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ULVER

Post Rock/Math rock • Norway


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Ulver biography
Founded in Oslo, Norway in 1993

ULVER are a Norwegian trio who started life as a black-metal band. They have gradually developed an experimental Progressive Metal style and their avante-garde sound is seen to best effect on their 2005 release, Blood Inside. The current line-up (as of July 2004) is Kristoffer Garm Rygg, Jørn H. Sværen, and Tore Ylwizaker. Former members include guitarist Grellmund who committed suicide in late 1997 and Håvard Jørgensen who contributes guitar on their latest album. Related bands include Coil and Borknagar.

Apart from their latest album, "Blood Inside", other notable experimantal and progressive works include Themes from William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", released in 1998 and "Metamorphosis" and "Perdition City" which are even more experimental than the "Blake Album" especially in their use of electronics.

Photo by Kerry O'Sullivan (2009)

See also:
-Arcturus
-Borknagar

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Shadows of the SunShadows of the Sun
House of Mythology 2018
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The Assassination Of Julius CaesarThe Assassination Of Julius Caesar
House of Mythology 2018
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ULVER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ULVER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 143 ratings
Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
1994
3.56 | 98 ratings
Kveldssanger
1996
3.12 | 98 ratings
Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden
1997
3.76 | 108 ratings
Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell
1998
3.92 | 188 ratings
Perdition City - Music To An Interior Film
2000
3.74 | 65 ratings
Lyckantropen Themes (OST)
2002
3.25 | 61 ratings
Svidd Neger (OST)
2003
3.83 | 156 ratings
Blood Inside
2005
4.06 | 247 ratings
Shadows Of The Sun
2007
3.88 | 156 ratings
Wars Of The Roses
2011
3.48 | 69 ratings
Childhood's End - Lost & Found From The Age Of Aquarius
2012
4.04 | 137 ratings
Ulver & Tromsø Chamber Orchestra: Messe I.X - VI.X
2013
3.43 | 43 ratings
Ulver & Sunn O))) : Terrestrials
2014
3.00 | 10 ratings
Riverhead (OST)
2016
3.83 | 77 ratings
The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
2017

ULVER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 11 ratings
Live at Roadburn
2013
4.00 | 13 ratings
The Norwegian National Opera
2013
4.06 | 40 ratings
ATGCLVLSSCAP
2016

ULVER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.40 | 34 ratings
The Norwegian National Opera
2011

ULVER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 2 ratings
The Trilogie: Three Journeyes Through The Norwegian Netherworlde
1997
3.79 | 30 ratings
Teachings in Silence
2002
2.50 | 6 ratings
1993-2003: 1st Decade In The Machines
2003
3.00 | 3 ratings
Oddities And Rarities #1
2012
4.60 | 6 ratings
Trolsk Sortmetall 1993-1997
2014

ULVER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.08 | 20 ratings
Vargnatt
1993
2.00 | 4 ratings
Rehearsal 1993
1993
2.49 | 25 ratings
Metamorphosis
1999
3.08 | 21 ratings
Silence Teaches You How to Sing
2001
3.17 | 21 ratings
Silencing the Singing
2001
3.81 | 38 ratings
A Quick Fix Of Melancholy EP
2003
2.33 | 3 ratings
Roadburn EP
2012
3.29 | 7 ratings
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
2017

ULVER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.76 | 108 ratings

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Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Themes From William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is the 4th full-length studio album by Norwegian ex 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. Mo Most fans still saw Ulver as a black metal act though and when they returned with their third album "Nattens Ma Madrigal (1996)", which also saw a return to the black metal style of the debut (but adding a grimmer more raw sound), that se seemed to hold true. "Themes From William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" takes Ulver music in a wh whole new direction though and while they probably lost a few of their most conservative black metal fans they gained new mo 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. Ther There are sections with distorted guitars but metal it ain't. Instead there's much focus on vocals (both male and female, and quit quite a bit of narration), ambient electronic elements, and a strong emphasis on dark atmosphere. Ambient and atmospheric indu industrial tinged rock/metal could be a valid description. It's an album which is all about atmosphere, and listeners craving riffs and 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 in interested in dark atmospheric and ambient music, it's quite an interesting and obviously well composed album too. Personally I fi find it lacking memorable moments and it's a bit overlong too. When the band finally break the ambient monotony and play so 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. Su Subjective opinions and taste in music aside, it's still obvious that "Themes From William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven an and Hell" is a quality release performed by skilled and passionate performers, and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is de deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 The Assassination Of Julius Caesar by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.83 | 77 ratings

