Ulver at Islington Assembly Hall, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd Shot

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Few shows stir souls in a primal fashion, but Ulver’s spectacular outing tonight does just that. It’s no mere performance – we’ve been spirited away on a journey of leftfield decadence. With a setlist largely comprised of material from The Assassination Of Julius Caesar, all played out beneath a retina-popping laser display, the band blend sublime 80s-mining popcraft propelled by driving synths, pounding drums and Kristoffer Rygg’s rich vocals. From moody opener Nemoralia and the darkness of Angelus Novus, to the heady beats of Rolling Stone, it’s the perfect blend of modern-day production and vintage sounds. It’s hard to comprehend that the Norwegians’ roots lie in BM, yet their sonic artistry continues to resonate. Their willingness to abandon previous formulas allows them to grow and the evocative fire of new track Echo Chamber sits perfectly alongside older cuts. Ulver continue to retain their heart of darkness, and they have never sounded more hypnotising.