Monday 26 March 2012

Ufomammut-Oro: Opus Primum Review

Ufomammut are a three piece band from Italy who play a unique style of Psychedelic Doom/Sludge. Featuring the talents of Urlo, Poia and Vita.

They have been creating challenging dynamic music since 1999. Always standing at the forefront of experimental music they are set to unleash what will be their most ambitious and potentially best work yet. Oro: Opus Primum is the first of two albums they will release this year. "Oro: Opus Alter" will follow around September. Its an understatement to say I'm a fan of this band, bordering on obsession would be more accurate.

2009's "Eve" was critically acclaimed and rightly so, a single track split into five movements it was a stunning example of doom-laden genius. However Oro has arrived and bettered it, more focused its a enthralling listen beginning to end. Ufomammut's strength lies in creating extremely expansive multi-faceted music with layers of atmospheric tones and textures. Vocals blend in with the waves of sonic interpretation, vintage electronics are used to bring forth a futuristic and awe inspiring sound.

Oro in full will be ten tracks, here the first instalment begins with the brooding atmospheric "Empireum", which feels like a birthing of sorts. Slowly weaving its way into your senses pulsating, and spacious it evolves to a tribalistic rhythm before crushing guitars and effects bring "Oro" to life. 13 minutes in length "Empireum" builds relentlessly, wailing and melodic vocals drift in and out, it finishes in echoes of distortion and effects.

"Aureum" continues opening with a dirge like monolithic riff, bringing to mind the tone of Steven O'Mally. It's huge distorted bass rumbling, the track kicks up a notch creating a glorious sludge behemoth . Vocals ring out in tribal fashion as the music constantly shifts tempo and intensity.
An infectious head nodding groove breaks out half way through, pulsating bass, pounding drums the track flows effortlessly until ambient effects, crazed dialogue and huge riffs close the track.
"Infearnatural" is next, relentless crushingly heavy, sonically mind altering a repetitive rhythm blended with psychedelic effects and minimal vocals one of the shorter tracks but by no means less impressive.

"Oro: Opus Primum" is seamless tracks merge together, unfolding as intended as a stream of music to be experienced as a whole. With the second instalment due later I did wonder if originally they intended to release it as one work. Given the complexity and quality of this first instalment its probably best we get a chance to enjoy it fully before "Oro: Opus Alter" completes the journey later in the year.

Infearnatural leads into" Magickon", sounds are reprised from the opening of the album, before an emotive melody pours out, cymbals shimmer and crash, gradually a beat unfolds, bass humming it develops into a rhythm before ending full of punishing slabs of riffs, giving way to "Mindomine".
A jagged looping rhythm with eerie vocals the final track here ends a glorious album, full of mystical atmospheric sounds creating a otherworldly feeling. Guitars crash in, when they do its as if the world is ending, spellbinding in delivery.

Ufomammut continue to weave sonic tapestries of the highest magnitude. Creating an album of depth, stunning musicianship and spaced out groove. The artwork also is painstakingly detailed and beautiful. Designed by the Malleus collective(which includes members of the band), the art reflects the music perfectly.
I've banded the term album of the year about more than usual for this time of year, but Oro: Opus Primum is a certainty for my end of year list.I now await, Oro: Opus Alter with anticipation.

Oro: Opus Primum will be released on Vinyl through the Supernatural Cat label with Neurot Recordings handling the Cd version. Links to both labels are below, as well as further information on this stunning band.

Neurot Recordings

Supernatural Cat