Ulver - Wars of the Roses

Ulver - Wars of the Rose

Kristoffer Rygg - vocals, programming
Tore Ylwizaker - keyboards, programming
Jorn H. Svaren
Daniel O'Sullivan - guitar, bass, keyboards

Attila Csihar - vocals in track 3
Tomas Pettersen - drums
Ole Aleksander Halstensgard - electronics
Trond Mjoen - electric guitar (tr. 1,4), bass (tr. 3,4), acoustic guitar (tr. 6), lap steel guitar (tr. 6)
Stian Westerhus - bowed electric guitar (tr. 2,3,7), electric guitar (tr. 6)
Daniel Quill - violin (tr. 2,3,5)
Alex Ward - clarinet (tr. 2,3)
Steve Noble - drums, percussion (tr. 2,7)
Siri Stranger - vocals in track 3
Emil Huemer - guitar in track 4
Anders Moller - percussion in track 6
Stephen Thrower - clarinet in track 7
2011 - Kscope
  1. February MMX     [lyrics]
  2. Norwegian Gothic     [lyrics]
  3. Providence     [lyrics]
  4. September IV     [lyrics]
  5. England     [lyrics]
  6. Island     [lyrics]
  7. Stone Angels     [lyrics]


  1. February MMX

    the old man sings
    in the face of fear

    the circular mantra
    why are we here

    the audience is blind
    to what takes place

    in the pillory
    life is a stage

    the vertical lights of death
    in codes of red and blue

    birds in black and white
    and the drums of wwii

    tattooed in numbers
    genocide is suicide

    we are our own enemy
    and the last judgement

    our children are hurting
    in the final performance

    the newborn is still
    the rest is silence

  2. Norwegian Gothic

    this is a history
    of pride and romance

    such an eerie fantasy
    when you think about it

    sins of our fathers
    their land and nature

    amusement and abuse
    in the old farm house

    the good wishes
    in black and white

    photos of ghosts
    and the family tree

    in a circle of fire
    traditions dance

    maidens to the altar
    of milk and honey

    slaughtered goats
    fucking in the woods

    the blood runs deep
    this is our heritage

  3. Providence

    we drink and drink
    a subtle poison

    more in sorrow
    than in anger

    our skin is so thin
    and left to love

    the sentence we serve
    our masks discarded

    the blind rage of youth
    the black starry eyes

    all animal passions
    covering up the truth

    there is no deliverance
    providence is lost

  4. September IV

    the family is gathering
    in silent prayer

    before the bed
    where he is laid out

    beautiful in black
    and closed eyes

    only a boy
    and a brother

    and a lover
    and a son

    his sudden
    and violent death

    leaving us without words
    and looking away

    from the mother
    and the father

    left alone to go through
    a great grief forever

    Vegard in memoriam

  5. England

    mount the high horse
    and dogs will follow

    the scent of innocence
    the wars of the roses

    sounding the charge
    down in history

    the hand that offers
    the heart is unfaithful

    full of broken promise
    and hidden in the hollow

    a blood-red coat
    white to the bone

    fit for a queen
    and the cloven foot

    a trophy animal
    a lost game

  6. Island

    how did we end
    so far out

    past praying
    and past recall

    to believe in nothing
    is a faith in itself

    a lighthouse
    in the eye of the storm

    the nightmare
    of the nightmare

    to follow the signal
    of a ghost ship

    our names are
    written in water

    the knowledge
    is all around us

    we came here
    to be washed away

  7. Stone Angels

    Angels go - we
    merely stray, image of
    a wandering deity, searching for
    wells or for work. They scale
    rungs of air, ascending
    and descending - we are a little
    lower. The grass covers us.

    But statues, here, they stand, simple as
    horizon. Statements,
    yes - but what they stand for
    is long fallen.

    Angels of memory: they point
    to the death of time, not
    themselves timeless, and without
    recall. Their
    strength is to stand
    still, afterglow
    of an old religion.

