Ok today we’re handling dangerous equipment. It is not only the difficulty in labeling today’ suggestion, it is not the country of origin, or even the spoken languages on 2 of their suggested releases (Danish). The word collective comes to mind until one hears: Capitel III: Graablick Blev Hun Vaer from their 2nd album that clearly places them alongside early Tiamat, Rotting Christ and Septicflesh (see links below). But is this true?
Today’s band is full of surprises. It is often amongst groups coming from the North to suddenly change pace, rhythm and music influences. But this band proves everybody wrong, quite simply because u can’t surely bet on what exactly might come next…Today we’re meddling with both the black metal era (and the trilogy) and the metamorphosis one….as their releases have been ranked by our precious RYM.These guys must have put the sad on sadcore....
The source (wiki) reveals: «Ulver (Norwegian for "wolves") are a Norwegian experimental musical collective founded in 1993, by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg. Their early works, such as debut album Bergtatt, were categorised as folklore-influenced black metal, but have since evolved a fluid and increasingly eclectic musical style, blending genres such as rock, electronica, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise, progressive and experimental music into their oeuvre. 1997 marked their international debut with the release of their third album Nattens madrigal through German label CenturyMedia. However, following discord with the label, Kristoffer Rygg formed his own imprint Jester Records in 1998. British composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan joined the collective in 2009, and the band performed some of their first live concerts in their 15-year lifespan, including the prestigious Norwegian National Opera.
Ulver have sold in excess of half a million records, have over 20,000,000 plays on Last.fm, been twice nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Awards, Spellemannsprisen, in different categories, won Album of the Year at the Oslo Awards for Shadows of the Sun in 2008, won the NATT&DAG award for Best Live Act in 2011, and earned a global reputation for stylistic unpredictability.
Acclaim from the artistic community includes controversial director of films Kids and Gummo, Harmony Korine, recently commented, alluding to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: "There's a real lineage from a composer like Wagner to a band like Ulver." Author and musician Julian Cope has said, "Ulver are cataloguing the death of our culture two decades before anyone else has noticed its inevitable demise.
Founded in 1993 by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg in Oslo, Norway, together with Grellmund, Robin Malmberg, Carl-Michael Eide, Håvard Jørgensen, and A. Reza, the band issued their first demo cassette, Vargnatt, in November 1993. Their music and style was consistent with the early Norwegian black metal subculture in Norway during the early 1990s. However some have noted the avant-garde, jazz, rock and gothic influences that would later shape the band's sound. The archaic Dano-Norwegian lyrics were greatly influenced by Scandinavian folktales and inspired by Baroque poets such as Ludvig Holberg and the hymn-writer Thomas Kingo.
Debut album, Bergtatt, the first part of what has become known as Ulver’s "Black Metal Trilogie," was issued in February 1995 through Norwegian label Head Not Found. The album was met with critical acclaim, and was notable for blending together black metal, harsh vocals and blurred, buzzing guitars with quiet, folk-like acoustic passages. It was praised for its unique atmosphere and was described as "mysterious, melancholic, eerie, and oddly tranquil."
Following the success of their first two albums, Ulver signed with German label Century Media for their third album Nattens madrigal, issued in March 1997 - marking the band’s international debut. The album showcases a black metal style similar to Bergtatt, abandoning the acoustic and atmospheric elements, with an intentionally underproduced sound. The album has been described as "raw and grim black metal at it's blackest." A common myth about the album is that the band spent the recording budget on Armani suits, cocaine and a Corvette; and recorded the album outdoors in a Norwegian forest on an 8-track recorder. Kristoffer Rygg, however, has stated that this is not true; and possibly a rumour started by Century Media. The album has been described as "so fast and ferocious and the vocals so garbled that it's best just to take the sheer sonic force as reflecting the band's concept, rather than trying to piece it all together." In the sleeve notes to Metamorphosis, the group declared:
"Ulver isobviously not a black metal band and does not wish to be stigmatized as such. We acknowledge the relation of part I & III of the Trilogie (Bergtatt & Nattens Madrigal) to this culture, but stress that these endeavours were written as stepping stones rather than conclusions. We are proud of our former instincts, but wish to liken our association with said genre to that of the snake with Eve. An incentive to further frolic only. If this discourages you in any way, please have the courtesy to refrain from voicing superficial remarks regarding our music and/or personae. We are as unknown to you as we always were."
Perdition City, issued in March 2000, was described as moody, atmospheric electronica, cinematic in scope, evoking a soundtrack for an imaginary film. Kerrang! praised the album, ranking it top ten that year, noting "This ain't rock 'n roll. This is evolution on such a grand scale that most bands wouldn't even be able to wrap their tiny little minds around it." Musically, Ulver not only explores new genres, but also shift from extrovert, into more introverted moods, or interior music.
Ulver issued Blood Inside in June 2005, produced together with King Crimson collaborator Ronan Chris Murphy. The album returns to more classical arrangements and instrumentation, described as "a beautifully crafted album of both substance and style. Certainly, Blood Inside is still not for everyone, but those who choose to indulge in this will find themselves rewarded on every level." "[Blood Inside] is ambiguous and full of intricate layers and influences working to tell a story that is both haunting and mesmerising. Garm’s beautiful distorted vocals act as outcries of a desperate man hidden, pushed in the background of the story that the instrumentation tells." Webzine Avantgarde-metal.com concludes: "the sound of the album is maybe their most extravagant, extrovert, dynamic and wild, ranging from swing band to danceable hard electronic pop, with a lot of peaceful moments in between so much energy." Shadows of the Sun was issued in October 2007 in Europe and the United States and would include collaborations with artists Pamelia Kurstin contributing theremin, Mathias Eick on trumpet and Christian Fennesz, adding supplemental shimmer. Garm described it as "our most personal record to date." Described as "low-key, dark and tragic," the album received critical acclaim, and in February 2008 the album won the Oslo Awards for Album of the Year, in 2008. The album was also voted best album of 2007 at the website Sonic Frontiers.»
So ladies and gents we present to
u the stranger guys from the North a.k.a.
Top 5 releases (as ranked by RYM)
Or hear the Top 5 plus Live @ The OPERA
And for all Death/Black/Extreme HERE
Blinded By Blood