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Ufomammut | ‘8’

Rigid drum patterns shuttle aching, stretched riffs.

Pedals and synths jiggle ‘8’ into life – and we’re off.

An otherworldly saga unfolds; you’ll soon be lost, aimless, tumbling: afloat. Unmoored without keel or an anchor.

This is an ominous start, but not really. Though Ufomammut convincingly form slab-heavy doom, there’s a hint of fun breaking the surface. (A playfulness at work within confines of the genre…)

Neurotic Psychedelia

Without silliness or stooping to pastiche, the 3-piece conjure immersion.

Their approach is probably closer in spirit to that of latter-day Neurosis than many of the bands in the post-metal wake, in that there’s a layer of psychedelia running alongside of guitars. (Maybe they learned it from Landis himself. They were, after all, signed to Neurot.)

It’s effective in adding dimension and heft.

And atmosphere. Lots and lots of atmosphere. It can’t be overstated the extent to which keys and effects characterise Ufomammut’s sound.

‘Zodiac’ features some utter balls-out rocking, guitar histrionics included. And there’s one bit in ‘Fatum’ (the bass is rocking out) (great tone), when some twinkly, sparkling sky-scraping chimes bubble up in your awareness. ‘Core’ refuses to start, then at once is beset by ecstatic vocals and complex, fervid progressions.

These guys are pro, knowing what to deploy – when – for best effect.

There are also nice instrumental/rock-out passages; in places you could say it’s summery.

But without any messing about. Rather than fade, each of the tracks rattles into the next, almost as if on a whim. Until ‘Psyrcle’, closing, spiralling out – lost and adrift to space-time.

‘8’’s a punchy yet considered event, playing both to air-punching gratification as well as your intellect. Couple this with Boris’s ‘Dear’ and 2017’s been pretty alright for psychedelic, droning sludge/doom.

4.1/5 – P.Thomas Donnelly ::: 20/09/17

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