Thule - Ultima Thule. 1987 Norway

Thule - Ultima Thule. 1987 private

CD reissue: 1995 Arktisk; 2006 Pan

Release details: I bought the LP from Eurock as soon as it was released and it's housed in a standard single sleeve as was common practice in the 1980s. Prices are all over the lot, but the prevailing rate seems be about 100 balloons. It's so obscure, I'm sure you could source one for under $20 if you know the right people and have the patience. The CD is an obscure press from Norway that I've never actually seen and it appears Pan reissued it again about a decade later.

Notes: I bought this when it first came out in 1987, and to say it was anachronistic at the time, would have to considered an understatement. While certainly not as retro-prog conscious as Anglagard, Thule do seem to have fallen out of a 1970s time machine. Probably the same contraption that fellow northern Norwegians' Tangle Edge fell out of near the same time. The album is comprised of two side long compositions, that flow together as one long piece (and that supposedly tells a tale of colonizing a new continent - yea, yippee yayhoo). Without a doubt, mid 70s Pink Floyd and/or "Ocean" era Eloy seem to be the primary influence here, though sung in their native tongue complete with some dark narration bits. There are some 1980s references to be found though, such as the fat digital production with wide open drum beats, as well as an occasional period synthesizer sound. The album pretty much plods along at a slow to mid tempo pace throughout, and the focus falls squarely on the dark atmosphere provided. Thule probably should have experimented a bit more with complex rhythms and dynamics to allow for a more kinetic experience. While this was never what I would consider a great album - it's not one I would be willing to part with either and, in fact, it has aged quite well.

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