Reviews for Ulver - Nattens Madrigal:
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This is what I call extreme black metal!
Nothing else to coment, except THIS IS A GREAT FUCKING KICKING ASS CD!

Review by: Wolf and Moon

For years I thought that bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth are extreme black metal, when in fact they are well produced commercial black metal with hardly any familiar elements from the core of the genre. On this occasion, the core being Nattens Madrigal. The album is undisputedly (perhaps together with Darkthrone's A Blaze In The Northern Sky) the epitome of everything black metal stands for, the album that makes most of even the aforementioned Darkthrone's albums sound like overproduced pop-music. The album that showed me what black metal truly is: it is not enjoyable. It's not supposed to be enjoyable. How on earth could it be? True black metal's (sorry for using these ridiculous labels, but they do describe the music well) only purpose is to stand for everything evil, dark and cold in this world. Thus, Nattens Madrigal is produced so grimly, that it actually hurts your ears first. The first two-three tracks go by, and then you begin to notice the rhythm guitar, which is a repetitive and low-pitched melody played as fast as possible. Then the drums start to become audible, and the lead guitar melodies, oh Lord the lead guitar melodies! High-pitched tremolo-picking straight from the pits of hell, they pound to one's ear, mind and soul for eternity. Winding, albeit quite simple, the adrenaline pumping buzzsawing will blow your mind away. You cannot escape from them.

The drums are straight forward blasting from start to finish, and I actually can only remember one single fill from the whole album. But so fucking what? They support the music and make it even more faster and darker; hence, they serve their purpose. There are no synths, nothing easy to cling on to, just a wall of grandiose horrific noise. Garm doesn't even sing one word on the album, just rasps and grunts here. They're quite far in the mix and very harsh & cruel, telling the story of "The Wolf in Man". Lycanthropy. The lyrics are excellent, or at least the English translations offered in the booklet (the original language being medieval Norwegian) . Satanic, but not in a laughable way, they are artistic and very interesting. Another plus for the album is the musicians image: no corpse paintings and no silly spikes, they let the music speak for themselves.

The scariest thing of Nattens Madrigal is how it captures the listener. From the very first moments of the first Hymne, the repetitive, pounding wall of noise just hypnotizes you, leaves you in a state of trance where only the music exists, it fills your mind and brain and the air in the room completely. There's quite nothing like it, and no other album has ever done this to me. But Nattens Madrigal does it time and time again.

Appropriate words for a description don't exist. This is the most ugliest music you will ever hear. This is the most brutal music you will ever here. This is...

This is black metal.

Review by: Jonesy

Before the purchase of this CD I had read some bad reviews in zines and metal press in general, but after the first listen I realised that I was before a great album, nevermind what the "wise people" of the metal press said.
But first of all one must admit that the sound of this album is not what we would say "perfect". It´s ugly and dirty as hell, but who cares. The music inside is so overwhelming that the rotten sound goes hand in hand with the fast, raw songs contained. Melodies are simple but very effective and emotional, mostly in a very fast pace. And lyrics are written in ancient Danish, and are about wolves and night, and the feelings related to them. All in all this is a very underestimated album that captures the essence of fast, harsh and cold black metal like only a few albums can reach. Forget about ridiculous keyboards and sweety voices, this is music from the Norwegian wrath itself.

Review by: Fjordi

Have you ever notice a situation when a thing is so crappy, so bad, that it becomes a masterpiece(instead of a piece of shit), gainning a status of work of art. Well, that's Nattens Madrigal, the most primitive but at same time one of the most sophisticated( its not Emperor's Anthems album but still close) Black Metal albuns ever released. But the best of all come in the end: the background story of the recordings of this album is that Century Media gave the a high budget to record an album in the most expensive studios of Europa. Well, despite of this anything was running normal, but nothing can be normal for Garm, ok?! So Garm recorded in a 4 track soundboard with crappy amps and with 1 mic to the drums and dellivered this material to CM. THe bosses ofCentury Media asked themselves "where in hell is our money?". Well, the answer came in a picture on William Blake's booklet: they bought a Corvette and a bunch of expensives Boss suits. : )

Review by: d-generator

True Norwegian Black Metal.

Review by: Schaambaard

THIS is the harshest album ULVER has released (and will ever release) and maybe the harshest album yet recorded.

Even though this album is much more extreme than Vargnatt, Bergtatt, and Kveldsjanger, it still retains those qualities that make ULVER the godly band that they are (or were). One quality I find most intriguing about ULVER is that even though they take different approaches to their sound with each album, they always have that special quality. Bergtatt, I think, was their ultimate mix of the calm acoustic sections and fast Black Metal parts. Kveldsjanger elaborated upon the acoustic interludes of Bergtatt, and now Nattens Madrigal opts for a harsher tone whilst still retaining all the depressive, sombre melodies that Ulver are known for (it also has hints of ambient direction Garm took in future years, but I will not reveal in what way this is incorporated).

