and atmospheric passages, it takes the black metal element of their debut Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler (my personal favorite) and places the focus firmly there, quite reminiscent of their 1993 demo Vargnatt. In this respect, one could see Bergtatt as the combination of the two contrasting albums that succeeded it. The production is noticeably more raw and more in line with the Norwegian “necrosound” (an intentional low-fi production used as a mood setting aspect of the recording) than the previous two records, while the brief acoustic interludes come through crisp, loud, and clear. This may be an acquired taste for some, but Ulver is not generically manufactured for mass palatability. This is art you approach and connect with on its terms. The album is broken up into 8 hymns whose titles are themed “Of Wolf And…”. Taken individually, each is a slice of black metal perfection. Taken as a whole, this is a journey that is required for any fan of the genre. This is an album which, if I may be forgiven for indulging in a cliché, takes me somewhere out of time and deep within the boreal forests.

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