Ufomammut – Ecate (Neurot)
At the end of March Italian power trio Ufomammut released their seventh riff heavy, guitar strewn, album via the mighty Neurot Recordings. Belatedly, Dom Walsh reviews.
Italian psychedelic metal crew, Ufomammut, are a prolific force when it comes to releasing music. Ecate is their seventh full length album since their debut in 2000. Along with collaborations and DVD output, this band certainly keeps themselves busy.
Ecate is a vast, wandering Trojan of an album. Spanning six tracks, there are many different facets that give it a wild psychedelic sound whilst being utterly crushing and despairing in parts. Vocally, the album is sparse; not in its use of vocals, but in the way they are delivered. For the duration, they are harsh and pained; not far away from England’s own power trio warlords, Conan.
The opening of Ecate sounds like something off a Death In Vegas album; a groaning synth is modulated up and down to create an unnerving atmosphere before a drum pattern reminiscent of Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets rattles around the track. The electronic element of the band’s sound is subtlety dropped into the music throughout to produce a mystical ambience.
An ambient record this is not though; the succinct motifs of the sound effects are very much a layer in sync with the blistering guitars and hypnotic drums that propel the album along its course. Chaosecret’s ending uses a crushing, repetitive riff which sounds like a soundtrack to the blitz, and the initial crash of the guitars in Somnium is bludgeoning. The cyclic guitar riff of Temple has more of a traditional rock feel than many of the stoner/doom riffs in play here. The small and understated changes in the style of riffs here keep the album brimming throughout.
The only real departure from the cavalcade of guitars is on Revelation, when the sound effects provide a short, but unnerving, interlude. The effects are a backdrop to electronically modified words that are completely unsettling. There is more than a whiff of Pink Floyd in the album’s closer, Daemons. The organ led outro, along with the sound effects, sound like something messrs Wright and Waters would have created in the late 60s Ummagumma era of Pink Floyd.
Overall, Ecate is a bulldozer of an album. It leaves nothing standing in its powerful and masterful delivery of pure monumental heaviness. Ufomammut have shown why they are one of the most powerful bands on the planet in this domain. This is wandering psychedelic sludge of the highest order.