Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Primum

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Artwork by Malleus

Ufomammut are an experimental metal act based in Italy. Their name is a portmanteau of U.F.O. (the abbreviation for "unidentified flying object," often used to describe what people believe are alien spacecrafts) and "mammut," the Italian word for mammoth. It's clear that they hope to evoke something both gigantic and nimble, embodying both immensity and mystery in their songwriting. With Oro: Opus Primum, they are entirely successful in this endeavor; you don't get labelled "space doom" for being straightforward and predictable. Their sixth full-length album is shockingly invasive, the squeezing, circular song structures wriggling deep into the listener's psyche.

Photos by François Carl Duguay.

The record begins slowly, almost languidly with "Empireum", easing the into listener's mind, but by the time "Aureum" gathers its strength, the music becomes a greased probe directed deep into the core of your grey matter. Throughout the album, samples of distorted voices, radio signals, chants and feedback cause the songs to take on a strange, otherworldly quality. Even the most familiar sounds are stretched and recontextualized until they become alien, made new and strange. It often feels as though Ufomammut are manipulating gravity, allowing one to float weightless one moment and then slam you down crushingly the next. Invasive and unknowably vast, Oro: Opus Primum is an excellent listen if you're looking to be blown apart.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2012, doom metal, François Carl Duguay, Natalie Zina Walschots, Neurot Recordings, psychedelic stoner metal, Ufomammut
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