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Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
Review: In an effort to create the best black metal product ever, Ulver have wrought "Nattens Madrigal" from the elements in black metal most likely to be accepted into mainstream culture: the heartpulse techno-influenced primal black metal ambient beat over simple tremelo melodies atmospheric with production distorting itself with overdriven guitar chaos in a classic Darkthrone ripoff, but with more of the Satyricon consonance to every phrase and more abrupt but consistent structural changes. The problem with this release centers upon that troubling essence - the consistency of this music and really, its similarity to many other styles of popular music within the last thirty-five years.
With a blowdriver of atmospheric blasting chaos a lone guitar repeats simple melodic patterns in a folk style while periodic light percussion - brush on snare and light high-hat touches - enforces the importance of key passages. Vocals shift tones easily, in support of melody, and rarely deviate from major rhythms. All elements are assembled competently and well composed by musical standards, but have very little in terms of originality of composition or fabrication of aesthetic despite an enticingly slick take on a black metal favorite sonic texture.