A reliable staple on the stoner-doom festival circuit, à la Roadburn and Desertfest, Italy’s visionary psychedelic doom juggernaut UFOMAMMUT (pronounced “the Italian way” oofomammoot) carves up a slice of creative, stylish and mercilessly heavy cosmic-doom on latest album Fenice.
Occasional glimpses of cathedral organ pipes bellow behind walls of guitar, evocative of doom figureheads Electric Wizard, these interwoven sounds work together to forge a formidable audio construct on opener “Duat”. On top of this haunting mix are increasingly present glitches of 90’s era cyber rave synth adding to a seriously uneasy atmosphere and could be visualised sitting on a doom-laden Matrix movie soundtrack.
Seamless transitions between tracks give the sense of an out of body trip through the stars, with spatial soundscapes gently humming in the background, such as in the segue “Kepherer”. This queues up nicely into the interstellar trip of “Psychostasia”, a track utterly unique on the album (maybe even the genre) and easily its finest moment, especially noting its break-neck tempo change and cultish chant at the ¾ mark.
Further sonic experimentation takes place through “Metamorphoenix”, featuring singular delayed guitar plucks and haunting found-audio chatter which steadily builds to a rolling, repetitive trance inducing finale.
Leaving behind any sense of the calm found thus far on Fenice, come album closers “Pyramind” and “Empyros”. The former is almost black-metal-esque in its menace and creepily accented with distant chanting vocals. Guitar, whilst present almost takes a back seat in favour of equally fear-inducing synth layers that echo eerily until a monstrously heavy outro in line with Neurosis or Sleep.
In conclusion, UFOMAMMUT presents another finely tuned, textured yet apocalyptic case study in support of the tremendously exciting wave of Doom infused heavy music coming out of Europe right now. With tour bookings stacking up, 2022 is set to be an exciting year for the band in support of this latest release.
Fenice, by UFOMAMMUT is available from May 6th and is released through Neurot Recordings.