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The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" is another foray into another genre for Ulver. This time, they experiment with, of all things, pop music. From Black Metal to Drone Music to Post Rock to theatrical soundtracks, minimalism and jazz, Ulver has always sounded like professionals at any type of music they delve into. So, now, what about alternative pop music?

"Nemoralia" is quite straightforward. It does sound like Depeche Mode at its lush-est. It is one of the most radio friendly tracks that Ulver has ever done. Yet there is still no doubt that it is Rygg singing those vocals, with his dark and seductive singing.

"Rolling Stone" continues with the updated alternative sound with a straightforward rhythm, but with some great lyrics and an excitingly interesting chorus with some guests backing him up. The synths and the driving bass drive this forward and are very reminiscent of the better side of Depeche Mode, but it is done in a way that doesn't sound like a cheap copy. Definitely catchy and well developed at over nine minutes. The wolf theme from previous Ulver albums also continues on this track. In the 2nd half of the song, things get a little more experimental as a wall of sound starts to build layer upon layer and things end up getting dissonant and chaotic with instruments fighting to get control of the track, from screaming guitars to screeching sax. They just had to remind you that this is still Ulver.

"So Falls the World" again has a mid tempo and basic rhythm. But it's the words and the vocals that are the focus here, as it was on "War of the Roses". On this track, even though the music is straightforward, the melody itself is the thing that is the most non-traditional. There is a sudden change at around the 4 minute mark when the tempo suddenly quickens and you get some interesting textures while keeping things accessible.

This flows into "Southern Gothic" which is a pretty typical sounding alt-pop track, nothing really stands out on this one, but it is short at least.

"Angelus Novus" slows things down quite a bit, and again uses poetic lyrics like in "So Falls the World". This is a surprisingly beautiful ballad-like song, but with enough of a challenge to the melody to keep things interesting. The same thing happens in the next track "Transverberation", except with a faster beat. The melodies in both are not typical, and that is what keeps things interesting.

"1969" is a synth heavy song, again with that unique melodic feel and poetic lyrics with a mostly basic track underneath. What is amazing is how well it all fits together.

The last track is the almost 8 minute "Coming Home". This one sounds like something that could have felt right at home on a Velvet Underground album, with atmospheric synths and both spoken and sung vocals, sometimes at the same time, puts it somewhere between a Lou Reed and a Leonard Cohen register. This one is also experimental enough to have been on the "Blood Inside" album, which also hinted around at popular music at times. This is my favorite track on the album.

There have been many progressive artists that have been able to effectively balance progressiveness and popular music. Artists include Alan Parsons, Yes, Pink Floyd and others. There have been major failures at this also, including Genesis, ELP and ELO. Ulver can now be counted among the artists that have done this effectively with this album. But, don't forget, this is Ulver, and you never know what you will hear next. The thing that makes Ulver unique in their endeavor is that they didn't really have to dumb down their lyrics and songwriting to do so. There is also that darkness that permeates Ulver's music. But, without a doubt, this is the most accessible album Ulver has ever done. And they do it well. Because of the progressive traits that remain in the melodic lines here, this album easily gets a four star rating. It's not their best, but it is progressive pop at its best. It still proves that Ulver can do virtually anything.

 Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.76 | 108 ratings

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Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Kristoffer Rygg is one of those musicians who truly has ants in his pants. Musically speaking he cannot sit still and defiantly genre hops from one genre for most of his career as the frontman for both his bands Arcturus and ULVER. While ULVER began as a second wave black metal band, this group became a musical collective and shapeshifter accordingly so while the debut "Bergtatt ? Et eeventyr i 5 capitler" was black metal, the second album "Kveldssanger" wasn't and engaged in an acoustic form of classical and folk guitar, however on the third album which was technically part of a trilogy, "Nattens Madrigal," the band unleashed one of the most ferocious black metal attacks of all the 90s. Seemingly having exorcised themselves of those sonic demons, the newly liberated ULVER completely transmogrified into an entirely new unrecognizable musical outfit.

