Tuesday 5 May 2015

Ufomammut - 'Ecate' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 30/03/2015
Label: Supernatural Cat/Neurot Recordings

’Ecate’ CD//DD/LP track listing:

1). Somnium
2). Plouton
3). Chaosecret
4). Temple
5). Revelation
6). Daemon

Ufommamut are:

Poia | Guitars and fx
Urlo | Bass, vocals and synths
Vita | Drummer


What can you say about these experienced Italian psychonauts? Throughout the years these guys have been developing their own brand of colossal sludgy psychedelia and have consistently dished out solid albums over their +15 year existence in their own invention of a genre. ’Ecate’ is another journey into this signature sound where they pummel you ever further down the rabbit hole. No comparisons are necessary as these guys operate on a completely different plane of existence, attacking sub-levels of consciousness.

’Somnium’ welcomes you with a winding alarm that guides down Ufomammut’s vessel. Steaming with  an unflinching vision of perilous riffs amongst slithering voices and poisonous aura it completely deforms the familiar world around you. Already renowned to have a leaden foot in that department, to say these dudes are fond of distortion is an understatement. Having fully landed their craft, the constant stream of guitars comes in ultra thick and doesn’t let up for a moment. Even during the short interlude the combination of drums and bass track acts as one steady suppressing wallop. By the end the vocals take onto anthemic levels.  Continuing in the form of ’Plouton’ they have themselves an untypical burner by their own standards. Whereas the previous track was endurance, this is no doubt more of a sprint. Picking up where ’Somnium’ left off, this brings along sections that are even more torqued presented prior. A more potent mixture acting as a further douse into their toxic territory.

The cavernous atmosphere is suddenly exchanged briefly during the intro of ’Chaosecret’ where the drums are hit with iterative precision, leaving space for the guitars to eerily creep back in, coming off almost sedative. Right until an ominous bass-track, already familiar from the band’s previous efforts, shifts in, keeping the focus on the tribal rhythms and atmosphere and augmented by the gibberish echoing in the background. The thumps grow ever-frequent and the tone increasingly commanding and by the middle of the trip, the guitars burst out and set the stage for the latter half to be totally dominated by at first a groovy, then one tirelessly imposing riff. When the howls return, the distortion is broadened to include the vocals that are quite undecipherable, but nonetheless admonishing. Some epic grooves set this this one back down on the ground.

The grooviest of riffs carry off from the previous track onto a relatively slow development, inducing one to think that  ’Temple’ might turn out a less ardous listen. A sore mistake there as this one is no less an agressive creature. Chanting the mantra of macro and microcosmic interconnectedness (As within, so without/As above, so below.) the guitars blare ferociously, obliterating any form of defiance and rendering you absolutely docile. As though that wasn’t enough, the last two minutes return triumphantly with a swaggering groove. An absolutely hypnotic conclusion.

Appropriately, ’Revelation’ sounds as if the skies have opened, bringing some welcome breathing space.  Samples of whispering in a finally recognizable language soothe, in order to prepare for the finale. The whole tumult of the album seems condensed into ’Daemons’ along with all of its urgency. Starting off with a ruthlessly focused direction and awash with wraithy vocals and cosmic samples, as if to ensure that you’ve been bludgeoned into complete submission, it then begins building and stretching to celestial heights. The growth of synths which resemble an organ and sound in perfect alignment with the annihilating riffs, augment the sancity of the listen and induce a sense of a devout experience. Ironically, when the wall of guitar thunder finally sets down to recede and before the album totally fades out, the synths send you off with Ufomammut’s kind of mellifluous lullaby, leaving you with a sense of awakening from some interplanetary mirage. One can only reckon this to be in place merely because the band knew the comedown would otherwise have been too brutal.

All in all, ’Ecate’ is one palatial record which succeeds in warping your ordinary perception of time. Although it’s all so overwhelmingly downtuned and dense to the brink of suffocation the whole experience is strangely uplifting, as if through the presence of such intergalactic time-warpers you have also been privileged an excursion into one strange parallel dimension. Perhaps it would be more fitting to describe the whole experience as less explicitly a music album than a constant sense of some alien resonance.

Words by: Joosep Nilk

’Ecate’ is available here

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