CD: Cold Meat Industry CMI152[2005]

The call of the Serpent
Dark garden
Uthul Khulture
A map of Eden before the storms
The clock of distant dreams
Now Night her course began

Has it really been 6 years? That’s quite a hiatus for anyone to be away from the music scene. In that 6 long years since the release of the seminal "Cathedron" so many pretenders to the Sephiroth throne have come, gone, never to return. The pace too relentless to keep up with. So many artists forgotten about. Wisps of air that once had body. Memories of music never now played. Discarded shiny discs gathering scratches and dust with no respect for the pleasures they once held.

Welcoming Sephiroth back to the fold, the triumphant return of the prodigal son everyone yearned to hear of again, is tainted by the taste of fear. Has Ulf Soderberg lost his touch? Will he still conjure up the magic so prevalent on his "Vindaruas, Nattljus and Tidvatten" recordings? Can he cut the mustard with the indolent pups snapping at his heels? 6 years is a lifetime in music. Fads change weekly as the audience moves onto the next ‘big thing’. It’s tough at the top. Even tougher staying there. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Dare we feast on the seven tracks of "Draconian Poetry" for fear of the disappointment it may hold?

Straight from the off you just know this is a Soderberg recording. You could be totally blindfolded but still know that it was he who was playing. So distinctive is his style and general pacing of the pieces. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. The ever changing patterns between the melancholy neo-classical and ambient passages with bludgeoning beats are his trademark and are, as ever, present here. Only now he has a darker heart. A sharper cutting edge. A distinctive move into a moodier almost depressive domain. Where once the light shone like a beacon illuminating all within its vicinity the bulb is now slowly diminishing bringing down the darkness as it slowly fades into nothingness. When he eventually lets go…pummelling the drums with the ferocity of a man possessed…it comes as a release. The valve opened to let the steam building to dangerous levels free. The chains broken from a shackled body only to be incarcerated once more as freedom surely beckoned. A musical journey full of so many experiences, some good and some bad, made for the listener to decipher at their leisure. For you read into this work what you will. You can easily view it as a post-apocalyptic scenario, or as a strange flight of fantasy for your own making or…anything you so desire. Only the constraints of your imagination will stop you seeing the fullness of the pictures aurally sculptured for your pleasure.

Ulf is back. 6 years haven’t tempered his vision. If anything he is back even stronger. More refined in subtle ingenious ways than thought possible. His music has evolved whilst still retaining his signatures so beloved of his fan base. Let’s hope he doesn‘t keep us waiting so long for the next instalment.


[Sephiroth] / [Cold Meat Industry]

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