The more I listen to this album, the more I question the notion of whether or not ULVER actually did record this thing on a four-track, as well as if the production really IS hideous. At many instances I hear three guitars, the bass is clearly audible (especially on the last track), the drums are pushed into the background but if they were turned up in the mix you would notice that the sound quality of them is no better (or worse) than on Bergtatt. There is no way ULVER could have crammed this many tracks (along with the killer abrasive vocals) onto a four-track, especially considering how clear the sound is during the solitary acoustic interlude and how expansive the production is during the ambient sections. I think ULVER did all this in a studio, no doubt. Had they done this on a four-track it would have sounded far worse (better?) and compressed. The key here is the (intentiionally) poor mixing. Other than than I would say that the production is quite good on Nattens Madrigal.

In short, I would say that this is a true Black Metal gem that should be thoroughly enjoyed and absorbed. Just do not play it too loud or you will go deaf before the album is finished!

Hymns to blare in a dark, moonlit Winter forest are "Wolf & Fear" "Wolf & Hatred" "Wolf & Passion" and "Wolf & Night".

Review by: Ankou

Ulver - Nattens Madrigal / The Madrigal of the Night

Ulver's variations on every album keep up the interest and because of their quality in songwriting, they minimalize the possibility of getting dissapointment. I haven't been dissapointed by any album that has been made by Ulver.

Ulver's style on "Nattens Madrigal" is extremely raw, grim and utterly insane. The speed mixed with astounding melodies give boost on it. It goes without saying that there's no clean vocals, but oh, what a bliss was it when I heard the beautiful acoustic part in "Wolf and Fear". There are no words for the feeling. The variety between the songs is minimal, but big enough to make them sound different.

Just like on the "Bergtatt" -album, there is absolutely not a single bad song during 44 minutes. But there are four songs which stand out from the whole: "Wolf and Fear", "Wolf and Hatred", "Wolf and Passion" and "Wolf and Night".

If somebody tries to claim that "Nattens Madrigal" is not True Norwegian Black Metal with elements of grimness and melody, don't believe it - it's The Ultimate Lie. H-I-G-H-L-Y recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review by: Punisher

Alright, this is my second "review" for this album, and at the same time it isn't. I'm dedicating this fairly lengthy piece of writing to previous reviewers Wolf and Moon, Jonesy, Schaambard, and any other of the ignorant palsy-ridden cretin tards that simply write this masterpiece off as True Norwegian Black Metal because of its harsh, unforgiving sound. You haven't the slightest idea of what Ulver is about and you should therefore stay away from their work, or better yet, cram yourself into a huge blender and hit frappé.

For those trendy subhumans who picked up this album and were blown away by its harshness, and were even slightly amused at the surprize it was after a tranquil album as Kveldssanger, I can only submit to them that they don't know Ulver and they haven't bothered to read any interviews featuring our fellow wolf. By the way, if you had read any interviews before the release of Nattens Madrigal, this gem wouldn't have been a ghastly surprize, but rather a pleasing aural experience that only heightened your respect for Garm's musical approaches. The fact is that, much like a writer uses choice words to set a mood/atmosphere, Garm uses certain tones and musical textures to reflect the mood and theme of his albums. Allow me to elaborate...

Anyone who is a fan of Ulver who also considers themselves worth spittle knows the reason for each sound of the "Trilogy" albums. Bergtatt had a theme more or less along the lines of a small innocent child lured into the mountain by dark folkloric forces. I Troldskog Faren Fild didn't sound tranquil just because Garm thought it would add variety and depth to the album. That was intended to complement the mood of the lyrics which dealt chiefly with the main character who still retained some innocence - hence the "innocent" and melancholic laid back approach. As the story progressed on the album, the harsher elements fell into place to mirror the evil forces which were at work. The desperate and sorrowful melodies go far beyond being a trademark of Ulver. It is my speculation that they were intended to intensify the feeling of tragedy associated with the character. Moving on to Kveldssanger...

Kveldssanger simply sounded so tranquil because of the theme at hand: a dreamy sort of folkloric approach to the Night and ages of long past or legend for which a certain yearning is felt. Again, this is far beyond being a mere tactic of Garm.

Now finally for Nattens Madrigal. Many people seem to at least have gotten the theme of this album correct, which should have been pretty much self-evident given the painting of the howling wolf on the cover and the title: The Madrigal Of The Night - Eight Hymns To The Wolf In Man. As stated earlier, the sound of this album only seemed natural and appropriate after I had read an interview with Garm prior to its release. He clearly stated his reasons for such a harsh and unforgiving sound which also was sorrowful and melancholic, which I will explain in detail. Lycanthropy is of course associated very much with evil and suspected werewolves were deemed as apprentices of Satan many long ages ago. Keeping in line with my (and his)assertions that Garm chooses a musical texture to reflect his themes, an abrasive and almost terrifying sound was literally mandatory for the theme of Nattens Madrigal. But at the same time, lycanthropy also has a connotation of twisted romance and lust present in folklore, which is more often than not a very tragic one. Hence the reason for the blood freezing and melancholic melodies - they are intended to make the listener feel that sort of connection: the connection between the diabolical nature of lycanthropy (courtesy of the rhythm guitars playing those abrasive and ear-tearing melody lines) and its tragic twisted lust (highlighted by the melancholic melodies which work with the aforementioned harsh tones). Understanding the approach to this album is mandatory to truly enjoying it beyond its shock value, and more importantly, all of Ulver's early works. This is the sole reason why I hold all of Ulver's "Trilogy" albums at the same level - not only are they all musically and aesthetically pleasing, but they each achieve what they set out to do: to make the listener feel the ideas and themes behind the artful expressions of the musical mastermind Garm.

