Bergtatt

Yer Metal Is Olde! Ulver – Bergtatt

Yer Metal Is Olde! Ulver – Bergtatt

Yer Metal Is Olde! is a recurring thing that we’re using to fill up space while we scramble around looking for reviews of new material that is worth reviewing. The idea was spurred on by the swath of amazing and classic records that are turning 10, 20, or 30 this year. It’s crazy to think that all the stuff that we worship is really as old as it is. Time moves quickly, but these classics never seem to lose their shine. Still, their enduring quality doesn’t change that your favorite metal is fucking old. Note: our focus today, Ulver‘s Bergtatt is actually only 19 years old, but it was recorded in 1994 and for some reason I thought it was released then, too. Once I’d written this retro-review, I discovered that I was wrong. While it makes it less Olde, it’s not so much less. And it certainly deserves recognition.

Ulver – War of the Roses Review

Ulver – War of the Roses Review

Ulver is one of the greatest metal bands ever. If there were a “Big 4” for 90s metal, Ulver would be one of them because those first three records, Bergtatt, Kveldssanger and Nattens Madrigal (for the uninitiated) are absolutely essential Norwegian black metal records (obviously Kveldssanger isn’t black metal per se, but it is still an awesome record). But, of course, that same experimental drive that pushed the band into black metal also pushed them out of it, and Garm has been very critical of the scene since leaving it. That said, Ulver is also like Katatonia or Anathema in that their post-(extreme) metal music has been widely accepted by metalheads largely because of the already existing cred. But I get the feeling that War of the Roses will try that patience.

Náttsól – Stemning Review

Náttsól – Stemning Review

Norwegian metal is famous for two things in modern times: the rise of modern black metal, and more recently, Norway’s fall into disrepute within the metal scene. Since the latter occurred, we have often been hailed with the new band that is somehow breathing new life into the old scene or still making black metal in the old style,and the next band to be hailed in that line is Náttsól, whose debut album Stemning hits European shores in June and the American shores in July. Náttsól we are told, breathe a new and icy life into the dead Norwegian scene that has been a disappointment to us all since the early 2000s. Surely, they’ll be the ones!

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

Depressed Finns are really no surprise in metal these days. It seems like Finns are a pretty morose bunch in general. A country famous for bands like Poisonblack, H.I.M., Sentenced, Insomnium, Black Sun Aeon and Swallow the Sun, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that some pretty bleak and depressing stuff comes out of Finland. And let me be clear, that’s not even naming huge groups of bands that I’m sure others could probably come up with. But October Falls isn’t your standard “depressed metal” band from Finland. There are no silly ESL lyrics about being buried in a plastic bag or any of that jazz. Instead, October Falls is a “depressive” black metal band with folk sensibilities.

Petrychor – Dryad Review

Petrychor – Dryad Review

I frequently complain about black metal these days. Partially this is because I think that a lot of post-black metal is fucking boring and partially ’cause the not-post-black metal is also fucking boring. In general, black metal is in a place where nothing really that interesting is going on. Sure, there are bands out there that are putting out good material, but for the most part the signed stuff is so-so and the classic bands are disappointing with new material and the state of the scene, in my opinion, is pretty sad. So I was pleasantly surprised to get turned onto this piece of art by the Californian do-it-yourselfer just called “T”. The project is called Petrychor and displays all of the things that I would hope to hear out of this budding scene sort of embodied in a single 3 song EP entitled Dryad.