Ulver - Flowers Of Evil review




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Reviewer:
8.0

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Band: Ulver
Album: Flowers Of Evil
Release date: August 2020


01. One Last Dance
02. Russian Doll
03. Machine Guns And Peacock Feathers
04. Hour Of The Wolf
05. Apocalypse 1993
06. Little Boy
07. Nostalgia
08. A Thousand Cuts


All great songs are either about love or the apocalypse in some way. Sometimes both.

With Ulver having such a chameleonic reputation, quite the last thing you would expect from them is the expected, or in this case, for one album to sound like something they have released before. You don't need me to run you through Ulver's discography to know how little that has happened before. Sure, some ambient stuff from one album could maybe fit into another album, or some electronic art rock from one into another, so on. But never before was it clearer than here that Flowers Of Evil is the spiritual successor of The Assassination Of Julius Caesar. Do we want an ever-shifting band to always change their sound or do we let them linger for just a while more on a sound they mastered?

In their defense, they have released one other "album" in between The Assassination Of Julius Caesar and Flowers Of Evil, the somewhat live-ish Drone Activity, and even though that was also clearly a spiritual successor to ATGCLVLSSCAP, they had clearly distinct intentions and vibes. Instead the songs on Flowers Of Evil and The Assassination are pretty interchangeable most of the time, and what running thread that separates any distinct feeling of both albums is barely noticeable, and certainly not noticeable enough to break the flow if such a supposed mashup were to happen. Believe me, I've tried it. So, this is certainly bad news for people who didn't like The Assassination and good news for the ones who did, right?

Pretty much, yeah. I have a slight preference for the earlier album, but I can definitely see Flowers Of Evil ranking higher than it for some similarly minded people. Though once again into more synth-focused art pop territories, I've never heard Ulver as overtly disco as on "Nostalgia". Hell, they were nostalgic enough to release a 300+ pages long book on their history along with this album, but that's a story for another time. Though not exactly as great as Jessie Ware's recent take on disco, it feels so weird to hear a band that still reeks of darkness under the moon and funerals to make such a defiantly upbeat song. It's not like the album's tones aren't still very in line with their "doom dance" feelings, but just on the sound department, they've almost tipped the scale more on the dance side than the doom ones. How liberating to hear them having fun, without doing it just out of spite.

But that's soundwise. These are songs that sound like songs about love, but they're the other type of great song. Well expect the last song, which is about two young lovers that found each other at the end of the world, so technically this is the best example of being both types. And I'm sure a lot of people, regardless of their sexuality, will enjoy hearing Kris singing about "the pleasures of the flesh". But for the most part, as relatively bright as the album sounds, it is still filled with images of destruction, things ending, abandonment, and especially about that time of the day in between night and day, when sleep is the deepest and nightmares most real. The latter even takes the song name from an Ingmar Bergman film, as if the cover art being a shot of La passion de Jeanne d'Arc wasn't cinematic enough. Leaving behind the Caesars of the last album, Flowers Of Evil finds a world still ending after "when Rome falls, so falls the world". And the most recent one, with even has Apocalypse in the title, mirrors both the Waco siege, and closer to home, Ulver being born.

Though I'm sure that, like me, there were plenty of people who didn't think that the Sic Transit Gloria Mundi was enough of an addendum to the doom dance of The Assassination Of Julius Caesar, I still wouldn't want them to settle too comfortably in these waters. As much as I hope they would do another case of releasing an extra EP with a synthpop cover (hopefully with a Depeche Mode one this time around), there are greener pastures unexplored. And for a band as versatile as Ulver, I don't want to imagine that they'd ever not want to keep exploring.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 22.08.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 23   Visited by: 254 users
22.08.2020 - 22:10
SatanicBlood
I absolutely loved Julius Caesar, so I will be checking this out. Good review!
Still hard to believe that this is the same man who released Nattens Madrigal, which in my opinion is a masterpiece in of itself. How much grit was put into the sound yet everything still ringing clear in the notes boggles me.
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http://idolatryblackmetal.bandcamp.com

Canadian black metal
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23.08.2020 - 02:49
Lanthros
I'm hating that my copy's shipping was delayed until the 2nd. But such is life.
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23.08.2020 - 11:10
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by SatanicBlood on 22.08.2020 at 22:10

I absolutely loved Julius Caesar, so I will be checking this out. Good review!
Still hard to believe that this is the same man who released Nattens Madrigal, which in my opinion is a masterpiece in of itself. How much grit was put into the sound yet everything still ringing clear in the notes boggles me.

