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Ulver - Perdition City review

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Band: Ulver
Album: Perdition City
Release date: March 2000

01. Lost In Moments
02. Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses
    1 - Piece One
    2 - Piece Two
03. Hallways Of Always
04. Tomorrow Never Knows
05. The Future Sound Of Music
06. We Are The Dead
07. Dead City Centres
08. Catalept
09. Nowhere/Catastrophe

Please, we don't need to talk about the Black Metal past of this band. Take this album and think about a new band, completely unknown. But with the same talent [genius? For me, pure genius] for electro/ambient sounds as Ulver [the old ones] used to have for Black Metal. Genius for music i would say. Music moves feelings, and this album moves as much as Bergtatt or Kveldssanger did.
End of the similarities, different feelings, same intensity.

On the booklet, a sentence: 'Music to an interior film'. The city takes form in you. But, you don't know where you are, you don't see precise streets or buildings. You rather feel the city around you.
The feeling you can have walking for a big city at night: neon lights, wet streets, jet-set elegant men, beggars in the corners, whores, couples going for cinema, cars driving you anywhere [and nowhere], subways, long highways and dark alleys.

You feel it all coming from a focusing point in the head of the Ulver guys, they filter the essence of "a" city and condense it for you on a CD. An heavy urban spleen, oppressive and somehow sick.
We want to mention the production? The wonderful choice of sounds, the layered, complex yet immediate impact of the "traffic" of sounds? But don't think about a noisy carnival of beats: this City is populated and quiet, dead and secretly alive, it never sleeps, but seems like sleeping. The radio is on, but noone is listening.

The 53 minutes of this album reach the best achievement music can reach: they give emotions. The music is able to paint -with a palette of a wide range of different sounds [electronic and analogic]- a scenario around you. Sometimes [just a few times] Garm's eerie vocals remind you of human beings living there, with delicate taste, never obtrusive but strong in their imaginative power.
Like on the booklet, no lyrics but pictures, moments of the city, instants of the everlasting flowing stream of its life.

Much more could be said, but let's music speak this time. Listen to this album, it has a lot to say. With passion, coldness, melancholy, delicacy and poetry.
Track 5: 'The Future Sound Of Music'. Let's hope so.

On the booklet another sentence 'This music is for the stations before and after sleep. Headphones and darkness recommended'. That's indeed the ideal condition for you to grasp the mood of the City and drive your soul through its nocturnal melancholy and lonelyness, in places where you can find peace or -eventually- Perdition.

Written by Sephiroth | 23.06.2005


Comments: 14   Visited by: 337 users
10.11.2007 - 01:43
Rating: 10
Rosetta Stoned
Really one of the better reviews I've read on MS, awesome album. Catalept is not perfect, and the cover could've been 999 times more beautiful to match the album. Otherwise - no flaws. A strong 9 from me. Dead City Centres, Catastrophe and Tomorrow Never Knows are simply awesome songs. The best trip-hop I have heard and one of the best atmospheric albums aswell.

And btw - I have headphones and darkness the first time I listen to every CD
25.02.2008 - 06:23
While not a lot actually gets said about the music, the review is well written and very thought provoking. I like it. Anyway, this is definitely a soundtrack to nowhere. I adore this album. I just wish I could find it physically somewhere.
The force will be with you, always.
01.06.2008 - 03:36
Rating: 10
Doit Like Bernie
It's terribly hard to listen to only one song of this album, once I start, it's hard to stop listening.
10.12.2008 - 02:19
Duy Hung
Account deleted
Your review really gives emotions as well, Sephiroth. It's indeed one of the best reviews i've had read for a while. About the album, i think this line 'This music is for the stations before and after sleep. Headphones and darkness recommended' describes it all. I was walking through this empty mall last Sunday night and what immediately came to my mind was the music of this album.
03.02.2009 - 20:00
Rating: 9
Red Nightmare
Firstly, congrats to the guy for the brilliant review. Unfortunately for you the album is even better it can't be described with words, is magnificent, I would have never thought their electronic phase to be better than the folk/black metal one. This deserves no doubt a 10. And I don't even like trip hop.
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

05.02.2009 - 01:55
Rating: 7

9.9? omg
i rly love ulver and also this album but 9.9 is crazy
21.10.2009 - 07:06
Liver Failure
Written by Spyroid on 10.11.2007 at 01:43

Catalept is not perfect,

You didnt like Catalept? I found this song so cool. Kind of bad guy of trash movie theme

But this is a truly wonderful album, the review is also great. The first two tracks, and the last one ''Nowhere/Catastrphe'' are my favorites.

Overall I enjoyed a lot my travel along the City

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/
02.11.2009 - 23:57
Rating: 9

My prefered album from Ulver, it´s realy fantastic
06.01.2010 - 05:20
Rating: 10

One of the absolute best albums....ever. I'd like to see someone top this.
Still Life, Still Death
22.03.2010 - 05:22
Urban Monster
This is no questions asked one of the best reviews I've come across. Great job to the reviewer for describing one hell of an album.
Any man can stand adversity, but to test his character give him power - A. Lincoln
10.03.2011 - 23:59

Yeah. This is an outstanding album by one the best bands ever. While they haven't done metal in many a year they belong on this website so very very much. Great review too.
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
11.03.2011 - 00:00

Also this album doesn't get old. It ages VERY well. Along side Shadows of the Sun
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
06.12.2011 - 12:32
Rating: 10

The metamorphosis of this band was extreme! from one side you have a great black past and on the other a great electronic.. i'm one of the many oldtimers to believe that past was better than nowdays. it's a personal opinion and its a different band... great review for a piece of art. it's one of the best electronic albums i've ever listened to. totally agree that the fading vocals behind music break ears
27.02.2012 - 03:37
Stinky Lips
This review definetly does this album justice, and that's saying a lot IMO

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