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Ulver - Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden review

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Band: Ulver
Album: Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden
Style: Black metal
Release date: March 1997

01. Hymne I - Wolf And Fear
02. Hymne II - Wolf And The Devil
03. Hymne III - Wolf And Hatred
04. Hymne IV - Wolf And Man
05. Hymne V - Wolf And The Moon
06. Hymne VI - Wolf And Passion
07. Hymne VII - Wolf And Destiny
08. Hymne VIII - Wolf And The Night

Ulver have been a staple of the elite black metal community since their inception. Though often associated with Darkthrone, Emperor, Burzum and Mayhem, those founding bands who started the original ?Black Metal Circle?, Ulver have always been different.

Allegedly, Century Black had signed Ulver to release this album after hearing about the underground success of their previous works. Confident about a return, Century Black gave Ulver several thousand dollars with which to record the album. Surely though, anyone reading this review has seen the few flashy promotional photos of Ulver that depicts the band riding in a convertible wearing black suits and sunglasses. Ulver took the money given to them by Century Black, bought those clothes and that car, and then proceeded to record the album on a four track cassette recorder in one of the forests in Norway. Or so the story goes.

Of course there are other stories about the album too; one of them suggests that the band just made up the previous story and that the sound on the album is actually due to an expensive digital distortion effect.

Either way, the production on this album is? terrible. Playing this album can be physically painful on the wrong speakers. The high frequencies dominate, there is no bass to be found and there is an ever-present hiss that wears on the ears after just one song. Some call this type of production 'srue? or ?cult?. I call it obnoxious.

Musically the band does succeed with Nattens Madrigal. At the base of all the songs are fantastic efforts at classic thrash metal riffs, on top of which the band layers some very memorable and energetic tremolo-picked melody lines. The vocals of this album follow the Burzum and early Emperor varieties more than the Darkthrone and Mayhem style; they are course, choked, nasal and 'screechy?.

Whether you are looking for an essential black metal album to fill out your collection, looking for a good thrash metal piece or just want to hear what several thousand squandered dollars gets you, Nattens Madrigal is one album that you can's miss. Just be careful of the speakers you listen to it on.

Written by | 02.09.2003

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
This album has to be one of my favourite black metal albums ever. There is no other album with a sound quite like this album. Many will tell you that this album sounds terrible. They have a point - it isn't very well produced (by black metal's standards), but that's what makes this album different.

One time I was listening to a song off this album when my friend walked into my room - the first thing he said was "Have they ever heard of the bass knob on their amps?" The guitar sound on this album is pretty much just pure treble. But it works really well. It makes the bass very clear - the bass is very bassy, so it complements the guitar. The bass-lines on this album are quite interesting, they're not the same as the guitar a lot of the time. Where the guitar is playing in tremolo, the bass (not all the time, but at some points in some songs) will play the note that the guitar is playing just once. This works really well and gives the album a unique sound. This album is a very melodic album, the bass and the guitars complement each other extremely well. The drums on this album are relatively quiet, and there's little variation - it's pretty much just blast beats for the whole album. Not like that's a bad thing, it works very well. The vocal style is pretty standard for black metal, and it suits the music perfectly.

published 12.07.2006 | Comments (23)

Guest review by
Is there any Black Metal fan who has not heard about this album? Hard to believe! But in case you have not listened to it yet... you may read my review before you do.

This is an excellent (and I mean it!) black metal album in all musical ways except... production. But before I get to this point, let me tell you about the music.

published 19.11.2017 | Comments (5)


Comments: 4   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 101 users
21.10.2009 - 05:20
Liver Failure
Agree with the production suckiness... it ruined this album to me -_-'

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
22.10.2009 - 00:06

"Nattens Madrigal" is the only album I like from this band. I tried "Bergtatt" but I find it boring.

Concerning production, there's a lot of static and guitars have a razor-sharp sound. I like it but it's not for everyone.
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
26.03.2011 - 20:22
Rating: 7

This is an album that has the potential to sound even better; The songwriting is superb, it would just be amazing if they could re-record or remaster this album with decent production quality.
30.04.2011 - 16:46
Account deleted
I've listened to this album so many times, but cant remember anything. Only the first track stands out.

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