(Wil Cifer review the new album by Ufomammut, set for relase on September 22 by Neurot Recordings.)
When I am searching for doom I want something that is just Black Sabbath worship. I’ve listened to those albums for over 35 years and can pull them off the shelf at any moment to revisit as needed… So it gets me excited to hear a band like these men from from Italy who must set bongs aflame across the world with their super psyche-filled doom.
Ufomammut take you out into the cosmos with a fuzzed-out density that is obscured by clouds of trippy haze. The vocals feel more Pink Floyd-like to me than carrying any kind of an Ozzy influence. Each song takes you further into the depths of their warped rabbit hole.
By the second song it’s clear the drummer is a fucking champ. More tension is established by the time they get to “Warsheep”. These are not catchy songs that grab your ear with their infectious allure. Instead they are captivating in a more cerebral fashion. They do lock into some more conventional doom-like riffs here and there, but the organic melting of one ear movement into another has a life of its own.
“Zodiac” carries over the rumble from the previous song with the vocals becoming more shouted. Two minutes into this song they launch into a cool progressive groove.
This album might not be for doom purists, but even they can find plenty to love about this album. It begins to work more in movements, as “Zodiac” progresses out of the song before it , with “Fatum” following a similar flow. The heavily effected vocals do kind of follow an Ozzy-like cadence in how they bounce off the thicker pounding laid under them. Heading into the three-minute mark it’s so heavy it is sick.
Once again the groove of the preceding track is given a twist into something new, and this time it’s “Prismaze”. There is more of a palm-muted tension that reminds me a little of Tool, but on more drugs. “Core” is a more punishing explosion than anything they have offered up so far on this album.
The first solid Sabbath thumbprint is not until “Wombdemonium”. This is one of the album’s more straightforward moments. At only three minutes they still manage to do better than most of the sprawling merchants of 13-minute doom.
Though the dark groove to “Psyrcle” is even more compelling. There is a weird hint of a female vocal sampled in, as the lead vocals have more of a chanted quality to them with an unexpected shift of tempo midway into the song.
Ufomammut have created an excellent blend of surreal and heavy, another step forward for this band who are clearly not afraid to be different, and I commend them for it.