    One can imagine them
    sentient - that is to say, we may
    attribute to stone-hardness, one after the
    other, our own five senses, until it spring
    to life and
    breathe and sneeze and step
    down among us.

    But in fact, they are
    the opposite of perception: we
    bury our gaze in them. For all my
    sympathy, I
    suppose they see
    nothing at all, eyeless to indicate
    our calamity, breathless and graceful
    above the ruins they inspire.

    I could close my eyes now and
    evade, maybe, the blind
    fear that their wings hold.

    The visible body expresses our
    body as a whole, its
    internal asymmetries, and also the broken
    symmetry we wander through.

    With practice I might
    regard people and things - the field
    around me - as blots: objects
    for fantasy, shadowy but
    legible. All these
    words have other meanings. A little
    written may be far too
    much to read.

    A while and a while and a while, after a
    while make something like forever.

    From ontological bric-a-brac, and
    without knowing quite what they
    mean, I select my
    four ambassadors: my
    double, my shadow, my shining
    covering, my name.

    The graven names are not their
    names, but ours.

    Expectation, endlessly
    engraved, is a question
    to beg. Blemishes on exposed
    surfaces - perpetual
    corrosion - enliven features
    fastened to the stone.

    Expecting nothing without
    struggle, I come to expect nothing
    but struggle.

    The primal Adam, our
    archetype - light at his back, heavy
    substance below him - glanced
    down into uncertain depths, fell in
    love with and fell
    into his own shadow.

    Legend or history: footprints
    of passing events. Lord,
    how our information

    I see only
    a surface - complex enough, its
    interruptions of
    deep blue - suggesting that the earth
    is hollow, stretched around
    what must be all the rest.

    My "world" is parsimoniuos - a few
    elements which
    combine, like tricks of light, to
    sketch the barest outline. But my
    void is lavish, breaking
    its frame, tempting me always to
    turn again, again, for each
    glimpse suggests more and more in some
    other, farther emptiness.

    To reach empty space, think
    away each object - without destroying
    its position. Ghostly then, with
    contents gone, the
    vacuum will not, as you
    might expect, collapse, but
    hang there,
    vacant, waiting an inrush of
    reappointments seven times
    worse than anything you know, seven other dimensions
    curled into our three.

    But time empties, on
    occasion, more quickly than
    that. Breathe in our out. No
    motion moves.

    Trees go down, random and
    planted, the
    way we think.

    The sacrificial animal is
    consumed by fire, ascends in greasy
    smoke, an offering
    to the sky. Earthly
    refuse assaults
    heaven, as we are contaminated by
    notions of eternity. It is as if
    a love letter - or everything I
    have written - were to be
    torn up and the pieces
    scattered, in
    order to reach the beloved.

    No entrance after
    sundown. Under how vast a
    night, what we call day.

    What stands still is merely
    extended - what
    moves is in space.

    Immobile figures, here in a
    race with death gloom about their
    heads like a dark nimbus.

    Still, they do - while standing -
    go: they've a motion
    like the flow of water, like
    ice, only slower. Our
    time is a river, theirs
    the glassy sea.

    They drift, as
    we do, in this garden so swank, so grandly
    indiscriminate. Frail
    wings, fingers too fragile. Their faces
    freckle, weathering.

    Pure spirit, saith the Angelic
    Doctor. But not these
    angels: pure visibility, hovering,
    lifting horror into the day,
    to cancel and preserve it.

    The worst death, worse
    than death, would be to die, leaving
    nothing unfinished.

    Somewhere in my life, there
    must have been - buried now under
    long accumulation - some extreme
    joy which, never spoken, cannot
    be brought to mind. How else, in this
    unconscious city, could I have
    such a sense of dwelling?

    I would
    raise . . . What's the opposite
    of Ebenezer?

    Night, with its crypt, its
    cradlesong. Rage
    for day's end: impatience,
    like a boat in the evening. Toward
    the horizon, as
    down a sounding line. Barcarolle,
    funeral march.

    Nocturne at high noon.


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