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Vinyl LP £26.49 NRP45

Ltd picture disc LP on Neuropa. Edition of 500 copies.

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CD £11.99

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Blood Inside by Ulver
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8/10 Mike 10 April 2014

Who's up for some Norwegian prog? Good, because that's what you'll get on this latest album from Scandi legends Ulver, last seen on a thoroughly enjoyable collaborative LP with lords of bleakness Sunn O))). 'Blood Inside' has to be their most diverse collection to date, encompassing everything from robotically stomping '80s style pop to droney atmospherics, pounding stoner rock and neoclassical grandeur.

It's quite sonically adventurous, with a huge banquet of synth and guitar textures to enjoy, but the songwriting itself is quite prominent too, with structures which drift and lurch and get diverted down unexpected alleyways into soulful celestial synth ambience or crunching mechanical dystopian pop or fast-paced big band jazz samplescapes. By the end of the album I've settled into a hazy and confused acceptance of its complex mood swings.

If I have a criticism it's that this album never really seems to settle into any kind of stride; it's kind of like being in a car with someone who keeps flicking between radio stations. Even though it's never properly hard work to listen to, Ulver insist on never repeating themselves, constantly hitting you with something new. It's an epic and ambitious album that sweeps you along into Parts Unknown, dizzyingly complex and satisfyingly musical, and one which demands your undivided attention throughout and may take a few listens to get your head around.


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