Yet another Ulver announcement: 'Wars Of The Roses' coming out in April

It turns out the wolf pack will be extra busy this year, judging by the two confirmed releases that will see the light in next months and the extensive touring they'll embark into, on several European locations. I still have yet to hear any words regarding their collab with Sunn O))) and cover albums like Psyche, but so far I can say it's all shaping up nicely for Ulver.

"With a long standing reputation for being unpredictable and unafraid of radical departures, the most subversive aspect this time is perhaps the band's increased accessibility; even touching on the polished sensibilities of pop and rock."

Personally I can't wait to hear how Daniel O'Sullivan's contributions will be like, although the crew gathered for this album is worth mentioning: Stian Westerhus (which I've mentioned before on this blog), Steve Noble (also a member of Æthenor), Alex Ward, John Fryer (well known producer involved with several remarkable bands) and Stephen Thrower from Coil, band that could've directly indirectly influenced Ulver's first dabblings into electronic and experimental music. "They all play important parts on the album, their instant instincts perfectly aligned with Ulver's composed compassion. The familiar baroque menagerie of piano, wood and wind sit alongside the machines and the ghosts within", says Ulver on their official statement.

Read the full press release here. 
Check  the album review here. Updated!

[2010] Antediluvian - Watcher's Reign

Sometimes it happens that a band in particular doesn't impress you at a first listen and you put it away, ignoring most of what it had to offer among the disagreeable parts. Lack of ear training, and even too much experience listening to music does that.
That's kind of what happened with me and this band at first, it disgusted me in a way that I had to put it off at the second song or something like that, which would seem rather strange considering I've listened to plenty of death and black metal in the past. But the thing is that this band is indeed disgusting, just not the way it seemed at a first listen; I gave it another try, focusing on the instrumentation and the way the vocals were delivered, and I heard something really interesting, the raw primal impetus, the living nightmare of the vocal delivery, and the merciless guitarwork, it was all there and I didn't notice it because of the way it all was presented, a single slab of furious prehistoric ramblings.
Direct nods could be made to a band like Portal, but the vocals are dirtier than The Curator's, and it's not hazy like in Outre, but rather disjointed, yet distinguishable enough to be told apart. Reminds me more of a local band from my country called Verminous, which had a similar delivery back in the 2000s, and it made the same impression on me, being completely clueless towards this genre back then.

Definitely a keeper, and worthy of several listens, when its real value gets truly unearthed.

Download it here: [V2][V0]

Buy it directly from Invictus Productions here.

[2011] Shroud Eater - Thundernoise

First full-length of this Florida-based independent band,consisting of two female guitar and bass players (Jean Saiz and JeanetteValentine, respectively) and a male drummer (Felipe Torres), delivering an intense mix of fast, heavy riffing (which hardly resembles some of the most obvious examples within the genre) with a mid-paced, energetic drumming, punishing the eardrums with its fierce delivery. The vocals are midway between coarse and clean, with a few harsh moments that don't disappoint. Amazing material, and easily one of the most noteworthy independent acts I've seen around lately.

Download it here: [320][V0]

Buy it directly from Bandcamp here.

[2011] Stephen O'Malley & Atsuo - Uroborus Circuit

Recorded back in 2006 during that whole period in which Boris and Sunn O))) were also recording Altar, Uroborus Circuit is definitely not what I'd expect from a collaboration between these two musicians. First of all it doesn't have any instruments, which throws out of the window the idea that Atsuo might've contributed drums here; it also doesn't have any sort of recognizable structure aside from the tones overlapping here and there. This is very minimal, consisting on feedback manipulation, hardly resembling guitar feedback due to its subtle, harsh tone, not too different from O'Malley's later works in Table of Elements (Keep An Eye Out).

Download it here: [V0]

Buy it directly from Inoxia Records here.

[2008] Joe Preston And Daniel Menche - Cerberic Doxology

Trance-inducing drone/dark ambient from two experts in the subject. Joe Preston in one hand, main pioneer of the drone-doom scene (back when Melvins was churning out really slow, heavy stuff, and at the very beginnings of Earth), sole member of Thrones, and early collaborator of Sunn O))) for two of the best albums that band has ever released (the White sessions) and the Oracle EP. And Daniel Menche (also from Oregon), a prominent noise/dark ambient artist who has collaborated with several musicians related to the experimental scene, highly prolific on his own as well.
The two of them provide vocals for this bizarre album consisting on a single 20min track, whose layers constantly intertwine and blur along with the subtle droning soundscape. This intonation could seem slightly similar to Sunn O)))'s Decay[NIHIL'S MAW] and Decay2 [The Symptoms of Kali Yuga], or Sunn O))) & Altar's Akuma no Kuma (he actually provided vocals for this one), except there's barely any other instruments aside from the droning vocalizations. Quite an intriguing album, reminding of primal landscapes and massive prehistoric monuments of unknown meaning.

Download it here [320][V0]

Buy it directly from Anthem Records here.

[1995] Ved Buens Ende - Written In Waters...

Combining the aesthetics and driving force behind the 2nd Wave of Norwegian BM with the innovation and progressive touch of the canterbury scene/rock in opposition of the 70's/80's, Ved Buens Ende singlehandedly inspired countless of progressive metal bands with an experimental edge that came decades earlier, with a style that isn't even overtly technical, but rather full of nuances and expressive methods that became their trademark sound.

One of the most important albums for me, it changed the way I perceived music as a whole, and even until today I consider it unique as it is.

Download it here: [320][V0]

Buy it directly from Candlelight Records here.

[2011] Boris with Merzbow - Klatter

Formerly known as Mellow Peak and due to be released years ago, it's the latest original collab between Boris and Merzbow since Sun Baked Snow Cave. Musically speaking it's closer to the original material in Rock Dream (the noisiest jams present on the first disc) and the best moments out of classic albums like Feedbacker, with the buzzed out solos and heavy, reverberated riffiing. Even though it has the least drone-oriented material they've released with Merzbow (which isn't a bad thing at all) it just shows they're capable of taking the best of their rock-oriented material and level it to heavier grounds.

Download it here: [V0]

Buy it directly from Daymare Recordings here (recommend using Google Translate).

[2011] Norska - Norska

Very impressive debut from this american band, originary from Oregon. While it does have some clear sludge elements (particularly the hardcore vocals and the somewhat obvious hooks, akin to Neurosis' mid career), most of the songs are comprised of complex riffing with a vibe not too different from the style bands like Virus and Ved Buens Ende carried out. The production is not the best here, but considering they're independent, it seems good enough. Really good material, it looks like Norska will be one of these bands giving us something to talk about during the next years.

Download it here: [192][V0]

Buy it directly from their Bandcamp here.