Album production is by John Fryer (Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, Swans), then a guarantee, but the opening February MMX has the feel of a song already heard, something like Lost in Moments lost oll gasp, but most of all (worst to me) feels like an episode completely detached from the rest of the disc: a “filler” track more than the single that launched the album on Facebook. Listening to Norwegian Gothic brings back the good mood: the track is not linear, noir, bizarre, and his distortions are so nice to merit more than a play. The intimacy of Providence wakes for a moment the atmosphere of Shadow of the Sun and the female voice is a sweet caress, September IV has a gait that you immediately appreciate, but only in the second part it shows off its best part. England has the thickness of a piece of interim but Island is an avant-garde gem that finally lets me back nicely displaced and takes me Blood Inside strong and mixed emotions. The voice of Daniel O’Sullivan reigns in the final”suite”, the minimal and sacral Stone Angels, a song that almost moved me in the live performance, but heard in the album contest and despite a really thrilling final, results a bit ‘bulky with its 15 minutes out of 45 total.
I will always love Ulver, that’s for sure, but I cannot mask my disappointment, and despite the merit that (maybe) will have to launch the band to a slice of the broader public, in my modest opinion”War of the Roses” signs a small step back from my feverish expectations.