It's been more than 20 years, get over it.

But yeah, they were actually versatile from the beginning, none of their "metal" releases sound alike.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.08.2020 - 11:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Lanthros on 23.08.2020 at 02:49

I'm hating that my copy's shipping was delayed until the 2nd. But such is life.

Such is life
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.08.2020 - 16:02
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This can be in your non metal article section. This and Arcturus when changed style I could not forgive and get into, By years I can listen non bm Arcturus, but Ulver 2 bm albums oen ne folk, its it, later. no way this is simply shit and boring music. I tried listen years ago, and I tried this year this band, simply no way I can listen. One of biggest non non sence here.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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23.08.2020 - 16:05
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:02

This can be in your non metal article section. This and Arcturus when changed style I could not forgive and get into, By years I can listen non bm Arcturus, but Ulver 2 bm albums oen ne folk, its it, later. no way this is simply shit and boring music. I tried listen years ago, and I tried this year this band, simply no way I can listen. One of biggest non non sence here.

I could've left them for the non-metal article, and that's what I did for Drone Activity. In retrospect, I should've reviewed that one for the main page too.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.08.2020 - 16:07
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by RaduP on 23.08.2020 at 16:05

Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:02

This can be in your non metal article section. This and Arcturus when changed style I could not forgive and get into, By years I can listen non bm Arcturus, but Ulver 2 bm albums oen ne folk, its it, later. no way this is simply shit and boring music. I tried listen years ago, and I tried this year this band, simply no way I can listen. One of biggest non non sence here.

I could've left them for the non-metal article, and that's what I did for Drone Activity. In retrospect, I should've reviewed that one for the main page too.


Drone is much better etleast there are some sound what is close to guitar and something when you faake IPA's , Ulver case even moonshine or russian moonshine from chemicals wont work.
Since ms is not commercial, best thing is leave this out of here, I would do it.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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23.08.2020 - 16:27
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:07

Since ms is not commercial, best thing is leave this out of here, I would do it.

We may not be "commercial" but we aren't isolationists either. To expand on the diversity of what we promote across metal and metal-related material goes hand in hand with engaging the current audience just as much as drawing in new users. We don't want to be an echo chamber for genre purists and elitists, though they have their place here too.

Reviewing an Ulver album will always be relevant for this site if only for its relation to their past works.
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I have no memory of this place.
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23.08.2020 - 16:28
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.08.2020 at 16:27

Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:07

Since ms is not commercial, best thing is leave this out of here, I would do it.

We may not be "commercial" but we aren't isolationists either. To expand on the diversity of what we promote across metal and metal-related material goes hand in hand with engaging the current audience just as much as drawing in new users. We don't want to be an echo chamber for genre purists and elitists, though they have their place here too.

Reviewing an Ulver album will always be relevant for this site if only for its relation to their past works.


well but we dont revile good uspm, good hm, good pm albums what are new, so we wont miss this one , half of my last 2019 collection what were super good was not mentioned here.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
23.08.2020 - 16:33
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:28

well but we dont revile good uspm, good hm, good pm albums what are new, so we wont miss this one , half of my last 2019 collection what were super good was not mentioned here.

Contrary to your beliefs, Metal Storm isn't actually your personal domain of what's good, bad, or worth reviewing. If we're lacking in the power and heavy metal department, it's only because the writing talent on hand doesn't enjoy that type of music. New reviewers are always welcome, and if they bring with them a preferred style of metal that supports our current landscape, then you'll see an increase in that music's exposure.

Until then, either enjoy this album or ignore it for what it is, because you already know it's not going to be a return to their origins.
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I have no memory of this place.
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23.08.2020 - 16:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:28

well but we dont revile good uspm, good hm, good pm albums what are new

There are two power metal albums reviewed on the main page right now.

I've reviewed one myself too recently.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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23.08.2020 - 17:24
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.08.2020 at 16:33

Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:28

well but we dont revile good uspm, good hm, good pm albums what are new, so we wont miss this one , half of my last 2019 collection what were super good was not mentioned here.


Contrary to your beliefs, Metal Storm isn't actually your personal domain of what's good, bad, or worth reviewing. If we're lacking in the power and heavy metal department, it's only because the writing talent on hand doesn't enjoy that type of music. New reviewers are always welcome, and if they bring with them a preferred style of metal that supports our current landscape, then you'll see an increase in that music's exposure.


