Ulver "Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" Jester Records Trick 001 1999

disc 1 (49:00)                       disc 2 (52:16)

(4:03)                                   (11:23)
(2:48)                                   (2:28)
(1:33)                                   (3:12)
(2:50)                                   (4:50)
(2:31)                                   (3:59)
(4:24)                                   (26:24) (21+ minutes is silence)

Trickster G. - generation.  Tore Ylwizaker - programming.  Havard Jorgensen - guitars.  E. Lancelot - drums.  Hugh Stephen James Mingay - bass guitar.  Knut Magne Valle - cables, wires & various sound contributions.  Female voice by <<her>> (Stine Grytoyr).  Vinyl scratching by Falch.  On <<A Song of Liberty>>:  Ihsahn 1-7.  Samoth 7-11.  Fenriz 12-20.  Conclusion by Ihsahn.

"Themes .." is inspired by the the late 18th century work "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" by the primarily London based poet/engraver/prophet William Blake.  The 19 indexed tracks, spread across 2 discs, follow the 27 plates that make up Blake's epic work.  Ulver deliver Blake's words (which read like a mixture of mythology and Bible scripture) in English via a diverse assortment of vocals over an equally diverse variety of music.  The female and male vocals throughout include whispers, spoken word and an array of angelic, guttural and dramatic, almost operatic, singing. Musically the album utilizes heavy metal guitar riffs, quiet and clean acoustic/electric guitar, bass guitar, electronics, samples, drones, piano, synths, strings, scratching, electronic (including a bit of drum 'n bass) and "real" drums/percussion.  There is literally a little bit of everything in here, which bolsters the soundtrack like atmosphere:  rock, folk, experimental, electronic, breakbeat, etc.  The moods are varied from light and beautiful to dark and menacing, and the production is crystal clear.  One thing is certain:  Ulver can do it all and do it all very well.  They are genuinely diverse, expanding way beyond their early black metal roots to create a truly engaging and worthy musical interpretation of Blake's work.  And for Ulver to tackle a subject such as this speaks volumes.  I'm really impressed with this one start to finish and it's rather unique to my collection.  The packaging is first class with a beautiful slip case and 12 page insert with all of the words.  Look for an upcoming review of the latest EP "Metamorphosis" soon ...

Jester Records
"The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" electronic editions at The William Blake Archive

Where did I get this cd? - from Jester Records to review.

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