lver (the Norwegian word for Wolf) has proven to be somewhat of an anomaly in the heavy metal genre due to their unique musical experimentation. Ulver was the brainchild of vocalist Kristoffer Rygg, also known as Garm and now as Trickster G. Ulver started off as a simple black metal band, though their tenure there can be best described as unconventional. Their 1994 debut, Bergtatt, featuring Garm (vocals), Håvard Jorgensen (guitar),Aismal (guitar), Skoll (Real Name: Hugh Steven James Mingay; bass) and Aiwarikiar(Real Name: Erik Lancelot; drums) is often considered the most "normal" album they've ever recorded. The debut was an old-school black metal affair not much different from their contemporaries. Their follow-up, Kveldssanger (1995) was another matter though, being essentially an all-acoustic black metal album, with traditional Norse folk melodies and chants. Aismal and Skoll were also missing from the line-up by now. Following that was a return to business as usual on 1997's Nattens Madrigal with Aismal and Skoll back. This album was more raw and basic than the debut, with lyrical themes based entirely on wolves as well as the album titles. Then, fate rht erelease of their 1997 box set Ulver, all of a sudden, in one of the most sudden changes in style in heavy metal history, Ulver were no longer a black metal band with their release of Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell (1999), the title alone leading one to question the contents. Aiwarikiar andAismal were also now missing. Indeed, their Metamorphosis EP was a very appropriately titled release that continued along these lines.
With 2000s Perdition their transformation from a black metal band was complete, as not only was their black metal past just that - the past, but so was much of their relation to heavy metal at all! Ulver was now diving deep into the pools of electronica and Hip-Hop and other ambient forms of music. Silence Teaches You How To Sing EP (2001) featured only one long track that was followed by Silencing The Singing EP (2001), two releases featuring titles that snubbed the nose at those who failed to accept their changes.
The experimentation would continue with Lycanktropen Themes (2002; sountrack of short film Lycanktropen), A Quick Fix Of Melancholy EP (2003), Svid Neger (2003), SoundtrackTeachings In Silence (2003), and a release of both Silence... EPs compiled titled Ulver 1993-2003 (2003). In 2004 Tore Ylvizaker would take over on bass/piano/synthesizer.
Footnote: Other members of note throughout this band's career have been A. Reza (guitar),Grellmund (guitar; died on New Year`s Eve 1997/98),Carl-Michael Eide (a.k.a. Aggressor/a.k.a.Czarl; drums; ex-DHG/ex-Aura Noir/ex-Dimmu Borgir/ex-Cadaver Inc./ex-Darkthrone/ex-Ved Buens Ende/ex-Fleurety/ex-Void/ex-Inferno/ex-Virus (Norway)/ex-Satyricon/ex-White Willow/ex-Cadaver), Knut Magne Valle (guitar; ex-Arcturus/ex-Fleurety and Jan Axel von Blomberg (a.k.a. Hellhammer; drums), along with many session players.
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