I don't think it was your worth to stamp your justification to someone who always whines about lack of genre reviews on the front page.

As it has been said to him before, he can R&D and write reviews as well.
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24.08.2020 - 04:05
tintinb
What is uspm? Ultra Suicidal Power Metal?
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24.08.2020 - 05:03
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by tintinb on 24.08.2020 at 04:05

What is uspm? Ultra Suicidal Power Metal?

United States power metal
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I have no memory of this place.
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24.08.2020 - 10:26
Ball Fondlers
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.08.2020 at 16:33

Written by Bad English on 23.08.2020 at 16:28

well but we dont revile good uspm, good hm, good pm albums what are new, so we wont miss this one , half of my last 2019 collection what were super good was not mentioned here.

Contrary to your beliefs, Metal Storm isn't actually your personal domain of what's good, bad, or worth reviewing. If we're lacking in the power and heavy metal department, it's only because the writing talent on hand doesn't enjoy that type of music. New reviewers are always welcome, and if they bring with them a preferred style of metal that supports our current landscape, then you'll see an increase in that music's exposure.

Until then, either enjoy this album or ignore it for what it is, because you already know it's not going to be a return to their origins.

Yes, reviews are definitely lacking in traditional heavy metal genres, which is a shame, but you can't force people to review stuff they don't like, I doubt it will make for good reviews.
If Nick stopped reviewing there would be a massive hole to fill. It would be cool if another similar reviewer came along. The rest seem to be fighting over who can review the most underground experimental stuff they can find.

At least for me there is a lot of Black Metal reviews, so I get enough out of this site. I may even listen to this Ulver album. Unfortunately I find with this kind of music, even if it pulls you in, it gets tired very quick like pop music
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24.08.2020 - 11:04
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Ball Fondlers on 24.08.2020 at 10:26

The rest seem to be fighting over who can review the most underground experimental stuff they can find.

Because that's the stuff I like and I wanna showcase. Can't say I'm fighting anyone.

Wouldn't mind more heavy or power metal reviews on the main page, and I tried writing a few myself, but as long as I'm doing volunteer work I'm not gonna go out of my own way to do more than I'm interested in doing.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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24.08.2020 - 11:05
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
God, I wish this album would release already so I could tell you all to get back on topic instead of scolding me for not reviewing a power metal album instead.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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24.08.2020 - 12:15
Ball Fondlers
I'm not sure why you bother with the "back on topic" stuff. It's not like this is a very high traffic website. Stopping people posting seems mental
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24.08.2020 - 16:34
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.08.2020 at 05:03

Written by tintinb on 24.08.2020 at 04:05

What is uspm? Ultra Suicidal Power Metal?

United States power metal


Ulver Sucks Per MbadEnglish

Nice review, RaduPowerMetal. will defo check it out, been scooping up singles as they have been launched on Bandcamp.

Also agree this band still fits under the "Of Interest To Metal Fans" category.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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25.08.2020 - 05:24
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
I only skimmed the comments, so what's this about Ulver releasing a US power metal album? That's something I would listen to.

I only started listening to Ulver with Terrestrials and I've heard none of the classic albums that get such a good rep around here (which I will change eventually, I promise); most of the material since I've found acceptable, but I did take a shine to The Assassination of Julius Caesar, so if Flowers of Evil is like that, I'll probably enjoy it.
----
Umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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11.09.2020 - 22:52
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
While Flowers Of Evil obviously follows the sound of its' predecessor, I hear something that makes it stand out on its' own. I do see them as "brother albums" though. But while The Assassination sends a constant somber, introspective vibe into the inner struggles of the listener (seriously projecting here though)... Flowers Of Evil sends more of a rebellious, juvenile, "fuck this society" tone. Specially with the lyrics. This would also explain the different upbeat tempo of most tracks.

Not gonna lie: I loved the previous album and I'm loving the shit out of this album as well now that I finally got it in physical format. I do agree with you that I would want them to take another form on the next album but not because I think they are in any risk of being stuck in a corner... But because I'm currently enjoying these albums so much and I enjoy the fact that they seem like siblings... That adding a third album of the same vibe will ruin the atmosphere. Try listening to both albums in a row and the change in tone becomes more apparent.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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18.09.2020 - 10:03
nikarg
Mod
I like the album almost as much as I liked The Assassination. The review says it all about it.

If Ulver ever release a power metal album it will rule.
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19.09.2020 - 10:50
BetulaObscura
I have bought CD and the book. Ulver never disappoints...
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