In order to follow up one of the most acclaimed black metal albums ever, Ulver gives you…dance electronica! And they never looked back. They included a disclaimer in the EP that states, in a nutshell, they do not want to be characterized as metal; they are proud of their past releases, but they were “merely stepping stones rather than conclusions….We are as unknown to you as we always were.” The band is the most enigmatic, non-touring band of their eclectic kind, and yet rarely do they release any wishy-washy material. Metamorphosis, an aptly named EP, demonstrates Ulver delving into what will become the foundation for all future records, at least so far.
Like I promised, the opening track is a five minute dub techno song. They never do a similar track again and it’s a simple, yet “harsh” way to break fans into their new sound. With the tracks Gnosis and Of Wolves And Withdrawal, the band shows that what lacks in substance is made up with ambience. For the first half of Gnosis and all of Withdrawal there are only little bleeps, blips, and echoey silence occupying the time. The second half of Gnosis introduces guitar and vocals into the electronica, and it sounds very Burial-esque. Garm’s vocals have also greatly improved since the William Blake record.
There’s really not much here but a quick glimpse to the band’s future, especially Perdition City, of which a B-side was included on here. It seems too short, but for what it is you can’t expect a whole lot more. Ulver needed to release this before they could continue because it was obviously a new change in sound but also a learning experience for them to produce their new sound as well as starting to experiment with how they wanted certain things to sound, or how they wanted to use the mixing board as a rhythm instrument. This is Ulver’s Precambrian, and if you don’t like it, they don’t care. Oh, and enjoy.