Ufomammut - Ecate 01Italian power trio Ufomammut, now with eight (or nine if you count collabs) studio releases under their belt, return to form once again playing their signature alloy of psychedelic space doom, sludge, and stoner…. Actually, we don’t really need a formal and formulaic intro when we’ve got an album of this magnitude at hand. To put it shortly and bluntly, Ecate is a masterpiece.

This is the kind of record that grips your head with burning claws and doesn’t let go until you’re completely immersed into its occult, enigmatical world. One listen, just one listen… that’s all it takes. You quickly fathom, during the first few minutes of “Somnium” and the ferocious transition from meditation to devastation, how immense and monumental this music is. And it’s got it all. The usual elements that make up great doom or sludge, meaning absurdly powerful riffs that threaten to suffocate you, or the vile, devilish bass and drums that hit so deep they reach Earth’s core, can be found in abundance here. But Ecate goes beyond that by bringing a droning experimental edge that reflects upon and pokes holes in the confines of sludge. This results in a diversity that’s almost stupefying in the context of the genre. Yet, there’s never a moment where the tracks feel overwrought or thinned by superfluous repetitions. It’s a wondrous sensation while the band is slowly marching towards a peak, with synths and chants that roam the sonic soundscape, inducing complete exhilaration when they finally crest the zenith and erupt. Ecate is a primer on how to build atmosphere based on excellent song progressions, and without smothering and boring the listener.

Over 45 shattering, demolishing minutes Ufomammut take us on a trip during which synth and drum driven sections lay the path for the incredibly destructive force of guitar riffs, only for the chaos to placate and slow down, and ominous humming to restart the circle again, while displaced chanting gives everything an ethereal note. As if a possessed Al Cisneros emerged to pay tribute to this compelling expression of doom. Skin will crawl and breaths will be taken away after grokking that an ancient creature made of molten lava that cannot and will not be stopped is standing before us. The tension in the sound is ever-present, from the first minute right until the Halloween/John Carpenter-themed ending of the absolutely filthy and cathartic “Daemons,” a tune that’s otherwise imbued with Acid Mothers Temple’s bouts of psychedelia. Even cuts like “Chaosecret” or the meditative “Revelation,” which have almost no riffage at all, instead relying on distortion, noise, and mantras, still don’t lose an ounce of intensity. To top it all off, the dynamics and momentum that the band demonstrates on hitters like “Plouton” and after kicking into higher gear on “Temple” dissolve any remaining, remote chance of boredom.

Ufomammut - Ecate 02Conceptually and lyrically, Ecate is devoted to the eponymous Greek goddess, and this inspiration or homage can be clearly heard in the mysticism and mood surrounding the music. While this orientation towards ambience hurt both the OROs that ventured a bit too far into mellow, progressive territory, on Ecate we witness the birth of a perfect monster through a marriage of Ufomammut’s recent exploratory tendencies and the earlier, straight doom crushiness. The pulverizing heaviness is easily felt, like on Idolum or Eve, but this time momentary respite is provided, reaching a balanced sound, and placing the listener in the eye of the storm. If you recover and hold on to your senses long enough, you might just notice that the technicalities are top-notch too. The mastery of the musicians, Urlo, Poia, and Vita, has been touted so many times before and is again demonstrated and backed by great, crunchy yet clean production with good dynamics.

Ecate’s cosmic reach made me write a hyperbole-ridden review. It is that good. Anyone who has previously encountered Ufomammut knows the power and might contained in their music and will want to listen to this ASAP. Everyone else should give it a spin right away as well because I can’t imagine a better sludge/doom related album releasing this year.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Neurot Recordings
Websites: UfomammutOfficial | Facebook.com/Ufomammut
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 03.30.2015

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  • Lasse Momme

    I could drown myself in LSD to this shit, it’s that immersive. Temple is a rididonkilously heavy track.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      You Merry Prankster, you.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Never been a doom fan. But heck, this is intense. Always was under the impression doom was just slow metal with fat-sounding guitars and an intense emphasis on reverb in vocals (I have not listened to much doom so I am going off of a couple of swings of Pallbearer’s latest). Review summed it up perfectly, if ever an album got me into doom at any point, this would probably be it. Brilliant review, Roquentin

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I thought we talked about this. No more reviews of great March releases. We’re all out of money.

    Streaming it now. That first track draws you in and hooks you. I’m getting a YOB vibe.

    • Tom Hardy

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you don’t buy it, you’ll still eat, drink and poop like you used to. As a matter of fact, I’ll be on my life that you’ll be A-OK if you didn’t buy the album.

      • Those are lies, everybody knows that if he doesn’t buy an AMG 4.5 certified album he will probably risk losing his metal credentials. It’s the law.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Yea, brother, the eternal laws of the mighty sphere in this the year of the goat.

  • Martin Knap

    Hit that bong hard… harder, harder… this may be the best italian band I know of. bravi.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      As one reviewer said when ORO Opus Alter was reviewed here, “Italians do it better”. Must be something in the pasta.

      • Pasta FaDOOOOOM!

      • sir_c

        it’s the pomodori of doom

    • sir_c

      Try Kingcrow or Karnya, yet they both operate in a whole different genre.

