August 27, 2020 Wolves Evolve: The Ulver Story (Book Review)
The trajectory of Ulver is a unique one in the world of Extreme Metal. From their raw beginnings on the cusp of the second wave of Norwegian black metal, the Oslo collective has remade and reconfigured themselves without ever losing the spark of creativity and artistry that made them so compelling to begin with. Their forays into soundtracks, ambient soundscapes and on to the synth-pop excellence of their latest releases have resulted in an expansion of their fan base without losing the lion’s share of their original fan base.
Seeing them in concert, one cannot help but notice the diversity within the audience. Knowing full well the band no longer plays their old Black Metal material, there are still a host of Emperor and Mayhem shirts mixed in amidst the Gothic or Industrial influenced individuals. To completely wander from what made their name a name, Ulver risked quite a bit but did so fearlessly. Now, 25 years have passed, and to commemorate their achievements they will be releasing a 336 page book entitled Wolves Evolve: The Ulver Story.
Set for release on Friday, August 28th, and featuring contributions from Phil Alexander, Nile Bowie as well as Torolf Kroglund, the book includes 250 pages of conversations with the band. Additionally, it all evolved out of two years of discussions and conjecture about darkness, decay, and the rehearsals spawned back in 1993 in Oslo which helped spark a movement within Extreme Metal.
Lavish packaging and artwork, plus the labyrinthine journey of the storied band makes for an engaging and rewarding read. The web of involvement of Vocalist and Band Leader Krystoffer Rygg, aka “Garm” alone could make for its own novel, and the look into the minds of he and his collaborators in Ulver is a can’t miss experience for anyone who has ever had a fascination with not only the Norwegian music scene, but music in general.
Restless artistic creativity manifested in successful and perennial greatness is a rare thing, and here it is celebrated in great depth. Overall, Wolves Evolve: The Ulver Story will be an essential addition to the collection of any connoisseur of the dark musical arts. That is why Cryptic Rock give it 5 out of 5 stars.