Ulrich, Peter – Enter the Mysterium

The second solo album of Peter Ultrich, who made his debut with “Pathways and Dawns” in 1999. No matter how many other albums he will make, I suspect Ulrich will also be related to his previous activities as drummer/percussionist of Dead Can Dance and contributor to the This Mortal Coil project. That’s of course a background not to be ashamed of, though his solo work is certainly interesting enough to be appreciated in its own right.

First of all my compliments for the artwork of “Enter the mysterium”; the special cd-case and the artwork look really nice. It soon becomes clear that the listener is taken on an adventurous trip. Ulrich combines influences from traditional folk and medieval music, various oriental and African sounds as well as some goth/wave elements. Of course the music has references to the work of Dead Can Dance, but the musical scope is even broader. Despite all the exotic elements, the album as a whole sounds quite accessible, due to the melodic songs and the friendly voice of Peter Ulrich.

The variation in styles and the various different instruments used (all kinds of percussion, flutes, oboe, piano, violin, female voices and more) ensure that listening to this album does not get boring very soon. ‘The scryer and the shewstone’ reminds me of traditional British folk as it was especially popular in the 70’s with a medieval/fantasy feeling. ‘The withbottle of Suffolk’ is a melancholic gothic ballad, while the elegant ‘Through those eyes’ makes me think of the work of Japan/David Sylvian. In ‘Flesh to flame’, one of the highlights, oriental elements come to the foreground, with a very nice rhythmic and choral refrain.

Perhaps the voice of Ulrich is not the strongest point, in some songs he sounds a bit too soft and not powerful enough. Nevertheless “Enter the mysterium” is highly enjoyable. It is a rich and varied album, which takes the listener to many surprising and mysterious locations around the world.

In the USA the album is released by City Canyon Records, while Music & Words takes care of the European release. By tyhe way, this is a so-called hybrid multichannel release, which plays on all SACD and CD players.

artist: Ulrich, Peter
label: Music & Words
details: 10 tracks, 55 min, 2005 [MWCD-1016]