ULVER – A Quick Fix Of Melancholy

Easily their best (and arguably most diverse) work since 1998’s Themes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, ULVER latest fix is finally a return to that which is not boring wallpaper music. But perhaps more than just a return to listenable “songs,” have ULVER come full circle? A Quick Fix Of Melancholy is heavy in majestic atmospherics and neo-classical chamber music…most all the ingredients required for a pompus black metal album this side of EMPEROR, sans the white noise. Somber horns recall MORTIIS‘ dungeon music while fancy orchestration mimic the fairy tale-ish BJÖRK, both creating a haunting soundtrack that fittingly includes a remix of “Nattleite” from Kveldssanger (here dubbed “Eitttlane“), their album of acoustic folk songs released almost ten years ago. Additionally, the masterful vocals of Garm (a.k.a. Trickster G) makes its triumphant return. “Vowels,” is an otherwordly experiment in operatic-style gone terribly well, marking Garm‘s best and most ambitious vocal performance since ARCTURUSLa Masquerade Infernale. Garm‘s voice resonates with such perfection, you’d think he was a seasoned professional opera singer. So perhaps “coming full circle” is misleading as this EP is very much music of the “new” ULVER, despite the resurrection of the vocals and usage of what their peers (now in the rearview mirror) once frequently embraced, but having rounded the track still tells us nothing. While A Quick Fix Of Melancholy is every reason for us to expect the most from Garm and company, with ULVER, we can only truly be certain of uncertainty. (Jester Records/The End Records)

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