If memory serves, at one point in their career Ulver said they’d never release the same album twice. This is why “Bergtatt” is very different from “Kveldssanger” which, in turn, is very different from “Nattens Madrigal”. I’m pretty certain that someone will jump down my throat after reading this review and say something along the lines of “Messe” is different from “ATGCLVLSSCAP” which is different from “Flowers of Evil”. To a certain extent, I’d agree. But, come on man, if you don’t think Ulver has been treading water in the Electronica pool for quite some time now, you’re nuts.
Before I really tear into this album, I’ll say that I love a lot of Ulver‘s stuff…but not “Flowers of Evil”. The most disappointing thing here is Garm’s vocals. Garm can sing, but throughout this whole album he dwells in this lower-range, Leonard Cohen-esque, spoken-word kind of ‘singing’ mire. It’s fucking dull. If you quickly flick to the first song on “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” and then back to “Flowers of Evil”, you’ll get a sense of the problem I have with the vocals here.
“Flowers of Evil” has a kinda David Bowie or Depeche Mode vibe to it. I’m not fans of either Bowie or Depeche Mode. In my humble opinion, Bowie is one of the most over-rated musicians ever. Send your hate mail to The Metal Wanderlust. I won’t read it but Andrew loves it.
The lyrics are terrible too. A notable example is “Nostalgia”. It’s right up there with Rebecca Black‘s “Friday” for shit lyrics.
“Norway – 35 years ago
Rewind the tape
A place where wild flowers grow
The city by the sea”.
Fucking hell! Someone call the Nobel Committee for Literature. They can call off their search for a 2020 winner. This reeks of laziness. The lyrics don’t even scan well.
To wrap up, there’s an idea in psychology that things don’t make you tired, but they reveal that you are tired. So, for example, if I were a passenger on a long car ride, the car ride doesn’t make me tired, but reveals that I am tired. Ulver‘s “Flowers of Evil” revealed how tired I was. That’s a harsher slam than you think it is.
Rating – 2 / 5