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Rating:
10
Ulver - Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
February 1995


01. I Troldskog Faren Vild
02. Soelen Gaaer Bag Aase Need
03. Graablick Blev Hun Vaer
04. Een Stemme Locker
05. Bergtatt - Ind I Fjeldkamrene


How can I describe and estimate album which was my first of Black/Folk Metal? Is it possible to be objective? When something like "Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler" describes how a classical Black/Folk Metal LP should sound, you probably guess that my opinion about this can't be objective. But "objective" is not a essence of the good review...

If someone looking for a Black Metal album which contains not only electric guitars and screaming vocals but for example also: flute, acoustic guitars and climatic voices - "Bergtatt" is a work that you can't miss. Ulver created perfect balance album between savage and subtlety. It is not a long masterpiece but every single sound creates a magic atmosphere, depicts landscapes of the past, and a mysterious world full of "strange" beings and places. The moments in this album are so melancholic and nostalgic… but also fast and ferocious. Everything is in the right place; nothing lacking, no weak "points" on "Bergtatt."

The first composition is already a gate to another world and the 4 next compositions are evolution of Ulver's "musical land." The more you listen to it, the more you dip inside within it's beauty. I can' t describe precisely every single song because this analysis can become too long and also for one reason more: for me this whole album make too strong impression and I can't be able to make a "stand-offish" review. I think to best understand this masterpiece you need to use your intuition and imagination. It must be understood as a whole and complete work. Journey through a world created by Ulver. If you let this sound carry you, they will move you to another world - Ulver's world.

In the first song (and maybe in whole album) especially one thing make a big sensation to me: Garm's vocals. And this is only the beginning; a palette of possibility through all album - till it ends. Many times a choir appears which together with guitars create a "medieval" atmosphere of dark feelings and passions. Choir is a particularly thing which creates it - and Ulver knows this. "Mediaeval" musical themes very often are broken by guitars "madness" or either - smoothly appears in the background or at the first plan. They are many times appearing as a main musical motif.

Sometimes, somewhere in the far musical background we can hear some beautiful singing (for example female voice on fourth song) or gentle acoustic strings. "Bergtatt" is not as simple as it can seems at the beginning. I mean even this "simple" Black Metal riff hides more musical layers. Even this "Black Metal" aesthetics is not decoration. It is integral and well-thought-out.

When I hear "Bergtatt" some things automatically appear in my mind: mountains, forests, lost forgotten matters somewhere in the past times. Old stories and legends become present. They become real. This is a fantastic feeling. Not many albums can create such strong visions and not in this quality.

"Bergtatt" is not only "poetic" and nostalgic album. But even with these savage guitars tones, which are creating a wall of blizzard and squall, I continually perceive this "simple" beauty that I love so much.

In opposite to Ulver's third album - "Bergtatt" has good "classical" production - not too smooth and clean. Perfectly fits to carry mixed Black and Folk sounds. It doesn't distract - very important thing - the melodical effect which is one of the main musical components.

I have never enough of this album…
Beauty and darkness is all here… in perfect image.
Image of human passions and desires locked in Myths…
Myths that become more revealed by Ulver's Work…
Absolute Masterpiece!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Ulver
Album: Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler


 


written by Ulven i Manden | 20.12.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Dale

Rating:
8.0
Ulver is one of those bands that will never cease to either amaze or disappoint, and from where i stand, im always amazed.

We've seen Ulver create an album of straight forward and harsh black metal, and we've seen them release an album based entirely around acoustic guitars, clean vocals and a few other folkish elements. The album 'Bergtatt' falls somewhere in between the two, combining elements of both. While its not the most original sound ive heard, it sounds damn good.

Read more ››
published 02.09.2003 | Comments (18)



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Katatronik - 21.12.2006 at 14:34  
Very impressive album, really incisive, dark, melodic and wild!
Though Nattens Madrigal is better than Bergtatt... IMO, Bergtatt 9.5 and Nattens Madrigal 10...
Anyway, great review for a great album!
Basso - 25.12.2006 at 20:19  
The best album from Ulver. Awesome classic!
Rimfrost - 05.04.2007 at 09:24  
Agree. This is my favourite album, I never get enough of it.
BitterCOld - 06.04.2007 at 02:51  
well done review. "Bergtatt" is also my favorite metal album... somehow it has never gotten boring or tiring.

And, when playing it in my truck and driving home at night, that damned THUNDERCLAP around the two minute mark of "Graablick..." always startles me. Even when I know it's coming.

