ULVER

Non-Metal / Black Metal / Avant-garde Metal / Atmospheric Black Metal • Norway
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Ulver (Norwegian for “wolves”) is a multi-disciplinary musical quartet from Oslo, Norway and now, London, England. The band was formed by Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg in 1993, and their current members are Rygg (vocal, programming), Jørn H. Sværen (misc.), Tore Ylwizaker (programming, piano) and latest member Daniel O'Sullivan (guitar, piano, various). Since their first folk metal/black metal release in 1993, Ulver’s style has ever been changing by combining elements of experimental, electronic and ambient music, avant-garde, rock, trip-hop, and their own genre-defying innovations.

"Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler" is a folk-themed black metal album. The title Bergtatt literally translates as “mountain-taken”, but is more commonly used to describe someone who is stricken with awe. In Norwegian folk tales the word refers to people who wander off into mountains, lured by trolls or other mythical beings. The narrative of the album’s lyrics follows a woman as she becomes so
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ULVER Discography

ULVER albums / top albums

ULVER Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler album cover 4.36 | 47 ratings
Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
Atmospheric Black Metal 1995
ULVER Kveldssanger album cover 3.67 | 28 ratings
Kveldssanger
Non-Metal 1996
ULVER Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden album cover 3.67 | 30 ratings
Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden
Black Metal 1997
ULVER Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell album cover 3.29 | 19 ratings
Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell
Avant-garde Metal 1998
ULVER Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film album cover 3.71 | 11 ratings
Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film
Non-Metal 2000
ULVER Lyckantropen Themes album cover 3.72 | 7 ratings
Lyckantropen Themes
Non-Metal 2002
ULVER Svidd Neger album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
Svidd Neger
Non-Metal 2003
ULVER Blood Inside album cover 4.09 | 7 ratings
Blood Inside
Non-Metal 2005
ULVER Shadows Of The Sun album cover 4.17 | 10 ratings
Shadows Of The Sun
Non-Metal 2007
ULVER Wars Of The Roses album cover 3.37 | 10 ratings
Wars Of The Roses
Non-Metal 2011
ULVER Childhood's End album cover 4.50 | 7 ratings
Childhood's End
Non-Metal 2012
ULVER Messe I.X - VI.X album cover 4.16 | 7 ratings
Messe I.X - VI.X
Non-Metal 2013
ULVER Terrestrials (with Sunn O)))) album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Terrestrials (with Sunn O))))
Non-Metal 2014
ULVER Riverhead album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Riverhead
Non-Metal 2016
ULVER ATGCLVLSSCAP album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
ATGCLVLSSCAP
Non-Metal 2016
ULVER The Assassination Of Julius Caesar album cover 4.63 | 6 ratings
The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Non-Metal 2017
ULVER Flowers of Evil album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Flowers of Evil
Non-Metal 2020
ULVER Scary Muzak album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Scary Muzak
Non-Metal 2021

ULVER EPs & splits

ULVER Mysticum / Ulver album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Mysticum / Ulver
Black Metal 1994
ULVER Metamorphosis album cover 2.71 | 3 ratings
Metamorphosis
Non-Metal 1999
ULVER Silencing The Singing album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Silencing The Singing
Non-Metal 2001
ULVER Silence Teaches You How To Sing album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Silence Teaches You How To Sing
Non-Metal 2001
ULVER A Quick Fix Of Melancholy album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
A Quick Fix Of Melancholy
Non-Metal 2003
ULVER Roadburn EP album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Roadburn EP
Non-Metal 2012
ULVER Sic Transit Gloria Mundi album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
Non-Metal 2017

ULVER live albums

ULVER Live At Roadburn album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Live At Roadburn
Non-Metal 2013
ULVER The Norwegian National Opera album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Norwegian National Opera
Non-Metal 2013
ULVER Drone Activity album cover 4.38 | 3 ratings
Drone Activity
Non-Metal 2019
ULVER Hexahedron – Live at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Hexahedron – Live at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Non-Metal 2021

ULVER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ULVER Vargnatt album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Vargnatt
Black Metal 1993
ULVER Rehearsal 1993 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Rehearsal 1993
Black Metal 1993

ULVER re-issues & compilations

ULVER The Trilogie: Three Journeyes Through The Norwegian Netherworlde album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Trilogie: Three Journeyes Through The Norwegian Netherworlde
Black Metal 1997
ULVER Teachings In Silence album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Teachings In Silence
Non-Metal 2002
ULVER 1993-2003: 1st Decade In The Machines album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
1993-2003: 1st Decade In The Machines
Non-Metal 2003
ULVER Oddities And Rarities #1 album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Oddities And Rarities #1
Non-Metal 2012
ULVER Trolsk Sortmetall 1993-1997 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Trolsk Sortmetall 1993-1997
Black Metal 2014

ULVER singles (1)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
February MMX
Non-Metal 2011

ULVER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
The Norwegian National Opera
Non-Metal 2012

ULVER Reviews

ULVER Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film

Album · 2000 · Non-Metal
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UMUR
"Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film" is the 5th full-length studio album by Norwegian music act Ulver. The album was released through Jester Records in March 2000. It´s the successor to "Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell" from 1998, although the two full-length albums are bridged by the 1999 "Metamorphosis" EP.

