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!
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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!

Virus
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.

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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!
3.5/5

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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.

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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.
4/5
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