ULVER – Shadows of the Sun

The collective anticipation has been in wondering what the devil ULVER will throw at us the next time around. Known for being quite unpredictable at times, ULVER‘s latest is fortunately of highest quality. Like the previous Blood Inside, Shadows of the Sun is a new age, art rock, musical soundtrack full of emotive soundscapes. Familiar sounds and instruments help to tie the two albums together. However, where Blood Inside was exciting and unpredictably dynamic, Shadows of the Sun is (mostly) calm and more uniform throughout. In fact, Shadows of the Sun could be seen as an accompanying piece to Blood Inside, where Blood Inside poses the questions and introduces conflict, while Shadows of the Sun seeks to answers those questions and find resolution (in a musical context). Delicate piano and orchestration sparse on percussion give the album a very open and meditative feel. Meanwhile, vocalist Garm delivers a solid and mature performance. His low, soothing baritone perfectly suits the warm, breathy, ambiance of the album. No singular song or few songs stand out on the album as the album should be listened to as one piece. Because of that (and the ambient nature of the album), Shadows of the Sun is not instantly engaging (but that’s certainly not unusual for an ULVER album). Give the album a handful of listens, and you will find that Shadows of the Sun is a gorgeous album. (The End Records)

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