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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 47
coverpic coverpic Center Of The Universe: Levitating Disk
  (2010 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0047.CD)
vs.
Ulver: Wars Of The Roses
  (2011 Jester Records TRICK-047)

Welcome to round 47 in the label showdown series between Metronomicon Audio and Jester Records! Since we've more or less totally missed out on reviewing the output of these two great labels, we are going through their entire catalogues, matching the releases from each label consecutively against each other. Humorously counting goalsIt's a GOAL! and giving out yellowOooops, a yellow card! and redOooops, a red card! cards, soccer style - but first of all reviewing the music. For more introductory information on this label match, see round 1.

Match preview
Levitating Disk is is presented in a double fold-out digipack with a poster and insert.
coverpic coverpic

The Ulver comes in a jewel case and includes a booklet with art and info.
coverpic coverpic

The match

Mr. Sissyfus is back with another C.O.U. offering, an album with songs "recorded between year 99 and year 9". Clearly time is on his side! This being his tenth album or so in ten years, besides his involvement wiht most other Metronomicon releases, is nothing but impressive. The experience he has gained in the studio through the years makes the songs on this album flow effortlesslyIt's a GOAL!, and it would also be fair to say that his singing has improved since the early Metronomicon days. The collection of songs on Levitating Disk are mostly of the upbeat kind, even the reflective melancholy in some lyrics seems to be portrayed more colourfulIt's a GOAL! than grey. The arrangements are all ear-friendly, making this album even more enjoyableIt's a GOAL! than 2009's fine Apokryfa. A lot of small sounds of synthetic or organic origin either popping out in front of the listener or floating around in the background, but it's still mostly a mellow and relaxed album, even when things go rapid, it feels lightIt's a GOAL!.

To sum it up: I would say this is the best C.O.U. album so far. Good songs, and there's a friendly vibe throughout.

Somewhat surprising, or perhaps not, Ulver signed to UK progressive rock label Kscope/Snapper Music for the release of their 2011 album Wars Of The Roses. After years of more or less obscure releases that mostly dedicated fans bought, it is understandable that they decided to try for a wider audience. The time for that was certainly ripe. This of course also meant streamlining their music in some ways, and to a certain degree, at least compared to their most experimental releases. So welcome to the most accessible Ulver album this far. Quite a few musicians have also joined to help out: Trond Mjøen (Euro Boys, Haraball, Mirror Lakes - guitar, bass), Steve Noble (Rip Rig and Panic & lots of others - drums), Stian Westerhus (Bladed, Jaga Jazzist, Lasse Marhaug - guitar), Alex J Ward (clarinet), Daniel Quill (violin), Attila Csihar (Mayhem++, vocals), Siri Stranger (vocals), Emil Huemer (guitar), Anders Møller (Euro Boys, Gluecifer, Kåre & The Cavemen, Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O, My Midnight Creeps - percussion), Stephen Thrower (clarinet), Tomas Pettersen (drums), and Ole Alexander Halstensgård (electronics).

The album kicks off with "February MMX", a mid-tempo melancholy rocker with a steady beat, rather slick and light, leaning towards melodic progpopIt's a GOAL!. "Norwegian Gothic" is more atmospheric, hinting towards the dark ambience of Shadows of the Sun, but the somewhat steady drumming makes it more accessible. "Providence" is a mellow piano ballad, slow and cinematic, the clarinet solo and wide orchestral soundscape creates a feeling of a large scene production, very adult entertainment-likeOooops, a yellow card!. "September IV" goes deep into melancholy soft progressive rock ballad territoryIt's a GOAL!, but we get a backwards guitar solo instead an expected spheric one, turning the song into a faster synth-based spacerock theme before fading into echoing guitar feedback, slick though. "England" fills the room with mid-tempo heavy drumming alongside calm piano tones and a monk-like choir, while the more reflective "Island" sets the scene for the album's grand finale, the 15 minute long "Stone Angels", which goes slowly forward with church organs, other sound bites floating in and out, along with spoken word vocals. Like listening to a poem recitated over reverberant and lightly experimental jazz-ambienceIt's a GOAL!. Well, you can't call this going commercial. I must admit that I had hoped for an album with more traces of the music found on their William Blake album, more rock when I heard this being released on Kscope. But it's slightly disappointing that the album feels somewhat lackluster and ultimately a bit boringOooops, a red card!.

To sum it up: A rather unremarkable album, and a little disappointing step into the realm of atmospheric neo-progressive, which this album is being billed as, but it's still Ulver's most accessible and listener-friendly album so far.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 4 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!) - Jester Records 3 (It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!)

