Ulvhedner - Før I Tida review


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Band: Ulvhedner
Album: Før I Tida
Release date: 2009

01. Angst
02. Statsmann Og Tjuv
03. Tollekniven
04. Ein Krigar Fallen Til Jord
05. Forfedrenes Kamp
06. Brennsetra
07. Pest

At first, you probably would not expect a reviewer like me to dish out a few words on the new album of a former Tristania member. It came to a surprise to me, anyway, when I was going through the back catalogueeee of Svein Terje Solvang, a.k.a. Svartasmeden, currently a.k.a. 'Ildaar'. But then again, he probably left Tristania for a good reason and his new band Ulvhedner is differs greatly from his earlier endeavour (judging by the little knowledge I have of Tristania, anyway). Oh, and just so we're clear on this, this review is most likely the first to ever feature the word Tristania and, with all due respect, hopefully also the very last time. Me so krieg.

So, Ulvhedner's Før I Tida. Second wave Black metal with folkloric themes and folk influences. Not exactly the most original combination of styles, but hey, let's not write them off that quick shall we?

Før I Tida is best characterized as 'no frills' Black metal. It features a bare-to-the-bone production, which offers every instrument its rightful place, but also leaves little to the imagination. Actually, this description neatly fits every individual instrument well. There are a couple of melodic leads here and there, mostly simple scale progressions - which, although pleasant-sounding, don't really excite the listener much. The high-speed tremolo riffs alternate with jumpier and catchier folk-riffs and, although well-played, are predictable and hardly intimidating or dark. Do we see a pattern emerging? Add Ildaar's stereotypical harsh rasp to that and my attention is ready for departure to the Caribbean. Piña colada, baby.

It is a decent output, obviously well-schooled, but ultimately it lacks soul and passion to really entice the listener. And that - in an age with a wonderful array of riveting music available for all imaginable feelings, places and moments - just doesn't cut it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 6


Written on 27.02.2010 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.

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