The "Metamorphosis (1999)" EP is important to mention here, as it marked a significant stylistic change for Ulver being an experimental electronic music release. "Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film" continues down the same electronic music path (although much more structured and featuring more memorable moments), featuring an experimental, ambient, and atmospheric electronic music style. There´s an Angelo Badalamenti (composer of the soundtrack for the Twin Peaks tv-series) influence here, when it gets most lounge jazzy, but combined with a dark, melancholic urban atmosphere. The subtitle to the album "Music To An Interior Film" is a very accurate way of describing the music and its impact on the listener. It is the type of music which creates cinematic images of dark, rainy urban environments, sleazy back alleys, and noir type settings.

The music is predominantly instrumental, but does on occasion feature subtle melancholic male vocals, which reminds me a bit of the most quiet vocal parts on the latter day Talk Talk/Mark Hollis albums (and sometimes "like on the opening minutes of "Hallways Of Always"" appear a bit more mainstream accessible). There are also some female vocals on the album, but they are even more sparse. Saxophone is used on opening track "Lost In Moments" and on "Dead City Centres", and to great effect. The sound of the saxophone creates a feeling of desolation, isolation, and longing for companionship in the decayed urban atmosphere created by Ulver.

"Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film" features a well sounding electronic oriented sound production filled with programmed drums, synths, piano, bleeps and bloops, samples, and other effects. Upon conclusion Ulver have created an intriguing, dark, and melancholic electronic music album, which at times may drag a bit too much while building atmosphere (tracks like "Tomorrow Never Knows", "We Are The Dead"), and "Dead City Centres"), but other times shine quite a bit with great atmospheric moments of gloomy cinematic beauty. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

ULVER Scary Muzak

Album · 2021 · Non-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
ULVER continues to be Norway’s greatest shapeshifters having released material that is as diverse as black metal, dark folk and progressive avant-garde post industrial metal to ambient electronic and even synthpop. Well here’s another one for the resume. Released on Halloween of 2021, ULVER has unleashed its first horror synth album that mixes progressive electronic and synthwave to celebrate the holiday cheer. Creepy and suspenseful and filled with dark ominous tones and timbres, SCARY MUZAK is definitely not where anybody could’ve predicted this band would go!

This album is more than just scary music for the Halloween holiday’s sake but is a reinterpretation of John Carpenter’s soundtrack music for the film. To be more accurate, SCARY MUZAK features five covers of classic soundtrack works of JC with the remaining seven tracks originals inspired by those pieces and put into the context of scary synthesizer sounds. Somewhat in the vein of Buckethead’s countdown to Halloween marathon in 2015 but sounding more like the scary soundtrack music of the Italian proggers Goblin except ULVER jettisons all rock aspects altogether.

ULVER has had a somewhat fluid lineup over its 30 years of history. This album features the quartet of Ole Alexander Halstensgård (electronics), Kristoffer Rygg (percussion), Tore Ylwizaker (synthesizer) and Stian Westerhus (guitar) although i can’t say i hear much guitar taking place so i guess that they are probably processed beyond recognition. The music while mostly electronically based on synthesizers flows a lot like a classical music score with tones and timbres gliding in and out of aural range along with drones, electronic drumbeats, oscillations, pitch slides and other cool electronic accoutrements.

The gist is a beefy bass groove, some strange upper range weirdness and a scary treble keyboard riff which is what sounds the most like the world of Goblin. The percussive drive is varied with some moments feeling tribal and others feeling a bit robotic. The tracks are fairly short and to the point with none exceeding the five minute mark. The album while not a soundtrack score per se certainly does evoke the sense of being one and it’s not unfathomable that these tracks would somehow be used in that manner.

While certainly amusing and well executed, the problem with this album is that it does not really convey the scariness of the Halloween holiday however even if the whole point was to emulate the Halloween film’s soundtrack, it all seems a bit pointless as the album sounds as if it exists in the world of the Italian film soundtrack powerhouse Goblin. In other words ULVER hasn’t found its own niche in crafting this sort of musical mosaic and therefore it sounds rather derivative of the Goblin universe with a particular feel of “Suspiria.” Not bad but not exactly what scratches my itch if i have the urge to check out this style of synthesized electronica. What’s next ULVER? Marching band renditions of classic ABBA songs? Why the hell not?!!!

