From that Period of the Judges till nowadays genuine prophets are still very singular species. Only true prophets can guide us in discovering amplified realities that lie between symbols and sound. Lines and echoes spring new meanings, which, in their turn, evoke the events of the past in a perfect circle. Ulver’s digression through the death and rebirth of Julius Caesar is a cathartic path that moves as a tangled mechanism between the Sacred and the Profane.
Pitch black on stage, time to start the holy dances. Nemoralia‘s fires were anticipated by Stian Westerhus’s distorted loops in a dreary introductory solo set. A vivid and magnetic apparition that felt almost like a dreamlike experience. The Norwegian jazz guitarist blended together his individual voice line with armonic noises, invoking huge energy and gentle vibrations from the endless unknown.
A longer vibrato, pitch black again. It’s time for Kristoffer Rygg and the band to join the stage. Ulver’s liturgy is highly articulated and needs the right time to be assimilated into its multiple levels of complexity. While continuing to experiment with a more canonical song form, they constantly move through different states of flux – from the gloom of their visions to vivid prayers for light.
The entire show is centered around their latest release, “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”, and communicates the dichotomy of darkness and light through an evocative language that involves both musical and visual aspects and sets its references in the 80’s, as declared by Kristoffer before the cover of ‘Power of Love’ by Frankie goes to Hollywood. One hour and a half that sounded like the chant of an enlightened heart, an encouraging ceremony providing hope, dense of mysticism and humanity. An elegy of past and present throughout all eternity, for those who went before us and for those who are yet to be born. A special mention goes to the conclusive suite of the performance, “Coming home”, a whole life was reversed and run out again, lost in a cosmic vision of love without end.
There’s hope after all. True prophets can show us that -maybe- we are not wandering in circles. The path is a spiral and that night Ulver made us climb many of the steps.
A record of impressions of Ulver live at Santeria Social Club in Milan, 22.XI.2017.
More about Ulver and the tour dates on their official website.