Sunday Soundcheck: Set 033

10 min read

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arctoa's avatar
This week...


Shadows of the Sun - 2007

Blood Inside - 2005

A Quick Fix of Melancholy - 2003

Svidd Neger - 2003

Teachings in Silence - 2002

Perdition City - 2000

Kveldssanger - 1996

Bergtatt - 1995

Origin Point:

Sounds Like:
Black Metal, Folk Metal, Neofolk, Ambient, Glitch, Electronica, Trip Hop, Ambient, Experimental, Jazz, Art Rock, Progressive, Avantgarde

This feature is probably indicative of my rather skewed perception when it comes to considering artists that are renowned. I think of Ulver was a rather well-known ensemble, but the reality is that anyone outside a very particular musical circle is likely to have never heard of them.

Hailing from Norway, Ulver started their musical journey with a folk-infused back metal sound. Since then they have bounced between genres on a release-by-release basis, although their sound can be categorised into three distinct groups. Their early work is primarily considered to be black metal in atmosphere if not always in sound; their middle-age work is primarily electronic, ranging from glitch to trip-hop aesthetics. Their latest work, meanwhile, can be considered avant-garde art-rock with an emphasis on orchestral sounds.

Personal highlights include Porn Piece (Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses) from Perdition City, Eitttlane from A Quick Fix Of Melancholy, and Speak Dead Speaker from Teachings In Silence. All three of these releases are superb; Perdition City for a future-Noir aesthetic, Teachings In Silence for a late-night-migraine ambience, and A Quick Fix Of Melancholy strings together various elements from electronic and classical sounds. Also worthy of mention is the entirely acoustic Kveldssanger, a chanted concept release that's encapsulated in the opener, Østenfor Sol og vestenfor Maane.

Notable omissions from my list include their first demo, their raw black-metal hammer that is Nattens Madrigal, the off-the-wall eclectic sounds of Themes From William Blake's Marriage Of Heaven & Hell, their soundtrack album Lykantropen Themes, and the romance-inspired Wars Of The Roses. Feel free to check all of these out if you're enjoying what's presented in this feature.

To listen to their music, simply click on the album covers to be taken to their respective pages. If you've any recommendations based on this artist, or wish to promote some music that you yourself enjoy, please do so in the comments. Maybe I'll end up enjoying something enough to feature it myself.

© 2013 - 2023 arctoa
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