- Audio CD (23 Sept. 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: KSCOPE
- ASIN: B00ECLYKJA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,846 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Messe I.X - VI.X
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Kscope are pleased to announce the new album from Ulver, to be released on 23rd September 2013. The music was commissioned last year by the Tromsø Kulturhus (House of Culture) in Norway, in a cooperation with the Arctic Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra cultural institution. It was composed and first performed live by Ulver, alongside the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra on September 21 2012. The band then took the recordings back to Oslo and spent winter and spring in post-production, honing the material for its studio-equivalent. The follow up to 2011's acclaimed Wars of the Roses, Messe I.X-VI.X is a different entity; reverberating 2007's somber and solemn Shadows of the Sun, with the band even going as far as to say it feels like a companion piece to it. The album also echoes the early electronic experiments of EPs Silence Teaches You How to Sing and Silencing the Singing, and is furthermore said to invoke the ghost of an abandoned Nattens madrigal renaissance-project. Six compositions altogether written and produced, recorded and mixed by Ulver, this time consisting of Ole Alexander Halstensgård, Kristoffer Rygg, Jørn H. Sværen and Tore Ylwizaker, with additional aid and advice from composer Martin Romberg who also arranged the music for the 21 members of Tromsø Chamber Orchestra. The album also features the extraordinary talents of contemporary composers/musicians Ole-Henrik Moe and Kari Rønnekleiv. The Norwegian masters have evolved over the past two decades to cross an astonishing body of disciplines, taking in ambient, avant-garde, electronic, psychedelic, prog and jazz influences. Now it is their electronic, atmospheric and classical sensibilities which come to the fore. In a short message to their fans subtly alluding to the darkness of history the band named some of their influences for Messe I.X-VI.X: Gorecki's No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. It haunted us for years and probably always will. The Gustavs Mahler and Holst. Sound collages from When or Nurse with Wound. 70's kraut and synth. Ash Ra and Autobahn. 80's pop scores. John Carpenter and Tin Drum. Terry Riley, again and again and again. Saint John of the Cross. Ulver summer 2013
Top customer reviews
It begins in darkness and maintains that throughout. The first track, which puts me in mind of early Godspeed, is underpinned by the sounds of warfare - you can hear the quiet roar of jets and the percussion of automatic weapons, all of which sits just underneath the surface of menacing strings which gradually build and build.
It's a piece of music that has to be listened to as a whole. It's subtle, and it's musical, but I would never describe it as an 'easy' listen. I don't think it's meant to be, though. It's not background music, but to describe it as 'challenging' would be to do it somethinig of a disservice.
If you like GYBE or other bands of that ilk, then Messe is well worth a listen.
Wolves have evolved. Forget everything you know; it is unlike anything Ulver have released in the past, yet uniquely Ulver. To say this is simply a band playing with a Chamber Orchestra would be an insult to both parties. The two cannot be separated. Don't even think of Ulver as a 'band' - that word just does not do them justice.
Vocals are sparse but the music is full of ghosts and other evocative images. It is elegant, sombre, withdrawn, contemplative, solemn, and empathetic; it is not an easy listen but all the more rewarding because of it. Recommended that the whole album is played loud, from start to finish in one sitting. Album of the year.