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Ulver - Chapter 1 Folksy black metal. - 90%

Jochem, February 21st, 2007

Bergtatt from Ulver is one of those albums that will get better with each listen. At first I somehow thought of it as a good but strange album where things were just thrown together in mix. Where as I listen now I hear an almost perfect album influenced by folk and black metal. Of course there are many forms and styles of black metal and a lot of those come along here. The album stars with a slow riff encountered with clean vocals which reminds me of early Opeth. But as this album was released in 1994 and Opeth debut “Orchid” in 1995 I can’t help but think how much this album influenced them.
Bergtatt really brakes loose in the second song when after the folksy intro the music suddenly burst out into blast beats and grim vocals. The song is quite heavy compared to the first but compared to other black metal; well it’s quite relaxed actually. The riffs are full of melodies and there are so many switches with acoustics and elements of folk put together that instead of a hard and heavy black metal experience you will experience an almost soothing and calm album.

If I listen to this album and when I later listen to later Ulver I’m actually happy they abandoned their early style. Not that it isn’t good but they already perfected it on this short album and I love the fact that this band is so incredibly diverse in any way. Ulver playing folksy black metal is amazing but Ulver doing harsh black metal is perhaps even better and Ulver doing Jazzy electronic stuff even more. Hell, I bet if this band made a gansta-rap album it would be the best in its genre.
But anyway, this album is great an a true must have for fans of early Opeth and metal in general.

written for www.musicmademe.com