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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Kveldssanger (Re-issue 2019)Kveldssanger (Re-issue 2019)
Century Media 2019
$23.35
$27.26 (used)
Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler (Re-issue 2019)Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler (Re-issue 2019)
Century Media 2019
$22.97
$27.26 (used)
Drone Activity 13.10.18Drone Activity 13.10.18
House of Mythology 2019
$13.82
$13.89 (used)
BergtattBergtatt
INDIE RECORDINGS N.A. 2019
$11.06
$9.99 (used)
The Assassination Of Julius CaesarThe Assassination Of Julius Caesar
House of Mythology 2017
$24.27
$27.36 (used)
Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden (Re-issue 2019)Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden (Re-issue 2019)
Century Media 2019
$23.35
$27.26 (used)
Shadows Of The SunShadows Of The Sun
House of Mythology 2018
$28.37
$22.00 (used)
Childhood's EndChildhood's End
KSCOPE 2018
$18.48
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ULVER Discography

ULVER albums / top albums

ULVER Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler album cover 4.36 | 40 ratings
Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
Atmospheric Black Metal 1995
ULVER Kveldssanger album cover 3.70 | 26 ratings
Kveldssanger
Non-Metal 1996
ULVER Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden album cover 3.70 | 26 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 3.34 | 15 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 3.94 | 7 ratings
Perdition City: Music To An Interior Film
Non-Metal 2000
ULVER Lyckantropen Themes album cover 3.73 | 6 ratings
Lyckantropen Themes
Non-Metal 2002
ULVER Svidd Neger album cover 3.73 | 4 ratings
Svidd Neger
Non-Metal 2003
ULVER Blood Inside album cover 4.07 | 6 ratings
Blood Inside
Non-Metal 2005
ULVER Shadows Of The Sun album cover 4.14 | 9 ratings
Shadows Of The Sun
Non-Metal 2007
ULVER Wars Of The Roses album cover 3.41 | 8 ratings
Wars Of The Roses
Non-Metal 2011
ULVER Childhood's End album cover 4.53 | 6 ratings
Childhood's End
Non-Metal 2012
ULVER Messe I.X - VI.X album cover 4.17 | 6 ratings
Messe I.X - VI.X
Non-Metal 2013
ULVER Terrestrials (with Sunn O)))) album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Terrestrials (with Sunn O))))
Non-Metal 2014
ULVER Riverhead album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Riverhead
Non-Metal 2016
ULVER ATGCLVLSSCAP album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
ATGCLVLSSCAP
Non-Metal 2016
ULVER The Assassination Of Julius Caesar album cover 4.61 | 5 ratings
The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Non-Metal 2017

ULVER EPs & splits

ULVER Mysticum / Ulver album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Mysticum / Ulver
Black Metal 1994
ULVER Metamorphosis album cover 3.00 | 1 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 3.50 | 3 ratings
A Quick Fix Of Melancholy
Non-Metal 2003
ULVER Roadburn EP album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Roadburn EP
Non-Metal 2012
ULVER Sic Transit Gloria Mundi album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
Non-Metal 2017

ULVER live albums

ULVER Live At Roadburn album cover 3.00 | 1 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 4.00 | 1 ratings
Drone Activity
Non-Metal 2019

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

ULVER Vargnatt album cover 3.50 | 2 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 | 3 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 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.

ULVER Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden

Album · 1997 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
While ULVER (Norwegian for “wolves”) has become synonymous with eclectic genre jumping between albums like virtually no other band in history of recorded music, in the beginning they at least attempted to create a series of albums in their “Black Metal Trilogie” which began with 1994’s “Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler.” However despite the supposed “black metal” part of the equation, even on their sophomore album, the wiley wolfy ones were pulling the old switcheroo by performing their second album in the metal-free zone of the dark Norwegian folk drenched “Kvelssanger.” For their third album they make a reprise and finish out the trilogy by bringing the black metal back to the forefront and on NATTENS MADRIGAL - AATTE HYMNE TIL ULVEN I MANDEN (translated from Norwegian as "Madrigal Of The Night – Eight Hymns To The Wolf In Man”), not only do they recapitulate the full fury of the debut but unleash the full fury of caustic black metal which races along like wolf pursued prey fleeing for its very life.

While the three albums are connected thematically, NATTENS MADRIGAL was the band’s international debut and most likely the first taste of the Norwegian wolf pack by the majority of the planet. The third installment of the trilogy is a concept that revolves around tales of the dark side of humanity that uses metaphors in the form of wolves in the moonlit night as depicted by the cover art. The album was recorded immediately after “Bergtatt” with no specific timeline for release but as the band got signed by Century Media in the late 90s, vocalist Kristoffer Rygg who is credited as Garm states that the band wanted to unleash their most abrasive and venomous attempt on second wave black metal as their international debut not only as a guidepost for their involvement in the early scene but also as a final farewell before they moved out of the black metal scene entirely. There was also a little shock value involved to freak out their new label as well.

