Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Lil' Avant-Gardes - 90%

OzzyApu, December 6th, 2006

Kristoffer Rygg, or Garm, was but a lad when he formed Ulver in Norway during the early 90's, a time when Black Metal was beginning to flourish relentlessly and distastefully. By the time -Bergtatt- was ready to be recorded, Kris had the entire concept of the album ready; visioned to be a temporary, yet complex, trilogy. By this time Kris was able to bring together four Norwegian Aiwarikiar, Haarvard, Skoll, Aismal to help him achieve turning his ideas into reality.

-Bergtatt- is the debut effort by Ulver that tells of a maiden who ventures into the nearby mountainside, filled with purity and hope. As the listener progresses through the album, she begins to lose everything she once was. The tainted mountainside takes hold of her, more and more with each passing track until the last wane of Garm's chilling voice.

Kris's voice takes the part of two beings. The majority is comprised by Kris's clean vocals, which never miss any note whatsoever and can hold itself for quite a good amount of seconds. This voice is akin to Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt, but on a higher scale. This side represents the damsel, I guess, full of light and innocence. As she is lured into the mountainside, we encounter Kris's, well...Garm's voice. As one would know, Black Metal truly has vocals that aren't pleasing to the ear, and Garm's really lives up to this. His voice is that of demon, bread for manipulation and torture. His shrieks meet up with that of Per Ohlin's and Ihsahn's. To put it to rest, if you enjoy Black Metal, then you will love them.

Given lesser recognition, the guitars and drums are mixed well in the recording albeit a bit light. The bass, of course, is hardly heard, as such a recording was barely supported to its full capability. However, that doesn’t mean that the entire thing is washed out, but just to clear. Nothing is truly heavy here, which leaves many fans yearning for some intensity, only to find the closest thing to Metal coming out of this being the instances of Black Metal during selective tracks like “Chapitel II” et “Chapitel V.”

While not solidly Black Metal, I would compare early Ulver to Agalloch easily. The music is primarily focused on slow, doomy tunes while Garm layers it with mixed vocals; the same as John Haughm with Agalloch. Five tracks are more than enough (34 minutes really isn’t enough), as this is a three-part trilogy that can only be completed by reuniting this with the other two. Early Ulver is an unmatched pleasure to listen to, so I don't have to ask you to pick at least this up.