I love the mix of vocal styles, love the building and escalation of tensions, the swerving back and forth between beautiful and harsh styles... great album, visionary scope, excellent execution.
Lord_Regnier - 18.04.2009 at 17:24  
I have only "Nattens Madrigal" from this band. Maybe I should check "Bergtatt" too. I'm not sure.
Lesny Swietlik - 19.04.2009 at 11:55  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 18.04.2009 at 17:24

I have only "Nattens Madrigal" from this band. Maybe I should check "Bergtatt" too. I'm not sure.


This albums is a pure masterpiece.
Is more melodic than "Nattens Madrigal", more varied but it's still BM.
This album is done in classical BM way in every aspect - from music to booklet (on of the best designed BM booklet ever).
It's more than highly recommended album - It's a milestone...
Smurfophagist - 19.04.2009 at 13:44  
This album really is a masterpiece. I don't know if it deserves a 10 but it's very close. actually the only thing I didn't like on this album were the vocals in some songs.
Lord_Regnier - 19.04.2009 at 14:37  
Written by Guest on 19.04.2009 at 11:55

Written by Lord_Regnier on 18.04.2009 at 17:24

I have only "Nattens Madrigal" from this band. Maybe I should check "Bergtatt" too. I'm not sure.


This albums is a pure masterpiece.
Is more melodic than "Nattens Madrigal", more varied but it's still BM.
This album is done in classical BM way in every aspect - from music to booklet (on of the best designed BM booklet ever).
It's more than highly recommended album - It's a milestone...


My hesitation comes from the fact I heard many times "Bergtatt" is much less BM than "Nattens Madrigal", more folk-ish and experimental, with acoustic passages. And I often find these things boring.

On the other hand, I have nothing against music being melodic and varied, like you say, if it's still BM. I usually prefer BM when it has something melodic, even when it sounds raw (Taake is a good example here, as it combines rawness with melody perfectly, imo- awesome band, by the way). I like very fast, raw, heavy and aggressive music but it needs to have something melodic somewhere. Taake or old Darkthrone are raw but there is melody in their rawness. I'm not the kind of listener who likes music that is basically pounding for pounding, blasting for blasting and being brutal only for the sake of being brutal (the reason why I dislike what people call 'Norsecore' or 'Swedishcore'- like Marduk and Dark Funeral, they have no atmosphere and melody, imo).

I'll listen to songs from "Bergtatt" on the internet, when I have some time. But I have other stuff to check before. Thanks for trying to help me, by the way. It's always greatly appreciated.
Lesny Swietlik - 19.04.2009 at 15:53  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 19.04.2009 at 14:37

My hesitation comes from the fact I heard many times "Bergtatt" is much less BM than "Nattens Madrigal", more folk-ish and experimental, with acoustic passages. And I often find these things boring.

On the other hand, I have nothing against music being melodic and varied, like you say, if it's still BM. I usually prefer BM when it has something melodic, even when it sounds raw (Taake is a good example here, as it combines rawness with melody perfectly, imo- awesome band, by the way). I like very fast, raw, heavy and aggressive music but it needs to have something melodic somewhere. Taake or old Darkthrone are raw but there is melody in their rawness. I'm not the kind of listener who likes music that is basically pounding for pounding, blasting for blasting and being brutal only for the sake of being brutal (the reason why I dislike what people call 'Norsecore' or 'Swedishcore'- like Marduk and Dark Funeral, they have no atmosphere and melody, imo).

...



I agree...

Like usual: different tastes means different music. I think combination of folk and BM on Bergtatt is perfectly balanced. I love Mattens Madrigal too but it's obvious that Ulver wanted to achieve something else here... Maybe someday I will try to write a Nattens Madrigal review and expand this subject?

Anyway:
Everybody search for his/her own melodys. For me it's always all about melody and harmony in music but different persons understand it differently and different persons seek for different kind of melodys and harmony. BM is not so much popular music because melodys and harmony in this genre it's not so obvious for everybody and it's not so obvious like in other genres. Usually it needs a special mood and attitude to enjoy them (aggressive of tunes, usually simplicity of beats, screams...).

