Ulver @ Fuzz Club, Athens (GRE)


Date: 25th November, 2011
Venue: Fuzz Club
Ticket Price: €27 ($36)
Promoter: Didi Music

When ULVER haunted my Metal world back in the 90’s, I never thought that I would ever have the chance to watch them live. Especially after “Themes” when they decided to abandon their Black Metal side and experiment with electronic and ambient sounds. For the average metalhead it’s hard to follow them now, since their music has nothing to do with the Metal label. Their previous performance in Greece was awesome but it was a given fact that the strong attendance was due to the band’s Metal background.

The wolves of Garm (vocals, programming- real name Kristoffer Ryg) were always a mythical project and Kristoffer’s fabulous work also with ARCTURUS and BORKNAGAR made him a cult figure in the Metal world. If I could find something negative to say about that night that would be audience! They couldn’t get into the certain mood of an ULVER show and that caused a constant humming. Try to remember how different things were when the band decided to surprise us with the historical Capitel I: I Troldskog faren vild” from their first album “Bergtatt”.

This time the rumours wanted the ticket pre-sale to be very low and there I was heading for the club wondering about the outcome of the night. Getting inside the club with the female “Roman Polanski” by my side, I saw about 100 fans. Fortunately, that changed and by the time the band had conquered the stage the amount had increased to 400 fans. The hard economic times we are getting through lately, were surely the main reason for the low attendance but on top of that, SODOM were also in town. Now that was a bad or a good thing? When the show was over, I could say that this was a good thing. Those who came to watch and feel the magic of an ULVER show respected the band with their silence and were focused during the show.

ULVER’s tour manager showed up onstage to deliver a message from the band and the entire crew that they were grateful for everyone who came to support the band despite the economical crisis. Then, the shadow of Garm and the rest of the wolves appeared. The show started with a quartet of songs from their latest record “War of The Roses” an album that received with both high and low praises from the media and the fans. I found the album quite an interesting progression of their artistic rock/electronic style. They went straight to the past and the “Perdition City” album, with “Lost In Moments” and “Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses”. I would have appreciated if they’d also played “Hallways of Always”, making a nice triplet but you can’t have everything in life!

They continued with another new one called “Island” but the real surprise was “Darling Didn’t We Kill You?” and the great visual effects. After an hour the band left the stage and returned in less than a minute with an avant-garde triplet containing my beloved “For The Love Of God”, from the album “Blood Inside” that had maybe the harsher video of all, “Little Blue Bird” and “Rock Massif” from the soundtrack of the bizarre movie “Svidd Neger (you have to check this one). The band left again the stage and returned after one minute playing the beautiful, melodic but also quite dark “Eos” from their previous record “Swallow the Sun”. Honestly Garm gave its best on vocals that made me chill.

The game with the encores continued for some reason (I really don’t know what was all this about…) and the band ended their show with something unexpected, covering the song “66-5-4-3-2-1” from the garage Rock fit of the 60’s, THE TROGGS. That was quite a funny choice of the band, that surely didn’t fit at all with the atmosphere of their show but it was something like an exit to the real world. Garm, with a bottle of wine in hand, thanked us all and the night was over. We could definitely say that this performance was far better from their previous one and it seems that the band have the quality to make something bigger. The whole project of modern and dark sounds together with the baroque feeling of the visuals is something unique. I dream of the moment that Garm will take the decision to present on stage the entire Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell” album...

“All bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors:

01. That man has two real existing principles: viz: a body & a soul
02. That energy call'd evil is alone from the body,& that reason, call'd good, is alone from the soul.
03. That God will torment man in eternity for following his energies.

But following contraries to these are true:

01. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that call'd body is a portion of soul discern'd by the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age.
02. Energy is the only life and is from the body and reason is the bound and outward circumference of energy.
03. Energy is eternal delight.”

ULVER set list:

01. “February Mmx”
02. “Norwegian Gothic”
03. “England”
04. “September IV”
05. “Lost In Moments”
06. “Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses”
07. “Island”
08. “Darling Didn’t We Kill You?”
09. “For The Love Of God”
10. “Little Blue Bird”
11. “Rock Massif”
12. “Eos”
13. “6-5-4-3-2-1 ( I Know What You Want)”