ULVER — Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler (review)

ULVER — Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler album cover Album · 1995 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Sleepwalker
Bergtatt is the marvelous debut album of Ulver, at the time a very influential black metal band. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Bergtatt does not only include the harshness of black metal, but combines this with the beauty of Norse folk music expressed through a concept revolving around a girl lost in a forest of trolls.

The album opens with a brief drum fill, taking us to what might be the best piece on this album. “I Troldskog Faren Vild” showcases the excellent combination of beauty and beast. Rough riffs drive the song, but the vocals that are sung over it are no conventional black metal vocals. No, they’re chanted choir-like vocals that work very well in creating a beautiful feeling. Though these kind of vocals make a frequent appearance on other songs too, vocalist Garm also uses the more conventional ferocious black metal shrieks frequently, like on the second song, “Soelen Haaer Bag Aase Need”.

Like already mentioned earlier, Ulver combines black metal with folk on this album. Most of the songs have classical acoustic passages, and there even is a completely acoustic track on the album, “Een Stemme Locker”. Another memorable part of the album are the middle few minutes of the third song, where sounds are heard of the girl making her way through the forest accompanied by gentle and delicate piano playing. The combination of these benign acoustic parts and the fierce black metal gives Bergtatt a feeling of beauty with a solitary and melancholic undertone.

Ulver has created a fantastic album with Bergtatt. Its combination of black metal and acoustic folk takes care of all possible repetitivity that one could find in black metal and therefore might even attract those who don’t enjoy the genre in general.
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