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Dark Mofo Reveals First 2017 Festival Headliner

The first taste of the Tasmanian midwinter festival includes Viking-peddling experimental black metal.

Dark Mofo, as the Tasmanian winter solstice festival's name might suggest, has a penchant for that which is usually relegated to the shadows. This is now more true than ever with the announcement that Ulver, one of Norway's premier black metal bands, making the crossing to indulge our dark habits come June. Kritstoffer Rygg, lead vocalist of the self proclaimed "pack of Vikings", has called their addition on the line up "a trip extraordinaire and no doubt a once in a lifetime opportunity for Ulver". They'll take the stage at the Odeon Theatre in Hobart on June 15.

Ulver are known in their native Norway, and around the world, for their experimental take on an often misunderstood genre. Since their formation in 1993, the group has pushed the boundaries in their music, blending elements of electronica, industrial, and symphonic sonics to create a unique sound. Their 2016 album, ATGCLVLSSCAP, experiments with driving rhythms and binding guitar riffs echoing on the tracks, creating an album that builds a mood rather than simply telling a story. This kind of experimentation makes them the perfect fit for a festival about the darker side of things.

Last year's Dark Mofo festival featured the Hymns to the Dead event, which boasted a lineup of international death and black metal bands. The event, which took place a week before the winter solstice, a day that celebrates rebirth cycles, mythologies and mysticism in many ancient cultures, and Ulver's announcement on the 2017 program looks to similarly pull the audience into a hypnotic that promotes a deeper exploration of the more sinister side of our existence.

Dark Mofo, taking place between June 8 and June 21 in Hobart, is not only a celebration of art, music, and all things aesthetically pleasing. The festival explores themes of mythology and nature, darkness and light, death and renewal, and takes its audience on a trip that delves into the deeper mysteries of our world. Including Ulver on the bill adds a certain dark, ethereal element to the program.

Image: Ingrid Aas.

Published on March 16, 2017 by James Whitton

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