Feb 242011

We’ve got a couple of quick updates for you about bands we like (used to like?), one of which we’ve been writing about recently — The Haunted and Ulver. The cause for the updates? Both bands have recently made brand new songs available for streaming; in The Haunted’s case, it’s the third song to be released from their forthcoming album.

The verdict? Well, there’s good news and bad news.


Previously, we’ve featured the first two songs from The Haunted’s new album, due for release next month: “No Ghost” and, as recently as yesterday, “Disappear”. Today, the band put up the new album’s title track, “Unseen”, for streaming on their Facebook page.

The good news is that if you like Chevelle-style hard rock with metal riffs and clean singing, you will like the new song. It’s probably better than whatever is topping the hard rock charts these days, but honestly, I wouldn’t know because I don’t get near that kind of music any more.  The bad news? (more after the jump, including Ulver’s new track . . .)

The bad news is that if you don’t get near that kind of music any more, and your preferred diet is on the extreme end of the metal smorgasbord, this will be yet another disappointment — and yet another worrisome sign that The Haunted’s new album will be unappealing from start to finish.

To listen to “Unseen”, follow this link (I don’t have a way to embed it here).


Norway’s Ulver is a band whose music I’d been meaning to explore for some time, and I got a real education about them through comments I received on this post about a track from Alghazanth’s new album.  Those comments pushed me to go get Ulver’s first three albums (which the band itself refers to as a “trilogy”) and dive in.

Those albums reveal striking diversity, from the folk-influenced black metal of Bergtatt, to the wholly acoustic Kveldssanger, to the seething, scalding, oddly produced black metal of Nattens madrigal. I really liked all three of them; in my mind they’re hard to compare or rank because they suit very different moods.

Four more albums followed those first three, and though I haven’t heard them, I understand the band moved entirely away from black metal and into the realms of prog, industrial, and minimalist ambience, before then shifting toward more dramatic and symphonic music.

Recently, the band put up a song from their next album for streaming on Soundcloud, recently renamed War of the Roses. The song is called “February MMX”.

Ulver have not miraculously done a 180 back to black metal, but students of the band know those days are gone forever. This song is another one that features nothing but clean singing.  If I had to slap a genre label on it, I guess it would be prog rock, but it’s marginally more interesting to me than The Haunted’s new track, though it lacks hard-driving riffs. You can check it out here:

[soundcloud url=”http://soundcloud.com/booking-26-1/february-mmx”]

(splashing cold water on my face)

For everyone out there who thinks I’ve taken leave of my senses by posting about these two songs, well, I fuckin plead guilty.  I got down to the end of this post and I got back in my right mind and I came close to just trashing the whole thing. But, I’d already written the fucker, so I decided I would just put the motherfucking thing up on our site, thinking there might be one or two readers who actually like this kind of music, and maybe it would generate some comments.

So, comment away. I’m gonna go cleanse my pallet with some music from an Irish black-metal band you’ll be hearing about at NCS tomorrow.


  1. I can see why you were thinking about trashing this post.

    The song had a moment, I think. The best part of it was the drumming. My rating – 3.5 out of 10, Sorry, I missed a 0, 3.5 out of 100.

  2. Ulver are godlike.

  3. Maybe for their Genre.

  4. Ulver’s first 3 albums are fucking awesome, some of my faves of all time. As for any of the post-black metal material, it’s very hit or miss; seeing as how most of their releases change experimental gears drastically from the last. Like this song: I’ve never heard them do anything like this at all, though they remain to have their signature super-textured/dense production.
    ANYWHO if a metalhead were to like any of their non-BM albums, I’d say “Shadows Of The Sun” is the way to go. Fuckin KILLER cover of one of my favorite Black Sabbath songs “Solitude” on there. VERY ethereal album… think: Lycia mixed with Leonard Cohen and meant for a film score.
    So if that sounds enticing check it out.

    • Ok, because they did a cover of Sabbath, I’ll add 1.5 to the 3.5 and take a 0 off the hundred.