THE LABEL TABLE
# Metronomicon Audio (MA) Jester Records (JR) MA JR
01 C.O.U.: Darklow Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Themes From William ... Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 1 4
02 C.O.U.: Sellout EP It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! Esperanza: Esperanza Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 2 1
03 C.O.U.: Bestboy Electric Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Arcturus: Disguised Masters It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
04 Cyrano & C.O.U.: s/t It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! When: Psychedelic Wunderbaum Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 2 1
05 Täppas Strepens: Beans, Bacon ... Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: Men-Mic It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 4
06 Center of the Universe: Curious .. It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Metamorphosis It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 2 1
07 C.O.U.: Taking a Nap With It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Perdition City It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 2 4
08 Täppas Strepens: The Future ... Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: cords. wires Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
09 Magnus Moriarty™: Drive Fast ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! When: WriterCakeBox It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 5
10 Various Artists: 1.0 It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Star of Ash: iter.viator. It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 3 1
11 Now We've Got Members: Le Jardin It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Virus: Carheart It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
12 C.O.U.: Promotional Copy Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Silences Teaches You ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
13 Magnus Moriarty™: ...And The Hippos... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Origami Galaktika: Stjernevandring It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 4
14 Cyrano: You Sensualize My Soul Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! When: The Lobster Boys It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
15 Koppen: Truckdriving Songs Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! Rotoscope: Great Curves Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
16 Täppas Strepens: Dance, Dance ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Silencing the Singing It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
17 C.O.U.: Staying Up All Night ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: Captain Trips It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
18 Magnus Moriarty™: U R On A Radar It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Head Control System: Murder Nature It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 2 2
19 Now We've Got Members: Tiny ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Single Unit: Family of Forces It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 5 3
20 Various Artists: 2.0 Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! [unreleased] 1 0
21 Koppen: My Fashion Statement ... Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: Sideman It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 4
22 Täppas Strepens: The Great American ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Upland: Upland It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 4 1
23 Magnus Moriarty™: Sky-Fi Beatitude It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! When: Sunshine Superhead It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
24 Cyrano: I Cannot Smell It It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Ulver: Lyckantropen Theme It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 2
25 Hanny: Moderning Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: 1993-2003: 1st Decade ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 1 1
26 C.O.U.: Bellydance Nation It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! Ulver: A Quick Fix Of Melancholy EP Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 2
27 Meta Forever: Astroid Antics It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 1349 Rykkinn: Brown Ring of Fury It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 4 2
28 Cyranq & Phil Emile: [sic] It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Kåre João: Sleepers It's a GOAL! 2 1
29 Ergo: Reclaim The Mall! It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Teachings In Silence It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 2
30 Various Artists: 3.0 Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Svidd Neger Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 1 2
31 C.O.U./Magnus Moriarty™: Did U ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! Origami Galaktika: Horisont It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
32 Koppen: Let's Eat Crazyroom ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! When: Pearl-Harvest It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 1 3
33 Now We've Got Members: Then Is ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Blood Inside It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 6 3
34 Truls & The Trees: AilanthusOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: 2 It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 3
35 Lower Than Lo-Fi: No Need For Ladders Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: RdtrIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 4
36 C.O.U.: SimulacraIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! When: WheneverOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
37 Hanny: SceneityIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Upland: ObliteratedOooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! 3 1
38 Magnus Moriarty™: Perhaps Interior ...It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! Anthony Curtis: Book Of The KeyOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 2 2
39 Ergo: MountaineeringIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Espen Jørgensen: On the Great ...It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 5
40 Various Artists: 4.0It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! When: Trippy HappyIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 3
41 Center of the Universe: ApokryfaIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Shadows Of The SunIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 4 3
42 Center of the Universe: Remixes/RemixedIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! When: You Are SilentIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 3 1
43 Koppen: Strømmen Gamelan CityIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Upland: Monochrome AdventuresIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 3
44 Pilemil: If You Make ...It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! When: Sun RaIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 2 3
45 Now We've Got Members: Repulsive ...It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! Nidingr: Wolf-FatherIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 3
46 Truls/Trees Vs. C.O.U.: Surfing USBIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Zweizz & Joey Hopkins: S/TIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 3
47 C.O.U.: Levitating DiskIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Wars Of The RosesIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 4 3
Total 117 109

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Cyrano Armageddon release Club Soda 2012 from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the When release Misshimmisshimmisshim... from Jester Records.

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