Ulvegr - The Call of Glacial Emptiness

Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

This is my first time hearing Ulvegr, but this is their third full-length album. The reason I wanted to check them out was because the two guys in the band are longtime members of the Ukrainian scene. Odalv, the drummer, is a member of Elderblood and has also spent time in Nokturnal Mortum, among many other bands. Helg, who plays everything else and does vocals, is also in Khors and KZOHH, plus some others, a few of which also contained Odalv in the lineup. Both of these guys have been around a while, and when you listen to Ulvegr, you can tell that they know what they’re doing. The Call of Glacial Emptiness is a very well rounded record. It goes a lot of places and ties everything together in a way that makes sense. There are songs that are blisteringly fast, others that are slower and heavier, and still others that are brutal as fuck. Each track has its own identity, and while there is a lot of ground covered, all of them sound like Ulvegr. This takes a lot of talent and even veteran bands can’t get it right a lot of times. By giving themselves a large range to operate in and also establishing a distinct “core” musical sound, they can bring in a diverse array of musical influences but still create songs that don’t sound out of place. This LP has elements of Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash and even a little Doom and Traditional Metal in it. I was somewhat surprised that Ulvegr doesn’t include a significant amount of keyboards in their music the way that Elderblood and Khors do, but I guess it makes sense that they’d want to do something different with this band. They use the keyboards only in intro or outro sequences, with the rest of the music being guitar-based. In terms of production, they have a power and clarity that didn’t used to exist in Eastern European Black Metal. Even the best sounding bands weren’t this heavy or brutal until Behemoth started adopting the more Death Metal oriented production, and the proliferation of this sound has had a net positive effect on other bands from the region. The sound is fairly punishing and the guitars are nice and prominent. You can even hear the bass, which is a rarity even on records where the production is stellar. The combination of excellent production and some seriously high-quality Black Metal makes this a package that fans of bands like Behemoth or Vader will surely appreciate.

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