The lengthy titled THEMES FROM WILLIAM BLAKE'S THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL found ULVER escaping the black metal paradigm completely 100% and instead went in a completely opposite direction that took the ambitious route of adapting William Blake's poem "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" into a sprawling double album soundtrack that musically aggregated electronic trip hop, industrial, ambient, post-rock with the occasional progressive metal bombast for contrast. While the album threw fans of their earlier albums completely for a loop, if one kept up with the restless nature of Kristoffer Rygg, then in hind sight, it all made a lot of sense. ULVER was started as a rotating collective and once Rygg coerced the keyboardist and composer Tore Ylwizaker into the band, the entire musical paradigm shifted to the sound of conceptualist's musical leanings which in this case found a smattering of classical, rock, industrial, metal and ambient all duking it out for musical domination.

THEMES FROM WILLIAM BLAKE'S THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL was a major undertaking. It consists of five core musicians with a another four well known black metal names as guest vocalists which include Stine Grytøy, Ihsahn, Samoth and Fenriz all adding their vocal stamp to the long drawn out liturgies of William Blake's imitation of biblical prophecy that expresses his own personal beliefs about the nature of revolution. A nebulous and mystical cosmic concept, the storyline narrates the proverbs of hell which delves into Dionysian energy and the repressive nature of conventional morality and institutional religion. How one would go about tackling such a huge undertaking is beyond me and this grandiose nature of the album is one that exemplifies an artist's appetite being bigger than its respective ability to pull it off.

While THEMES FROM was widely acclaimed by rock and metal critics and a hit with the alternative press, personally i find this album to be a very poorly designed creation. There is no rhyme or reason as to how the music coincides with the lyrical developments. If THEMES FROM has the grandiose proposals of an opera or other great classical works, ULVER unfortunately doesn't deliver the goods as the different styles of music whether they be electronic trip hop, progressive metal, art rock or ambient don't seem to gel well together and after a sprawling double album of this inconsistency, i find it a very difficult listen. "Proverbs Of Hell, Plates 7-10" for example is a 9 minute track of trip hop beats that goes on and on with some electric guitar adding some extra flair but symbolizes the album as a whole that delves into certain modes and then plods on for too long.

I've sat through this one many times to try to allow it click but after several spins my conclusions are always the same. This album should've been trimmed down to a single disc and then reworked so that the music actually corresponds to the emotional impact of the lyrical content, a tried and true method for higher art classical compositions to connect with an audience. Another problem i have is with the lackluster vocal performances including the overindulgent long periods of spoken word narrations, a style i abhor. Overall, i find THEMES FROM to be a rather tedious trawl through way too much filler space in order to get to the true moments of glory. Much of the second half of the first disc leaves me cold but i do enjoy how the first few tracks develop and the majority of the second disc. As an album with some great tracks this is a must for the electronic / post-rock phase of ULVER but as a concept album that conveys the subject matter as intended, this is a friggin mess.

 Wars Of The Roses by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 156 ratings

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Wars Of The Roses
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "War of the Roses" is the 8th full-length studio album in Ulver's discography of ever changing and always surprising endeavors. Where many of their other albums have usually followed a certain style on an individual basis, this one is more of a variety of the styles that they have perfected in the past. One of the things about this band that I love is their ability to try different kinds of styles and stretch them to new limits. Their music is unique, and so is Kristoffer Rygg's vocals.

It starts off with "February MMX" which is quite accessible, but still different enough so that it is still unique. It is upbeat and very catchy. This is contrasted immediately by the next track "Norwegian Gothic" which is the opposite of accessible, very experimental and strange, and very reminiscent of something that could have come off of "Kayo Dot"s album "Blue Lambency Downward". There is a great use of dissonance here.

