Ulver – Shadows of the Sun (2007)

Posted: March 30, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: ,

You can never expect the same sound twice from Ulver. They are known for “one of the biggest left-turns” in recent music history, when they switched their sound from black metal (Nattens Madrigal) to experimental-industrial electronica (Themes From William Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell). In 2007, they gave us Shadows of the Sun, one of the finest ambient albums ever made in my honest opinion. The brilliant use of organ, strings and ethereal voices constructs a beautiful sound-scape. Many people who listen to Shadows of the Sun claim to acquire an emotional connection to it, which is totally understandable, as it is melancholic and relaxing, but still extremely powerful in non-conventional ways. In addition, their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Solitude” is absolutely brilliant, (and way better than the original; sorry Sabbath fans) featuring some kind of etherial horn weeping behind the other instruments. There are slight problems though, as it is a very drowsy album (I sleep to it sometimes) and therefore something you have to be in the mood for. Plus, the songs start to sound similar as the album goes on, but at a short running time of 40 minutes, this problem isn’t very severe.

Rating: Shadows of the Sun is a one of the best ambiant/experimental recordings I’ve ever heard and is highly recommended to post rock and ambient fans. If Ulver told me they recorded this in a candlelit church, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Unfortunately, the lack of sonic variety takes away slightly. The first half of the album is worth 5 stars, but unfortunately I hear too much of the same on the second half. An ambient album can never reach masterpiece status, in my opinion, and I was never really big on pure ambient music, but I’ll give Ulver a 4 for this one.
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J.

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