      Final score for ULVER, 5/10

    • I like the first 3 (it’s pretty much impossible not to after all) but honestly prefer their later years.

      Perdition City, Blood Inside and Shadows Of The Sun are all pretty much flawless pieces of art in my mind. Although one could argue that calling them music kind of defeats the point… they’re all very much their own emotional journey, which makes it difficult to absorb them piecemeal.

    • Actually, that did sound enticing, so i just listened to the Sabbath cover (“Solitude”) and another song (“Eos”) from Shadows of the Sun. “Ethereal” is a good word for it, and “Lycia mixed with Leonard Cohen and meant for a film score” is a fucking perfect shorthand description. The new song is downright “mainstream” compared to those two.

      For anyone who’s interested, here are “Solitude” and “Eos” (the “Eos” clip is from one of Ulver’s extremely rare live performances, last year, though it’s so dark you can’t see much):

  5. I think I can handle a rock flavored album from The Haunted, they seem to be good at it.

  6. Ulver have never made a bad album, but calling them a metal band past the first 3 records is a huge stretch.

    BUT they’ve always been very twisted, very dark and trance-like–those adjective apply for all their music, even their film soundtracks. They scratch my black metal itch, just in a different way.

    I eagerly await their new record.

  7. Don’t care for the Haunted, but the new Ulver song is amazing. I’m a huge fan of the band, their first three albums are perfect, but the later stuff is a little inconsistent and their last album was kind of boring. But this song isn’t. In fact, it’s one of their best. Thank you for posting this.

    • Well, well. There seem to be lots of Ulver fans out there with some interest in their post-trilogy music, so I’ll add them to the bands I surreptitiously surveil for new developments and we’ll keep people posted on what’s happening with this new album.

  8. Oh, can I just add that the original proposed album title was better tham the new one though?

  9. More info. Relatively new member of Ulver, Daniel O’Sullivan, has his own blog at this location:


    There, he refers to “February MMX” as “a pop song from the new Ulver album” and says “get acquainted or get infuriated” — which suggests that not all the songs will be in this vein. Also, here are tour dates, and there will be more to come:

    22.03.11 Koko, London (UK) w/Virus
    26.03.11 Trabendo, Paris (France)
    27.03.11 Incorso, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
    28.03.11 Uebel & Gefaehrlich, Hamburg (Germany)
    29.03.11 Matrix, Bochum-Langendreer (Germany)
    30.03.11 Substage, Karlsruhe (Germany)
    31.03.11 Z7, Basel (Switzerland)
    01.04.11 Backstage Hall, Munich (Germany)
    02.04.11 Madonna dell’Albero, Ravenna (Italy)
    03.04.11 Szene, Vienna (Austria)
    05.04.11 Eskulap, Poznan (Poland)
    06.04.11 K17, Berlin (Germany)
    07.04.11 Majestic, Bratislava (Slovakia)
    08.04.11 Beatpol, Dresden (Germany)
    09.04.11 Biebob, Antwerp (Belgium)
    10.04.11 Colosaal, Asschaffenburg (Germany)
    21.04.11 Nosturi, Helsinki (Finland)

    And lastly, I found this official teaser for a forthcoming Ulver DVD called Ulver at the Opera 2010:


  10. Another Ulver groupie checking in! I’m a little obsessed with the trilogy, a little less obsessed with the rest of the discog, not super keen on the new song but I’m withholding judgment until I hear the full album – IMO they do best in the context of an album as opposed to individual songs.

    Glad you brought my attention to the new song, hoping they tour the US sometime soon, not ashamed to admit that I listen to music that isn’t metal (once in a while) so I won’t complain about the lack of brutality in their recent work. 🙂

    • EB, your brutality cred is still intact. In fact, it’s so strong that, barring a confession of love for Justin Bieber, it may not be possible for you to dent it.

      • Ulver somehow manages to still be metal, without being metal though.

        Probably through a careful grasp of the dark mood of metal, without using any of the traditional styles or instruments.

        So essentially Ulver are so metal they don’t have to be metal.

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