Next up is the softer sounds of "Providence" which is more minimalistic, but with Kristoffer's expressive vocals accompanied by additional vocals by Atilla Csihar and Siri Stranger. There is a sudden change of mood halfway through when it takes on a more jazz fusion improvised feel with a squealing sax and crazy percussion for an extended instrumental break, then suddenly going back to the soft vocals, piano and violin. The accessible section soon goes to an experimental ambience. This excellent track has many moods and textures yet it sounds coherent and not haphazard as each section gets a chance to develop as the track goes over the 8 minute mark.

"September IV" again is a more mid-tempo and accessible piece, but with Kristoffer using his best mysterious sounding voice. Things get more progressive and chaotic as things continue. "England" is more cinematic and the vocals get more expressive as the song continues. Strange atmospheric sounds under the layers of music keep things eerie.

"Island" has a more minimalistic approach, very airy and soft. The instruments remain more dream-like through this track. Again, the vocals get more expressive as it continues.

The last track is the almost 15 minute track "Stone Angels". The style here is mostly experimental ambient with spoken word vocals. Atmospheric organ, dissonant clarinet and violin, and minimal percussion drive this forward. The feeling is one of a sparse and dark landscape. Percussion in the form of a march, eventually comes in later, while spoken word vocals and ambient music continues.

Throughout the album, even the more accessible tracks have that odd atmosphere about them that let's you know that this music is anything but run-of-the-mill. And with other tracks that dive deeply into ambience, jazz, progressiveness and experimental, you get a beautiful combination of the best possible music. Even though the band is listed as post rock, it is actually more experimental and ambient. The overall feel is minimalism, but that is probably more because of the long, final track because the other tracks explore several styles, with a lot of freedom to expand the boundaries. Ulver continues to be one of my favorite bands because of their unpredictability and their ability to make their exploration of styles authentic. For me, this is another essential album in their discography.

 ATGCLVLSSCAP by ULVER album cover Live, 2016
4.06 | 40 ratings

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ATGCLVLSSCAP
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Ulver, of course, is a band that has no specific style, other than art rock, only because that is the closest anyone can come to giving their style of music a name. Never a band to stick with any one single style, the only genre they could fit under is progressive rock. Always unpredictable, yet almost always producing and creating the best music possible. They are probably the most diverse band out there. Yet, not many people know who they are, even with an impressive discography as they have.

The album 'ATGCLVLSSCAP' is no exception. The title is derived from the first letter of the signs of the zodiac. The music on this album is considered 'free form'. All of the music is improvised and recorded live during one of their recent tours. The improvisations are all based on previous songs released by Ulver from various albums. The band collected the best of their free form experiments for the album and in the process, created new songs out of old songs.

The first track is 'England's Hidden' which is very drone like and atmospheric. It is based off of the track 'England' from 'The War of the Roses'. Vocal samples are used and manipulated to create the drone-like feel of the track. 'Glammer Hammer' is more upbeat and more traditional than the last track. It is an improvisation from 'Glamor Box' from 'Messe I.X ' VI.X'. This recording is excellent and dramatic full of strength and extremely dynamic. I have never heard a 'newly realized' song to sound so good, especially improvised. Amazing. 'Moody Stix' is based off of samples of 'Doom Sticks' from 'A Quick Fix of Melancholy'. This is another dramatic and cinematic track. The percussion drives the track which is excellent and so is the overall mood of the piece.

'Cromagnosis' takes it's sweet time to establish itself with atmospheric and psychedelic sounds, but it all culminates eventually in a rhythmic and melodic track eventually. When it does, it feels like coming out of a forest into daylight. It is very krautrock sounding when it settles into it's spacey groove. There is a sudden change at the 6 minute mark, a more frantic beat and bass line take over, almost reminding one of early 'Hawkwind' instrumentals. Everything speeds up during the last minute and then stops like everyone has fallen to the floor exhausted.

'The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible' is a shorter, experimental track. The sounds at the foreground are harsh and metallic, but in the background you can hear a melody playing, but it is mostly drowned out by the noises in the foreground. This one is a spooky sounding track, but is homage to the talent and imagination of the band. 'Om Hanumate Namah' utilizes soundscapes that can remind one of being in the cold arctic, standing at the top of the world listening to the sounds reflecting off of the surface of the Earth and echoing back to you. After 2 minutes, percussion kicks in and there are distant whispered vocals (whispering the title of the track) along with a nice guitar that has a very distinctive mid-Eastern flair. Again, the hints of krautrock become apparent. It grows in intensity as it continues. It might seem repetitive, but that is only if you listen to it on it's surface. Deep down in the mix, there is a lot of activity going on. Only those paying attention will notice.

