Chameleonic, unpredictable and bizarre are just a few common buzzwords tossed around in discussions about Norway’s Ulver and not without good reason. The band’s 1995 debut Bergtatt has reached cult classic status with black metal fans worldwide, bolstered by adventurous songwriting and the angelic vocals of Kristoffer Rygg. Since then, though, the band has opted for an “anything goes” approach to songwriting – literally, anything.
From avant-rock to downtempo trip-hop to dreary ambient soundscapes, Ulver has thoroughly abandoned its blackened roots to pursue god knows what god knows when, and the stylistic guessing game has been nothing if not exciting. 2007’s Shadows of the Sun found the band at an artistic peak with its surreal atmospherics and heavy vocal focus, playing like a nine-part hymnal for the departed. Since then, classical compositions have met electronica on Messe I.X-VI.X, and the history of psychedelic rock has been explored on Childhood’s End.
Next year, however, promises a new frontier for the Norwegian four-piece.
The band’s next album, ATGCLVLSSCAP, hits shelves January 22nd, 2016. According to the group’s new label, House of Mythology, the record will feature “mostly improvisational” “rock and electronic soundscapes” in the double album format. If history is anything to go by, Ulver’s upcoming record should be another event worthy of your time and attention. Keep your ears peeled.