Ulver return with brand new collection of electronic songs that build upon The Assassination Of Julias Caesar.
Released: 28th August 2020
Label: House Of Mythology
Formats: CD / LP / Digital
Ulver’s last album showed the band transitioning to become synth supremos. Flowers Of Evil continues this theme in the form of eight succinct, arresting and affecting songs; sometimes dubbed ‘Doom Dance.’
Vocal hooks are prominent throughout. Kristoffer Rygg is masterful in his delivery. Lead single, Russian Doll, has lines that will have you humming hypnotically. Machine Guns & Peacock Feathers also holds something mystic; especially with the alluring backing vocals.
The aforementioned song also flies with the chugging guitars that help propel the beats further. It’s an early highlight of an album that, as a whole, is one whole highlight in itself. Hour Of The Wolf has a trip-hop vibe in its beat and dark aura. It’s reminiscent of 100th Window era Massive Attack. Again, the vocals soar emphatically.
Apocalypse 1993 references the infamous Waco siege. There are embedded piano licks that add an acid house tinge to proceedings. It seems odd to reference music so euphoric with something so tragic. The juxtaposition that Ulver bring to the table in this way is to be lauded.
More electronic reference points could be made on Little Boy. The beat is slow and hypnotic; it has an Andrew Weatherall/A Love From Outer Space vibe; almost Balearic. What isn’t Balearic is the tension filled second half of the song; there is nothing blissful here. The guitar feedback that swirls around the beat like toxic tendrils of smoke is entirely unnerving. Top that off with some atonal pipes from Michael J. York as the song disappears into the mist; and you have the perfect embodiment of ‘Doom Dance.’
Musically, Flowers Of Evil is sublime. There is majestic production, layers and depths that are far reaching however Ulver also deliver lyrically.
We have seen the burden God has laid upon the human race
All the oppression that has taken place under the sun
He tests us so that we may see we’re just like the animalsUlver – One Last Dance
A narrative nature adorns all songs on Flowers Of Evil. The formation of some of the songs begs comparison to traditional folk songs. Ulver tell prophetic tales of despair, tragedy, fear, theology and the problematic nature of the world. These struggles are the embodiment of folk songs; songs passed from generation to generation. These songs will definitely be passed on. Flowers Of Evil is a completely dynamic and modernistic triumph. Again.
Ulver will also release their book, Wolves Evolve, simultaneously with Flowers Of Evil. Ulver translated from Norwegian is ‘Wolves.’ The book charts the bands history.
Listen to the mesmerising Little Boy below.