'Desert Dawn' builds slowly on soft sounds that could actually be sounds of the dawn approaching on the desert. As the volume increases, you start to pick up new sounds and textures. This track is very hypnotic. You could easily get lost in this sound. All of the sounds eventually get lost in the sound of sustained notes from an organ. After it fades some, it comes back very orchestral and majestic. Beautiful! 'D-Day Drone' is a soft drone, possibly created by syths I believe, is layered under a mysterious sounding instrument, something like a processed sitar and guitar feedback, but staying ambient and sparse-like. I swear I can hear voices or singing way down deep inside the drone. Eventually, you will hear voices being transmitted just keep listening closely. 'Gold Beach' is a 5 minute, ambient electronic piece, very pensive and quiet.

'Nowhere (Sweet Sixteen)' is a rearrangement of 'Nowhere/Catastrophe' from the album 'Perdition City'. It is quite a surprise as it is the first track on the album to have lyrics. The vocals are probably the most perfected vocals that Kristoffer Rygg has ever recorded. They are sung at full voice, no whispers or subdued vocals. This is probably the closest thing to a radio friendly track on the album. It even has the majestic flair of some of the best Pink Floyd songs. 'Ecclesiastes (A Vernal Catnip)' is a reimagining of parts of 'Tomorrow Never Comes' also from 'Perdition City'. There are spoken vocals in another language. It is driven by a beautiful piano loop and swirling ambient sounds. Later, Kristoffer sings in English, the lyrics are the words from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I think that the melody might be improvised, but it is melodic enough that it is hard to tell and could easily be composed, not improvised. The vocals are surprisingly emotional. 'Solaris' is a short 2 minute epilogue to the album. It is a atmospheric piece, with processed effects and sounds. Very peaceful and calming.

This album reveals new things everytime you listen to it. Every new realization and improvisation completely re-writes the source material that it comes from. If there is such a thing as Progressive Remixes, this is it. Everything about this album is new, even if it came from older sources. You can call this hypnotic, psychedelic, art rock, avant-prog, ambient, or whatever and you are right in all cases. The final result of this experment results in a dynamic, ever changing landscape of music that is exciting and new everytime you listen to it. I would go so far as to say this is one of the best Ulver albums in my opinion, and with the range of their discography, that says a lot. There is so much variety here among the tracks, and a surprise at every turn. And there is plenty of variety so that there is something here for everyone. This is an experiement that can be considered a huge success. Ulver continues to surprise and excel at almost everything they do. Their output has not always been perfect, but it has always been intriguing if nothing else, but this one is close enough to perfect to be 5 stars.

 Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.12 | 98 ratings

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Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars 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 [%*!#] 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.

 The Assassination Of Julius Caesar by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.83 | 77 ratings

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The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 2017 ULVER have created an 80's styled Synthpop record in the mold of DEPECHE MODE. I personally don't have any issues with this style of music being a pretty big DEPECHE MODE fan, and being in my late teens, early twenties through the first half of the eighties meant I heard a lot of this style of music. Of course this is ULVER so they mix it up a little but there are some really good songs on here. Lots of synth pads and electronics and the atmosphere is often dark. Some feel there's a vibe from their classic "Perdition City" album. Personally I prefer that live album("ATGCLVLSSCAP") they did recently to this new studio album but that's me.

"Nemoralea" is a favourite of most that have reviewed this. It doesn't make my top three and in fact I think the lead off track should have been something else. Heavy drums to start as vocals and synths join in. Some vocal melodies too on the chorus. Catchy stuff. I like the brief instrumental section 2 1/2 minutes in. Not a bad start.

"Rolling Stone" is a top three for me. Percussion and experimental sounds before a heavier beat and fuller sound takes over. Sax from guest Nik Turner arrives. A full sound after a minute. Vocals just before 2 1/2 minutes followed by the chorus with female vocals. Love the intensity around 8 1/2 minutes. Oh my! Just an insane wall of sound.

