Confession: this post might best belong in the Unmetal Monday column but I just couldn’t wait this long. It’s been storming for three days here and I’ve been listening to Ulvesang non stop as a result. What does that have to do with anything? Pop on this album and you’ll see; imagine if Ulver‘s Kveldssanger popped a valium and just sat back to watch the clouds chase themselves across a dark sky and you get Ulvesang, both the band and the album. Chock full of pagan, folk and medieval influences, this album is a host of guitars around a fire and a violin bow across the heart. Head on over the jump for your first taste.
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Opening with the guitar tone which is typical of this album, “Wolf’s Passage” contains all that is great about this. The dual guitars interact in pleasing ways, while the deep, mellifluous male vocals in the background lend the entire thing power and majesty which eventually escalate to a full blown choir, beautifully executed and recorded. Nor does the album satisfy itself with only these elements and nothing. “Litherpoan” or “A Town of Ash” feature a slightly more challenging structure and a faster rhythm as well, while “Arms in Pledge to Ellis” introduces ethereal screams on the verge of growls intermingled with the selfsame choir, lending the outro to the album a haunted and tortured feel.
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However, this is not an album you go to to be challenged by musical technique or to be overwhelmed by composition. It’s an album you go to for emotion and mood, an atmosphere that is slowly built around you until it completely encompasses you, perhaps a bit like Arstidir or Leafblade, although the differences between these works show the richness and diversity found within the neo-folk movement. Interestingly enough, this is the band’s debut album and we can’t wait to see what their future holds. It will undoubtedly breaks our hearts.