(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Norway’s Ulver, which will be released on August 28th (along with Wolves Evolve: The Ulver Story, a 336-page book that reflects on over 25 years of Ulver history) by House of Mythology.)
It’s fitting that, for all their celebrated critical and commercial success, Ulver today are still perennial outsiders – lone wolves, if you will – who don’t really “fit in” anywhere.
No matter what happens – from shimmering cyber synthscapes to improvised orchestral experiments to pulsing prog-pop exhibitionism – you never really know what to expect.
Even at their most instantly, insistently infectious (and here I must pause to point out that this record is very much a continuation of its predecessor’s decadently danceable, 80s synth-pop approach… although that’s not all it is…) there’s always more to what you’re hearing.
More layers to uncover. More threads to be pulled. A bigger picture waiting to be revealed.
Case in point, if The Assassination… was about what it means to keep on dancing, even as Rome is burning, then Flowers of Evil is about what grows from the ashes. A garden filled with both (un)earthly delights and unwanted weeds. A heaven and a hell, one or the other, sometimes both, of our own creation.
And if we’re all still dancing, it’s to a more sombre tune. Because the cracks are beginning to show, and the bloom is off the rose.