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Artist: Ulver
Title: War of the roses
Genre: Alternative / Rock / Black Metal
Release Date: 29th April 2011
Label: Kscope Music

Album Review

“Angels go - we
merely stray, image of
a wandering deity, searching for
wells or for work. They scale
rungs of air, ascending
and descending - we are a little
lower. The grass covers us.

But statues, here, they stand, simple as
horizon. Statements,
yes - but what they stand for
is long fallen.”

(excerpt from Stone Angels by Keith Waldrop)

It’s been 17 years ago that ULVER saw the light of the day. Pretty good decision, I would say, because there’s scarcely another band that is so innovative and creative like these guys. From Black Metal, Neofolk and Ambient to Electronica - Lo and behold!

In fact, these circumstances prevent access to a part of the audience for quite several times, but one cannot say that ULVER would not be able to arrange releases that are incredibly surprising without a lack of quality. ‘War of the roses’ keeps on following this way. Seven tracks full of eagerness to experiment and variety occurred and leave the audience once more with mouth wide open. Care for a little taste? Bird singing, squeaking violins, soundscapes, organs, psychedelic elements and a collaborations with the formerly COIL-member STEPHEN THROWER, two jazz musicians (STEVE NOBLE and ALEX WARD) and the Norwegian soul singer SIRI STRANGER should do it. With JOHN FRYER (DEPECHE MODE, COCTEAU TWINS, SWAN) the band let go of mastering for the first time and the result is a perfect fitting atmosphere that is not so covered with ULVER’s typical reverb scheme.

Well, at first ULVER’s release after ‘Shadows of the sun’ should be a release of cover song. But the fact of being on tour during the last two years and playing over 40 concerts contributed the decision of composing new material. Thankfully they made up their mind. Maybe one of the reasons could have been that Daniel O´ Sullivan joined the band while touring with ULVER throughout the countries. Anyway, O´ Sullivan make his debut on the fifteen minutes lasting track ‘Stone Angels’ with a recitative of a poem that was written by Keith Waldrop. What else can I say? ULVER is one of the few bands that succeed in touching my soul with every single song. ‘War of the roses’ therefore is no exception. Although in my opinion music cannot be made in any better way, I always have that feeling that ULVER is not finally there… it’s not coming to an end. And I hope, it never will be…because:

"The worst death,
Worse than death,
Would be to die,
Leaving nothing unfinished.

Somewhere in my life,
There must have been -
buried now under long accumulation -
Some extreme joy which, never spoken,
Cannot be brought to mind.
How else, in this unconscious city,
Could I have such a sense of dwelling?"


01. February MMX
02. Norwegian Gothic
03. Providence
04. September IV
05. England
06. Island
07. Stone Angels


Bass - Daniel O’Sullivan
Vocals - Kristoffer Rygg
Guitar - Daniel O‘Sullivan
Keys - Tore Ylwizaker, Daniel O‘Sullivan
Other - Kristoffer Rygg (Programming), Tore Ylwizaker (Programming), Jøn H. Sværen (misc.)

Website / /

Cover Picture



Music: 10
Sound: 10
Extras: -
Total: 10 / 10

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