In my opinion BM is very similar to classical music (if we talk about ways of guitar composing - not screaming ) Especially when I hear albums like Transylvanian Hunger or Nattens Madrigal. I am sure that if I take some guitar pieces from those two albums and play it a little bit slower on violins - it will be sounds like classical violin music....
Lord_Regnier - 19.04.2009 at 16:46  
Written by Guest on 19.04.2009 at 15:53


Anyway:
Everybody search for his/her own melodys. For me it's always all about melody and harmony in music but different persons understand it differently and different persons seek for different kind of melodys and harmony. BM is not so much popular music because melodys and harmony in this genre it's not so obvious for everybody and it's not so obvious like in other genres. Usually it needs a special mood and attitude to enjoy them (aggressive of tunes, usually simplicity of beats, screams...).

In my opinion BM is very similar to classical music (if we talk about ways of guitar composing - not screaming ) Especially when I hear albums like Transylvanian Hunger or Nattens Madrigal. I am sure that if I take some guitar pieces from those two albums and play it a little bit slower on violins - it will be sounds like classical violin music....


Personally, I think BM has lots of atmosphere and different kinds of emotion (not only aggressivity). It's extreme but it still feels like expressive songs to me, with many nuances and it conveys lots of feelings. Many songs capture my imagination in a way no other metal genre can do (for me). That's the main difference, imo, and a fundamental one, between BM and DM. I feel no emotion at all from Brutal Death, it doesn't feel really like songs to me but just brutality and technical show-off. As if DM musicians have lots of playing skills but can't write a song that will convey feelings. I never saw the point in DM (apart from melodic DM) for this reason, as I consider music first and foremost as a vessel to carry emotion and feelings. Good Powermetal, classic heavy metal, Black Metal, some Thrash metal and some melodic Death Metal too, can carry lots of emotions. I never felt this from Brutal Death. Perhaps some other listeners can feel things differently but that's how I feel.

And I think too that BM has some similarities with classical music, though it's not necessarily obvious.
Lesny Swietlik - 19.04.2009 at 18:24  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 19.04.2009 at 16:46

Personally, I think BM has lots of atmosphere and different kinds of emotion (not only aggressivity). It's extreme but it still feels like expressive songs to me, with many nuances and it conveys lots of feelings. Many songs capture my imagination in a way no other metal genre can do (for me). That's the main difference, imo, and a fundamental one, between BM and DM. I feel no emotion at all from Brutal Death, it doesn't feel really like songs to me but just brutality and technical show-off. As if DM musicians have lots of playing skills but can't write a song that will convey feelings. I never saw the point in DM (apart from melodic DM) for this reason, as I consider music first and foremost as a vessel to carry emotion and feelings. Good Powermetal, classic heavy metal, Black Metal, some Thrash metal and some melodic Death Metal too, can carry lots of emotions. I never felt this from Brutal Death. Perhaps some other listeners can feel things differently but that's how I feel.

And I think too that BM has some similarities with classical music, though it's not necessarily obvious.


Aye!
It's true that BM invokes feelings like no other metal genre do. I agree with your opinion that BM is something more than raw, severe and aggressive music. It has a unique spirit (if it's done properly). Like you I never like to listen to music which is only technical "show off". There has to be something more...
Sometimes I hear (note: not listen to it ) some doom, sometimes even death (but very seldom) - but those elements so typical for BM aren't present in other genres (at least not in that proportions). Like you wrote: ability of invoke some feelings, emotions, pictures etc. is only available for BM. I couldn't find it somewhere else. Plus: BM energy - is as powerful as winter blizzard....
Lord_Regnier - 19.04.2009 at 19:21  
Written by Guest on 19.04.2009 at 18:24


It's true that BM invokes feelings like no other metal genre do. I agree with your opinion that BM is something more than raw, severe and aggressive music. It has a unique spirit (if it's done properly). Like you I never like to listen to music which is only technical "show off". There has to be something more...
Sometimes I hear (note: not listen to it ) some doom, sometimes even death (but very seldom) - but those elements so typical for BM aren't present in other genres (at least not in that proportions). Like you wrote: ability of invoke some feelings, emotions, pictures etc. is only available for BM. I couldn't find it somewhere else. Plus: BM energy - is as powerful as winter blizzard....


Again, I totally agree. I enjoy intelligent discussions about metal music but I think we should end it here. We're going too much off-topic, I'm afraid.
Lesny Swietlik - 19.04.2009 at 22:24  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 19.04.2009 at 19:21

Again, I totally agree. I enjoy intelligent discussions about metal music but I think we should end it here. We're going too much off-topic, I'm afraid.


