Peter Ulrich Enter the Mysterium

Peter Ulrich’s Enter the Mysterium is not an easy-to-describe project — musically it may be, but certainly not lyrically. Thankfully, Ulrich is rather verbal about the source of his inspiration on his website because to fully appreciate Enter the Mysterium both these aspects must be understood. In the writing of this album, Ulrich wanted to "make each song an observation of some element of belief in, or mystery concerning, an aspect of religion or of the supernatural — that is, of a phenomenon beyond the tangible limits of our world.” Knowing this makes the lyrical divide between the seemingly old world occult-themed tracks and the more biblical ones considerably less confusing. Musically, the content is also eclectic but not half as diverse. Ulrich borrows from myriad periods, so some of this album sounds like ritual music, while other parts of it sound as if they’ve been displaced from a renaissance faire: the varied use of woodwinds, violins and other instrumentation of that ilk help root it in the various styles and forms borrowed from. Despite all this eclecticism, the arrangements and lyrical content still, for the most part, work; it is only in the vocals where the album falters. Vocally, Ulrich approaches each song in the same manner, choosing a chant-like delivery, which for all the musical variety on the disc keeps the vocals pretty static. Furthermore on some tracks, Ulrich sounds either uncomfortable with the melody or simply as if he is pushing himself beyond his vocal range. All this makes for an interesting album concept that unfortunately must lose several points for its awkward lyrical delivery. (I Hate Records)