Ulver with Virus @ Koko, London

22nd March 2011, Review by Danny DraperAvant-garde is the word for tonight, and what a perfect venue for such an event, the Koko!
Virus, the Norwegian avant-garde metal band and not the London thrash band of the same moniker take to the stage, with singer/guitarist Czral sitting down as having broken a leg and is wearing a cast!

Since their inception in 2000 they have a small but devout following, anyone who talks of them does so with a passion, but they still come out to give an undeniably solid performance featuring a solid set of old and well just more recent, as they have only released three LP’s, other releases aside.


They played through a well-rounded set, including tracks from their latest opus “The Agent that Shapes the Desert”. The sound was immense and filled the Koko with some intense metal and precision. Virus is a top band in my opinion, with great versatility that should be playing more!


Ulver were quite something. Not sure on what that is but I’m more than interested to find out. Being a total innocent to their music only having heard the name, I went in with a sense of wonder and child like impatience to see them. I was lulled by them; they played mostly from their album. Famous for their Black Metal Trilogy of albums, they have grown into something far beyond Black Metal, similar to Virus others in Avant-Garde; their sound is more eclectic featuring sound-scapes and electronica.

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They played their new album, “Wars of the Roses”, in its entirety, which is becoming somewhat of a cool new thing to do nowadays, I’m not knocking bands for doing it, but you have to have a solid album for this. For me, Ulver was a bit too much to swallow on a first bite, but I have had a taste and I did enjoy the night on the fact that it was entertaining visually as well as sonically.

They finished with “Hallways of Always” from the album Perdition City and declared that they had nothing else to play, so after a brief round of applause, they left and so did we. A prompt end to the evening but never the less and entertaining one, I would recommend listening to both bands but possibly taking your time with them.