Latecomer to the black metal scene Ulver adapted the rough aesthetic of black metal in a modern rock context, providing a product to open up black metal to the masses.

Nattens Madrigal
Century Media

Production: For intensity of appearance as raw black metal, Ulver's lead player used a Bathory-style cheap digital distortion and small amplifier overdriven into a high mix, washing all other sound to behind it. Difference is, Ulver did it in the studio, where Bathory did it in his basement.

Review: In an effort to create the best black metal product ever, Ulver have wrought "Nattens Madrigal" from the elements in black metal most likely to be accepted into mainstream culture: the heartpulse techno-influenced primal black metal ambient beat over simple tremelo melodies atmospheric with production distorting itself with overdriven guitar chaos in a classic Darkthrone ripoff, but with more of the Satyricon consonance to every phrase and more abrupt but consistent structural changes. The problem with this release centers upon that troubling essence - the consistency of this music and really, its similarity to many other styles of popular music within the last thirty-five years.


1. Wolf & Fear
2. Wolf & the Devil
3. Wolf & Hatred
4. Wolf & Man
5. Wolf & the Moon
6. Wolf & Passion
7. Wolf & Destiny
8. Wolf & the Night
Length: 44:00

Copyright © 1997 Century Media

With a blowdriver of atmospheric blasting chaos a lone guitar repeats simple melodic patterns in a folk style while periodic light percussion - brush on snare and light high-hat touches - enforces the importance of key passages. Vocals shift tones easily, in support of melody, and rarely deviate from major rhythms. All elements are assembled competently and well composed by musical standards, but have very little in terms of originality of composition or fabrication of aesthetic despite an enticingly slick take on a black metal favorite sonic texture.

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