"So Falls The world" has this dark atmosphere with sparse piano then vocals and a fuller sound arrive before a minute. The chorus has such a feel good vibe to it. The focus is on the vocals here and this song is one warm and melodic piece. The tempo picks up surprisingly after 4 minutes driven by electronics and drums.

"Southern Gothic" has this experimental intro with odd sounds coming and going. Drums kick in with a full sound. So 80's sounding including the vocals that join in. One of the more commercial sounding tracks on here.

"Angelus Novus" has some beautiful atmosphere to start with spacey synths before the vocals and a more serious sound takes over. This is fairly dark but it does brighten as it plays out.

"Transverberation" has a lightweight intro I'm not into. In fact this is the most commercial sounding tune and there are vocals. It's actually not bad once it gets going.

"1969" is a top three for me. Synths and beats as the vocals join in quoting John chapter one. Female backing vocals help out and there's many references to 1969 including Rosemary's Baby, Helter Skelter, the moon landing, Let It Bleed and more. Great track!

"Coming Home" is my final top three. A spacey intro to say the least before spoken words and powerful sounds start to come and go. Interesting. It starts to pick up after a minute as he begins to sing. He's speaking the lyrics soon enough as it settles back. Electronics take the lead as the vocals step aside before 3 minutes. It picks up again though after 3 1/2 minutes. This is good. Sax joins in too with some innovative sounds. The vocals are back after 7 minutes.

This isn't for everybody clearly but in my opinion this is incredibly well done but it's not without it's flaws. A solid 4 stars regardless.

 Childhood's End - Lost & Found From The Age Of Aquarius by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.48 | 69 ratings

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Childhood's End - Lost & Found From The Age Of Aquarius
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 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.

 Wars Of The Roses by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 156 ratings

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Wars Of The Roses
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 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.
 The Assassination Of Julius Caesar by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.83 | 77 ratings

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The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The reincarnation of Depeche Mode and New Order? Great collaborations, and Garm's voice has NEVER been better!

1. "Nemoralia" (4:10) How can you not love this one! "Nero lights up the night (eighteenth nineteenth of July)" and its dedication to Diana Spencer! With an awesome pop hook. Sounds like a YAZ song. By far my favorite song on the album. (9.5/10) 2. "Rolling Stone" (9:26) could be a great New Order or OMD song--even down to the background chorus girls. It not only rocks, it throbs. Great "A Day in the Life" crescendo ending! (9/10)

3. "So Falls the World" (5:57) piano base with awesome synth flourishes throughout. This one sounds very much like an Ulver song. (9/10)

4. "Southern Gothic" (3:40) a little too much like an ABC, PROPAGANDA, THE THE, or YAZ song (though it's so nice to hear!) The vocal sounds like DEPECHE MODE's David GAHAN They've certainly mastered the style! (8.5/10)

5. "Angelus Novus" (4:07) synth washes break for Garm's echoed and, later, doubled voice. At the one minute mark the full musical arrangement joins in. Nice long-held vocal notes. Never becomes the engaging, melodic song you hope for. (7.5/10)

6. "Transverberation" (4:30) more synth and guitar floursishes and riffs á la ABC and other 80s synth bands that I'm not pegging. Nice but could have used a little more shifting and transgressing. The closest we get is the TEARS FOR FEARS/early SIMPLE MINDS/DEPECHE MODE shift at the 3:00 mark. (8/10)

7. "1969" (3:59) more synths, this one more bouncy in a ABC/PSYCHEDELIC FURS/SPANDAU BALLET-like way. I do like the female background vocals used on this one and "Rolling Stone." For 60s buffs, the lyrics are full of 1969 references. See if you can pick them all up! (8/10)

8. "Coming Home" (7:50) interesting MOBY-like vocals with MASSIVE ATTACK/PAUL OAKENFOLD-like music. Out there, experimental; I'm not sure I like it. The second half with its house/rave-like synth beats and solos becomes more engaging. Okay, I like it. It's cool. (9/10)

A solid four stars; an excellent representative of retrospective progressive rock from the bravely chameleonic and unpredictable wolves from the north.

Thanks to tony r for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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