So now I come to the end of my little essay and I have but one request: romantic atmosphere-loving jerk-offs and True Norwegian Black Metal dolts alike, understand the music of Ulver in its intended entirety, or simply fuck off and leave the music to those who truly comprehend it best.

Review by: Ankou

Pure Fucking Black Metal.

Garm can became so Hardˇˇ


Review by: Vidar

This is the Incarnation of black metal, so grim that it smells black from the speakers when you put it on. to bad they turned in to fucking fagets. its okey to play different music, but thou should`nt go from black metal to happy jazz/soundtrack shit, jesus, anyway this is their best album, and wolf and man is best. and hey "kuksugerfaen", dimmu borgir isnt comercial, god damned, itsnot their foult nuclear blast wants to spend money on them, they just want to play music, be tolerant.


Review by: Theorgrin

I bought it and inmediatly returned it wondering what the hell was that crap. But the wise left hand of satan made me recorded it in a tape... a tape which a listened to while I was doing other things. But the seed of evil was already spreaded its roots in my brain. I bought it again, my precioussss, my fetish album that I worship. Pure black metal. Pure black metal. Simple, raw, essential, primitive, dark, epic, dirty, ugly, evilish, harsh... One of the very few albums which define true (norwegian) black metal.

Review by: latebroso

To those who say that black metal bands lack technics, i recommend this album. A lesson of guitar-playing. Great Album!!! Very fast and technic with dark atmospheres. The Wolves have done a masterpiece. A CD recommended to all the dimmu and cradle fans... Listen to this and learn what black metal is about. 10 out of 10.

Review by: Sami

This is a bit to harsh for the general cradle/ dimmu fan don't you think?. Also , I never considered those bands black metal. It doesn't matter if you like them or not, they only use some black metal elements which they add to their own style of metal.
If you want to know what the real norwegian black metal spirit is about then you should buy this album, it's anything but music such as the overrated emperor, gorgoroth ( except pentagram), limbonic art, immortal, windir, carpathian forest and so on...

There are very less bands/ albums who manage that style completely. People and bandmembers are always talking shit when it comes to Norway, like every fagblackmetalband coming from Norway would be Kvlt. Very wrong attitude...

Review by: uber ich

I've recommended this album to dimmu and cradle fans in order that they would (finnaly) get that dimmu and cradle have nothing to do with black metal.

Review by: Sami

This album maybe baddest record of black metal history.very bad an production. Ý can never understand-whats ulver want?

Review by: Beyto

wow.this is true black metal!!!!
the sound quality is very bad but that make's it a fantastic album.a true masterpiece of black metal!

buy, listen and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Review by: 47

I am listening to Nattens Madrigal as I am doing this. I have only heard the first three Ulver releases. Bergttat and Keltsvanger. Must say It's a treasure to liten to them in a secluded area like a cabin in a wooded area that is upon mountain ranges. With nothing but you and your animalistic instincts about you. It's like you walk out side and you feel like this is what it must have been like cold,dark,mysterious the omunis elements that bring out the inner-pagan in every one.Its also like o shit hope theres no freekin bears around here. Be carefull kids always go out with your friends and a weapon it's more fun that way. Ulver makes me feel convinced that theres never a format for what you should play meaning you don't have to have all your stuff sound the same.I like the fact that there is a concept to the album. The Raspy Dark Throneish taste of this is kind of droney, adding to the effect of a dream like state. Great to fall asleep,alone and with friends this and is somthing perfect for long car rides.

Review by: andreas

Ulver's Nattens Madrigal is one of the great peices of Black Metal around. Its Harsh an Brutal and gets ye head bangin straight away. Garm's vocals are supreme and the guitar work is outstanding. Truly a album anyone should listen to if Black Metal is your thing!!!

Review by: Darkened Soul

well, this is some joke as i suppose. i have better sollutions for lack of ideas on an album. not releasing it is the best one in my oppinion. carry on admiring this cd, people, the next wonder on the blackmetal scene will be the sound of my pagan electric toothbrush. i will probably be crucified upside down by any true evil tuff metal fan now, so i better shut my mouth.
2/10 (i didn't give 1 because there are 3 seconds of acoustic guitar. or maby it's just my imagination)

Review by: zbyszko_z_bogdanca

This album got me into black metal, the first soNG On this album appeared on the "Firestarter" comp with some of the biggest bands at the time and it's the only song I liked.

Since then I have bought so many albums trying to find one to equal or match the power of this album, Taake, Azaghal, Craft, Darkthrone, Burzum all come close, but this is simply not only the best BM album of all time, but maybe my favorite Metal album!

I have friends that don't even like BM at all, or even metal that love this album.

Review by: alasdeceda

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