When Ulver released their debut, ‘Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler”, in 1995 it was unique within the Norwegian second wave of black metal scene. It incorporated substantial folk elements, featured clean vocals, and eschewed the anti-religious themes that were somewhat of a standard for the scene.
Ulver still utilised the raw/lofi production of their peers, as well as rapid blastbeats and tremelo picking, and familiar snarled vocals. When it came to out and out second wave black metal, they were able to stand among the best.
After leaning much more heavily into the gentler, folk influences for their follow up album, they returned to their black metal origins with 1997’s ‘Nattens Madrigal’. In a reversal of their previous album, this release saw them focus much more on the black metal of their debut.
These three albums are collectively known as ‘The Trilogie – Three Journeyes Through the Norwegian Netherworlde’, and are considered incredibly influential to atmospheric black metal as a subgenre that followed.
However, this status as an iconic and important black metal band was all established within the first four years. Ulver are a band now approaching 30 years of existence – and few could have predicted where this story would lead.