I enjoyed this discussion as well - cheers!
I would like to add that even if it's not strictly about "Bergtatt" - it's still about metal...
Lord_Regnier - 19.04.2009 at 23:05  
Written by Guest on 19.04.2009 at 22:24

I would like to add that even if it's not strictly about "Bergtatt" - it's still about metal...


It's still about metal, yes, but I'm new here, so I don't know the level of tolerance moderators have for discussions that are barely on topic or half off-topic.
Lesny Swietlik - 19.04.2009 at 23:31  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 19.04.2009 at 23:05

It's still about metal, yes, but I'm new here, so I don't know the level of tolerance moderators have for discussions that are barely on topic or half off-topic.


Off-topic or not it's totally OK unless you don't clearly offend somebody...
Of course metal subjects are the most desirable!
It's obvious that rather no one will write about Ulver below "My Photos" subject (unless photo is related somehow with something from Ulver) You will see that there's quite liberal here...
...At least it was...
Lucas - 20.04.2009 at 00:37  
An off-topic discussion is not going to be a big issue when it comes from a natural flow of conversation concerning the original topic and doesn't go on for too long or derails the topic.

But when you want to discuss things more in detail, please open up a thread.
Lord_Regnier - 20.04.2009 at 01:04  
Written by Lucas on 20.04.2009 at 00:37

An off-topic discussion is not going to be a big issue when it comes from a natural flow of conversation concerning the original topic and doesn't go on for too long or derails the topic.

But when you want to discuss things more in detail, please open up a thread.


Ok, I get it. I see you're a moderator so it gives me a better idea of the way you deal with off-topic discussions here. Sometimes the thread is very on topic, then someone posts something that contains a detail or an idea you wish to comment on, so it gets off-topic for a few posts. Personally, I think it's fine if it doesn't last for too long. Of course, off-topic needs to be kept under control but I find it a bit annoying when moderators intervene each time they see 2-3 off-topic posts. It kills all discussions. And reading threads that contain only "Awesome band, they rule!" or "This album sucks" because there's no discussion at all is quite boring.

Thanks. I'll try to stay on topic.
In_tallica - 08.07.2009 at 01:54  
Masterpiece. Black yet atmospheric and melodic...no words needs to be spoken. At any rate...does any1 have a tralslation of the story of the album? it is a concept albou as evry1 knows.
Lesny Swietlik - 06.08.2009 at 23:03  
Written by In_tallica on 08.07.2009 at 01:54

Masterpiece. Black yet atmospheric and melodic...no words needs to be spoken. At any rate...does any1 have a tralslation of the story of the album? it is a concept albou as evry1 knows.


What do you exactly mean by: "story of the album"?
In_tallica - 06.08.2009 at 23:41  
Written by Guest on 06.08.2009 at 23:03

Written by In_tallica on 08.07.2009 at 01:54

Masterpiece. Black yet atmospheric and melodic...no words needs to be spoken. At any rate...does any1 have a tralslation of the story of the album? it is a concept albou as evry1 knows.


What do you exactly mean by: "story of the album"?


Well, the album is a story from what i have heard. It is about a woman who is lost in a forest and then gets taken away by the mountain or sometihng like that...my question basicly was if any1 had a translation of the lyrics in english(or in swedish for that matter).
Lesny Swietlik - 21.09.2009 at 23:54  
You may find translations of Ulver lyrics on this site:

http://www.metal-archives.com/
Uirapuru - 20.10.2009 at 17:03  
The two first tracks are one of the best ever made in Black/Folk genre. The vocals sounded perfect within the song, helping to create the atmosphere.

This is one the few bands that have an almost perfect discography imo. Succeded in every experiment tried.
bandozes - 14.08.2010 at 12:50  
Speaking of off-topic, I bought this album and inside on the back of the lyrics booklet there is a few paragrahps of something Garm has said, but it's in Noweigen so I don't know what it is. If anyone has the translation it would be very appreciated
telephonebear - 17.04.2014 at 19:45  
Written by Guest on 19.04.2009 at 11:55

Written by Lord_Regnier on 18.04.2009 at 17:24

I have only "Nattens Madrigal" from this band. Maybe I should check "Bergtatt" too. I'm not sure.


This albums is a pure masterpiece.
Is more melodic than "Nattens Madrigal", more varied but it's still BM.
This album is done in classical BM way in every aspect - from music to booklet (on of the best designed BM booklet ever).
It's more than highly recommended album - It's a milestone...


whats special about the booklet? i do not have this album

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