    • Tom Hardy

      Best Italian Doom band? Too early to make that claim when you have bands like Void of Silence, Consummatum Est and Hierophant out there.

      • Martin Knap

        aren’t these just weird “funeral doom” bands?

      • basenjibrian

        Void of Silence has kind of disappeared. :(
        Their last album fell a little short, but I still get shivers (’cause I listent to lyrics) from Human Antithesis:

        You can pray to God
        You can pray to Allah
        You can pray to whomever
        He will not hear you
        your empty prayers
        you embarrass yourself
        like some infected junkie
        you’re searching for a fix.
        Your God is a needle
        Your God is rusted razor
        the filth in your blood
        the filth in your vein

  • T.A.R.

    Been on an Electric Wizard binge the past week.

    More Doom! Huzzah!

  • El_Cuervo

    Holy shit, that tone is incredible. I was sold after 5 seconds.

    • Lasse Momme

      Oceanwakes record is one of my absolute favorites of march, which is saying something considering how stupidly awesome March has been… i mean jesus christ, Fortid, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Leviathan, Oceanwake, Ufomammut, Theories, Alkaloid, Shepherd, Kjeld, Steven fucking Wilsonn for god’s sakes!


      • Lasse Momme

        Oh, right. A Forest Of pissing Stars as well.

      • Should we be setting an Angry Metal Shelter for homeless but musically aware metal folk?

        • De2013

          I’m opting for an full scale AMG adoption program.

  • DrChocolate

    This album just gets into you, under my skin, and wraps itself around me. It’s so organic yet strange and intoxicating yet natural. I’m WAY into this one.

  • Tom Hardy

    45 mins of rehashed superverb Crowbar riff-salad = this album. No thank you. It’s sad how people with little knowledge will not ‘get’ what an uninspired borefest this album really is. 1 star for a decent looking cover-art.

    • Lasse Momme

      I expected more from you mr. Hardy.

      PS: I really liked you in all your films.

      • Tom Hardy

        Why thank you very much. Hit up Mad Max in a few weeks. Blowing up worthless scoundrels was fun.

        • johnnywrong

          What’s really sad is people who can’t dislike something without calling everyone who does like it sad.

          • Tom Hardy

            Your handle says it all, johnnywrong. And anyway, all I was pointing to was a situation where it’s unfortunate something is lapped up when it’s nothing but a clone (and a bad clone that too) when the same fan has no clue what it’s a clone of. A lot of bands get mucked under the carpet because of that while others come out stronger in public because of hype.

    • Celaeno

      but…but…i like superverb crowbar riff-salad

    • Wait, so if you know the name of the one band that probably predates the whole “sludge” moniker and recognize a sound that has at one moment or another inspired most if not all bands that align themselves to said moniker that makes you “knowledgeable”?

      Well why don’t we just close shop and listen to anything but Black Sabbath then.

      Fuck it lest just listen to the Beatles play Helter Skelter on repeat, we don’t need all this “metal” business because everything apes them, right?

      I will admit Mr. Hardy that you are a magnificent actor. And let’s be honest here, quite dreamy. But as a metal troll you need to up your game a bit.

      Even then, you compelled me to actually post two replies to you, so for that I will give you 1 star.

      • Tom Hardy

        [HKK] Hell³, I find some merit in your post and DiCaprio says hello to you too. We’re filming a scene later tonight.

        You’re taking my post out of context about the ‘knowledge’ bit and taking it to an extreme with the Sabbath example. Lest put it aside for now shall we.

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          I’m glad that was handled so nicely, it could’ve erupted into a full-blown 100 comment argument, effectively crashing the entire thread! I’m glad that wasn’t part of your plan. I’m happy such a famous guy didn’t become the bane of the comments thread though, as your kindness with us non-celebrities shows that if anything, you’re a big guy, and I respect that.

  • Wilhelm

    I don’t normally do this type of sludge doom, but man this thing was fucking hypnotic.

  • Celaeno

    The reverb+low frequency is shaking my eardrums and making the base of my skill tingle. Almost infrasonic-like. *shivers*

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I was expecting to be all over this but the embedded track doesn’t get me going at all…This could be Dopethrone syndrome, where you need the weight of the whole album to fully ‘get it’…will persist but sheesh they’ve got some serious competition at the moment!

  • I had been getting a lot of buzz about this one on the twittersphere, but hadn’t listened until now (full stream on the decibel blog BTW, just google it) and I must admit it is quite good, too bad Neurot is not on bandcamp because I would have bought it right now if it was. I will put it on the ever growing vinyl wishlist but that moves slower than this guys rhythm section.

    • basenjibrian

      Even thouhg they are evil! evil! evil!, it is on iTunes as of this morning. MUST NOT CLICK THE BUTTON. MUST NOT CLICK THE BUTTON. Between the vile temptation of internet music shopping and my other stupidly expensive hobby (wine snobbery), I am so poor this week.

  • Angel R. Suarez

    This is stupid good.

    Now there needs to be a review of the new Monolord album. Because if anything, that thing’s gonna win Album Art of the Fucking Century.