I’ve raved so much about Tortona, Italy’s intergalactic psychedelic cosmic sludge doom space travelers, most know that Ufomammut are one of my all-time favorite heavy bands. Despite nailing it from the beginning with their debut Godlike Snake (2000) and topping it with the classic Snailking (2004), the band were still a somewhat unknown quantity at least in North America until third full-length album Idolum (2008). As far as anyone with ears, a brain and good taste are concerned, they cemented their status as legends with the perfect Eve (2010) and sprawling two-part Oro: Opus Primum & Opus Alter (2012). Confusingly, Oro is two albums, but also make up one long, long-ass song.
What to do after such a huge statement like that? Slightly dial back the proggy space psych flourishes and drop their tightest, heaviest sounding album since Idolum. The space synths are mostly concentrated on “Revelation,” which is kind of a terrifying claustrophobic, hallucinogenic time warped bridge between more colossal cuts. While there are still strands of Pink Floyd’s 1969-71 era psych prog, Hawkwind, the nasty distortion of Electric Wizard and the glacial movements of Earth and Om, I consider Ufomammut pretty much undisputed masters of their own sound at this point, and somewhat above criticism. I mean, there’s plenty of people who would not be into this, but only because they don’t particularly like heavy music. Any fan of psychedelic cosmic doom sludge who do not like this band are simply, seriously fucked in the head. Yeah, they’re out there, and those hapless motherfuckers are already broken beyond repair, and not even a band as great as Ufomammut can help them.
It is worth noting one slight kink in their sound is a sort of industrial feel to Ecate. Perhaps a touch of Einstürzende Neubauten and Ministry, but mostly the pounding, punishing feel of mid-80s Swans. Those strands could have been lurking in the depths all along, but I’m feeling it now. Other than that, it’s futile to attempt to weigh and judge this piece of massive music. Better just to respect its power, lay prone and hope it doesn’t eat you alive. And after fifteen damn years of melting brains on European tours and festivals, the band is finally doing their first ever proper North American tour. It’s about damn time. Approach them in person if you dare. | Spotify | Buy
If you aren’t lucky enough to make it to one of their shows, you might want to order one of their shirts now. All three members are artists in the Malleus Rock Art Lab, and their posters, prints and shirts are all pretty amazing.