NATTENS MADRIGAL is a relentless beast despite calm surreal interludes that incorporate ambient, industrial and other pacifying sounds. While these sounds are plentiful, they merely punctuate the main compositions that exude an overall abrasive and caustic second wave metal attack with adrenaline fueled blastbeasts, searing buzzsaw guitar riffs and lo-fi production that banishes the bass into Hades. As typical for the day, the din is fortified with vile, angry raspy shouted vocals typical of Darkthrone, Mayhem, Marduk and other similar second wavers of the 90s Scandinavian black metal scene. While the lo-fi aspects of NATTENS MADRIGAL are quite similar to the majority of over-adrenalized 90s black metal, ULVER excels in composing tight melodic constructs which at times such as in “Hymn I: Of Wolf And Fear” breaks out of the super aggressive mode and converts into melodic classical guitar with modern production before descending into the lo-fi hellfire pits once again.

While on the surface NATTENS MADRIGAL seems like a typical 90s black metal release, however it is in fact an interesting closer in their “Black Metal Trilogie” as it eschews the atmospheric and folk touches that the debut “Bergtatt” utilized and opts for a more primeval raw and angry evil as fuck sort of sound. While the fans of the day never could have predicted that after such an energetic and unrelenting display of black metal fury that constitutes the third and final installment of the trilogy, the clues as to where ULVER would take their next journey lay in the cracks between the caustic distortionfest. The ambient, industrial and psychedelic folk snippets between tracks would become the focus of the newer chapters of ULVER’s ever-changing journey. While i can’t say that i wish ULVER would have stuck to their black metal roots because so many other band’s were jumping on the bandwagon, i also cannot say that i don’t love the hell out of the early black metal albums that ULVER conjured up. On this one, they not only somehow managed to create beautiful melodies beneath the unbounded brutality but seeded the blueprint of their future musical adventures. NATTENS MADRIGAL is a satisfying adrenalized high octane 90s black metal release fortified with cool electronic embellishments.

ULVER Childhood's End

Album · 2012 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
The "covers album" tends not to get a good rap, but anyone who knows anything about Ulver would know full well that they'd take an off-beat approach to the idea. Here, they take a leaf from David Bowie's Pin-Ups and give a highly individual spin to a brace of 1960s psych and garage rock deep cuts.

Just as Bowie gave his selection a glam rock spin in keeping with his musical approach at the time, here Ulver recast the songs they select into a distinct mode of their own - a mixture of psych-aligned proto-prog and gothic darkness, like what might happen if the Doors and the Cure got to jamming.

As the cover art implies with its incorporation of one of the most iconic and harrowing images of the Vietnam War, this reinterpretation with the aid of hindsight teases out the darker aspects of the flower power era - a time when the sunniest pop to ever grace the airwaves was churned out even as a war that traumatised a generation and made the whole world question the innocence and good intentions of US foreign policy raged.

The end result is a classic example of how a distinct and original artistic statement can be put together even if it doesn't wholly constitute original material - plus the individual interpretations of the songs are some great goth-psych stuff on top.

ULVER Wars Of The Roses

Album · 2011 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
For their Wars of the Roses, Ulver shapeshift once again. It's a bit harder to get a handle on their sound this time around, partly because it's a bit more wide-ranging and experimental, but if you obliged me to have a stab I'd say its their bid at producing melancholic melodic art rock - it's not quite baroque enough to qualify as full-blown prog (or even neo-prog), but it's the sort of thing which wouldn't seem wholly out of place out of an opening act for Marillion or something. The major exception is album closer Stone Angels, a spoken word poem read over an extended ambient musical backing. On balance I'd say that Ulver don't quite have as strong a direction here as they usually do on their projects, which makes it a bit of an oddity in their discography.

ULVER The Assassination Of Julius Caesar

Album · 2017 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
You'd think that by this point in their career, after all the twists and turns they've taken us down, the prospect of Ulver trying out a radically different genre from their former work would be utterly unsurprising - I mean, this is the same band which bounced from kvlt black metal to dark folk across their first two albums, after all.

And yet, somehow The Assassination of Julius Caesar manages to be another whiplash-inducing swerve from Ulver, shifting into the realm of honest-to-goodness synthpop. The secret to it, which makes it perhaps my favourite Ulver release ever, is that this is a style of gothy synthpop which feels distinctly Ulver, particularly in terms of their electronic and ambient works of their post-metal era.

After all, Dressed In Black on Blood Inside verged on the electro-gothic, so this isn't an evolution entirely without precedent, and whilst 80s nostalgia synthwave stuff is in vogue at the time, Ulver are able to artfully defy expectations by making the most 80s-tastic cut on here a tribute to 1969. Moreover, just because they've gone synthpop doesn't mean they've gone simplistic with it; there's complex, ornate passages here which reveal hidden depths to their sound, and I'd urge anyone turned off by the synthpop approach to at least give cuts like Rolling Stone or Coming Home a chance before writing off this album out of hand.

Is this what we wanted or expected from the next Ulver album? Almost certainly not, but by this point we'd be fools to expect Ulver to do what we want or expect - better to simply let them do their thing, and celebrate it when that results in creative masterstrokes like this.

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