Review Summary: Bergtatt for me stands out as the greatest black metal creation ever. With its folk elements and full throttle black metal sounds Bergtatt is a creation unlike anything i have ever heard.
If nature made music what would it sound like? Would it sound be beautiful, chaotic or both? Is it possible nature would show its majestic side of the vast forests and the tall haunting mountains, one moment still and breathtaking the next exploding in a violent eruption? Taking what was once still and breathtaking, and blowing it all too smithereens in a catastrophic explosion. Personally I think Ulvers’ debut Bergtatt
would be the result of nature creating music.
Just look at the album cover, a dark wood on a hillside beneath a dark sky. This cover is the perfect art to describe this album, with its soft folk moments and its heavy brutal sections Bergtatt
is unlike any black metal album to date. The opening track “I Troldskog Faren Vild” is a great example of the variation on this album. The entire song is a soft and majestic with Garms’ angelic vocals. While the opening track only features Garms’ clean vocals, the rest of the albums songs excluding “Een Stemme Locker” demonstrate Garms’ abilities with screams and shrieks.
Garm has a scream unlike any I have heard. His screams are extremely raspy and harsh but demonstrate emotion and are strangely melodic. Great examples of Garms harsh singing are in two of the middle tracks “Svelen Gaaer Bag Aase Need” and “Graablick Blven Hun Vaer” are home to some of the greatest screaming I have ever heard. These two tracks also start off very slow with some folk structured intros lasting about a minute each until the songs suddenly hit you with a full black metal punch.
has a very impressive rhythm section for a black metal album. The heavy sections are backed up by technical blast beats and impressive fills. Some good examples of this are found in “Svelen Gaaer Bag Aase Need” where there is some very impressive blast beats in the black metal areas. In addition the bass guitar also gets its chance to shine. Bass is audible most of the time and although at times can be simplistic, the bass lines fit in with the songs nearly every time, and this is most noticeable in the opener “I Troldskog Faren Vild”. Guitar work is also pretty solid providing some great riffs and some beautiful acoustic work as well. Good examples of guitar work are found in “Bergtatt - Ind I Fjeldkamrene” with some great fast riffs and exceptional acoustic work.
Another noticeable feature on Bergtatt
is the large amount of atmosphere. For example although the song is simply an acoustic instrumental with quiet vocals in the background “Een Stemme Locker” is a beautifully haunting. In addition the third track “Graablick Blven Hun Vaer” features a startleing gunshot which although is a small part makes the song more memorable. Throughout songs Garms chants and background singing make them all the more beautiful and chilling. All throughout the heavier songs softer sections are incorporated giving the listener a break from the more brutal moments. Every single one of these sections is special eliminating any repetitive factor from this album period.
For me Bergtatt
is unlike any black metal album I have ever heard. Every song is unique and stands out from anything ever released in the black metal genre. One downer about this album is that it is far too short. Bergtatt
is only a mere 35 minutes in length and at the end of the album you are left wanting more. Although this album is short the impact given to you after the last acoustic outro is amazing and leaves the listener with an experience unlike any other. For some the music of nature may be hard to imagine but for those who have experienced Bergtatt
you may have the idea of what it is. If you are looking to experience chaos and beauty all in one package look no further for Bergtatt
is what you need.