Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ulver - 'Christmas' from 'Blood Inside' (2005)

In many ways, Ulver's Blood Inside is more a full-on XMZZ album of psychedelic/industrial orchestral pop regarding the overthrow of all orthodoxy, of all fixed or settled systems of belief in favor of questioning and mystery and creative blasphemy. Influences include Wendy Carlos soundtracks, the Beatles, Coil, Coil, the Beach Boys, the Moody Blues, high goth mopery, pre-psychedelic popular jazz and yes, black metal. Live and programmed drums mix, live strings and samples, brass and woodwind and their textures, lots and lots of keyboards, backmasked vocals, treated vocals, 'clean singing', all come together to make something not really heard before, but redolent of many prior forms of music. It is indeed a good Winter Solstice Album!!! Christmas' itself is about the Christian holiday, and how new gods supplant old gods on their same spatio-temporal territories, putting on their raiments and receiving/giving tributes but the larger mysteries still are operative and do not change. The death of the self, the death of the year, what survives, what is renewed, what remains, what is gone forever? The deeper dark, always going beyond what is into what is not, or not yet. I highly recommend this whole album, especially for these days in the Northern Hemisphere! The whole thing is available to listen to and/or purchase at their bandcamp page and is super-rad.