ULVER Metamorphosis

EP · 1999 · Non-Metal
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UMUR
"Metamorphosis" is an EP release by Norwegian music act Ulver. The EP was released through Jester Records in September 1999. It bridges the gap between the band´s fourth and fifth full-length studio albums "Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell (1998)" and "Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film (2000)".

"Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell" was quite the departure from the band´s black/folk metal past, featuring an avant garde/experimental rock/metal style, but "Metamorphosis" proves that Ulver were far from finished developing and changing their sound. Stylistically the 4 tracks on the 25:17 minutes long EP are experimental electronic music, which is predominantly instrumental but occasionally also features vocals. In retrospect it was obviously Ulver experimenting with electronic effects, sounds, rhythms, and technology in preperation for working on and recording the material for "Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film (2000)", but back then it was a bit of a shock release for most fans.

To others it proved what they had long known, that Ulver were an unpredictable act, composing and playing exactly the type of music they wanted, without regards to the wishes of the fans and the critics. They even adress this in the sleeve notes to the EP, explaining that they don´t see themselves as a black metal band anymore, and that they think of the early part of their discography as a stepping stone to something else.

"Metamorphosis" is an ambient release. It´s not slow and droning all the time (only "Of Wolves And Withdrawal" fully falls under that catagory), but both mid-paced and even upbeat at times, featuring some busy programmed drums. Layers upon layers of sounds and effects make up the tracks, which according to band founder Kristoffer Rygg were slowly developed as a result of improvisations in the studio. As a consequence you´ll have to look long for conventional vers/chorus structures or catchiness in general. It´s music featuring interesting ideas, but to my ears they seem a little random and a bit more structure and a few more catchy moments could have made this a more memorable listen. I´m not blown away by what I hear (the closing 8:55 minutes long "Of Wolves And Withdrawal" is a downright tedious affair), but a 2.5 star (50%) rating is still warranted.

ULVER Drone Activity

Live album · 2019 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
Ulver's musical interests bounce around all over the place - we're talking about a group whose discography ranges from the rawest of raw black metal to dark folk music to synthpop, after all - so it's nice of them to give this release an apt title to tip us off to what to expect.

Though a live album, Drone Activity consists of all-original material. Don't think "drone" in the sense of, say, Ulver buddies Sunn O))) - instead, think "drone" in the sense of some of the mid-1970s work of progressive electronic masters like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. Heck, the album is even structured like Tangerine Dream's Zeit, with its four electronic ambient pieces occupying a timespan which would, were this to get a vinyl release, have each track taking up a side of a double album.

Don't think this is a full-on pastiche of Tangerine Dream, however; the aesthetic of Ulver's vampiric cyberpunk works of yesteryear is thick on the ground here, the band simply using a Tangerine Dream-esque format as a springboard for improvisation in their own distinctive style. The end result is another compelling release from a band who are never less than interesting.

ULVER Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell

Album · 1998 · Avant-garde Metal
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UMUR
"Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is the 4th full-length studio album by Norwegian experimental metal/rock act Ulver. The album was released through Jester Records in December 1998.

"Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is a 2 Disc conceptual release and as the title suggests the lyrical theme revolves around the novel "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" by William Blake. The album probably came as a big surprise for most fans of the band when it was originally released. The three albums that preceeded this one are all rooted in black metal and Scandinavian folklore. The acoustic folky second album "Kveldssanger (1995)" probably also came as a big surprise when it was released as the debut album "Bergtatt (1994)" is a black metal album. Most fans still saw Ulver as a black metal act though and when they returned with their third album "Nattens Madrigal (1996)", which also saw a return to the black metal style of the debut (but adding a grimmer more raw sound), that seemed to hold true. "Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" takes Ulver music in a whole new direction though and while they probably lost a few of their most conservative black metal fans they gained new more experimental minded music fans with this release.

Ulver´s music on "Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" can no longer be called metal. There are sections with distorted guitars but metal it ain´t. Instead there´s much focus on vocals (both male and female, and quite a bit of narration), ambient electronic elements, and a strong emphasis on dark atmosphere. Ambient and atmospheric industrial tinged rock/metal could be a valid description. It´s an album which is all about atmosphere, and listeners craving riffs and hard rocking parts should look elsewhere.

"Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is both well performed and well produced, and to those interested in dark atmospheric and ambient music, it´s quite an interesting and obviously well composed album too. Personally I find it lacking memorable moments and it´s a bit overlong too. When the band finally break the ambient monotony and play some louder more rock/metal oriented parts, it´s still pretty monotone and just goes on and on an on with little to hold on to. Subjective opinions and taste in music aside, it´s still obvious that "Themes From William Blake´s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is a quality release performed by skilled and passionate performers, and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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