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Ulver - Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

4.02 | 157 ratings

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Man With Hat
5 stars True progressive black metal.

I was not a fan of any type of metal, any type of prog, or really any type of music back in 1994 when this was released. Thus, I can't put this in a true historical perspective, but from what I've learned in the days where I am a fan of all these things there was nothing like Ulver and Bergtatt back in 1994. The music on Bergtatt is based in pure black metal. Aggressive, harsh, shrieking vocals, high tremolo picking, blast beats and poor production. All of these characteristics appears here. However, its everything else that's added, and more importantly integrated, into the mix that really makes this album special.

The key to Bergtatt is beauty (a quality lacking in most if not all traditional black metal). Hypnotizing acoustic guitar passages, gorgeous Gregorian chant-esque vocals, and a melancholic folk influence is infused to every song on the album. Even though the album is realtiviely short, it never drags or is overly repetitive, even in the heavy black metal parts. Perhaps ironically, this strategy hits it's zenith in the first song on the album, I Troldskog Faren Vild. Musically its very aggressive, unbridled, and full throttled. But I Troldskog Faren Vild may contain the most beautiful vocals in all of black metal. Smooth, melodic, perhaps even heavenly vocals poor out of Garm which gives the song such a majestic quality. Soelen Gaaer Bag Aase Need starts off with a classical prelude before bulldozing it's way into purer black metal, with some wonderful choral backing vocals. The most avant-garde moment of the albums appears on Graablick Blev Hun Vaer, when the wall of sound suddenly stops and a duet of piano and the sounds of running through the forest takes over. (Really many metal/rock bands where doing that.) And just as alarmingly it ceases and the metal returns full force. Een Stemme Locker is a fully acoustic piece with a wonderful guitar riff and solemn, haunting vocals. The album finishes with Bergtatt - Ind I Fjeldkamrene, a piece that is an excellent summery of the album, combining many of the standout features of the album.

All in all this is a forward looking metal album that is also well thought-out and well executed. Even though there are periods of harshness here, there is so much beauty, that really makes this album worthwhile. An album that fans of adventurous music really should try, even if you don't like metal. 5 stars. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 5/5 |


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