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Absolute masterpiece. - 100%

dal_on_u, January 18th, 2007

Ulver. The epitome of progression from a record like "Bergtatt" to "Blood Inside".
For those who know, or have heard, Ulver's latest opus is largely different from their first 3 records. For those who are interested, I will not give the secret away, so you'll have to go buy it and see for your self. But what i will do is try to explain what "Bergtatt" is achieving. I feel that it is impossible to describe this album without going into a lot of detail. So if you are really interested, read on!

First track is named "Capitel I - I Troldskog Faren Vild". Yes, the songs arent sung in English, but in a form of archaic Danish. Starts off with a roll, and then ensues a rather happy sounding folk/black metal riff. Vocal rasps exceptionally evil sounding + a somewhat necro production. Then suddenly, it stops, and soon calm acoustic waves of guitar engulf you. Production here seems a bit better, as all wavelengths are fully employed, and a chilly atmosphere surrounds the listener. Then as suddenly as it began, the acoustics die out, to be replaced with another different riff. This leads off as an outro. For the album opener, this song clearly gives off an aura of individuality that "warns" listeners that it is not some ordinary black metal band.

"Capitel II - Sœlen Gåer Bag Åse Need" is the second track which starts out with a serene folk tune accompanied by what sounds like flute and calm yet cold acoustics. Once again, the black metal part appears out of nowhere and a frantic riff is delievered. Garm also adds to this riff by doing Nordic choir vocals in the background to accompany the rasps. Singing here is pretty good too. This song also follows the previous song's structural formula. This may seem a tad repetive, but trust me, Ulver keep you entertained throughout the trip.

The Third track "Capitel III - Gråblick Blev Hun Vær" starts once again with acoustics and garms choir vocals. It then leads to frantic and cold black metal once again. As you may have guessed, Ulver surprises us again by slowing everything down, and begin the acoustics once more, accompanied by a grand piano softly playing a classical tune. Add to this is a sample of what seems to be like someone running through a forest in the deep Norwegian mountains. Its very chilling, and it continues for almost 2 minutes and when it stops the listener has adjusted to sounds to the background, and you get lost. You are brought back to reality with a sudden outpouring of insanely frantic black metal. Although frantic, the riffs are very melodic and leads to countless hours of headbanging.

The fourth track, "Capitel IV - Een Stemme Locker" slows the album down almost to a halt. This may seem as an interlude to the next song. Garm chants in a very deep and low voice over 2 acoustics. Slow, mournful acoustic solos are delivered and once again the listener will begin to feel cold. As it is an interlude, it lasts a mere 4 minutes as compared to the others songs which average at around 8 minutes.

The closer of the album, "Capitel V - Bergtatt - Ind i Fjeldkamrene" starts of with straightforward cold black metal, and leads to a beautiful acoustic section. After a bit of that, black metal ensues with the same insane energy. What really attracts me to this song is the end, when the black metal riff stops (as usual) and there is about 15 seconds of silence. Then probably the best acoustic movement on the entire album surrounds me. You just need to listen to the serenity yet sadness of the music to fully understand what I'm saying. This continues out as an outro to the album.

So there you have it, Ulver's first part in its trilogy of albums. This album has undoubtably reached out to me, and for this reason I can say that it is an amazing piece of music talent. It seems that the pattern behind this record reflects the thoughts of bipolar person. The furious black metal contrasts the serene acoustic parts, just like the inner turmoil that is caused by schizophrenia. These guys know exactly what their vision is, and portray it perfectly. As the listener, you begin to understand what that vision is. If you are looking for something that may be "on another level" of metal, then you should definitely purchase this album. In fact, I demand that you buy it! :)