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ALBUM REVIEW: 8 – Ufomammut

The latest offering by Italy’s resident doom/psych trio UFOMAMMUT takes us further into their swirling, droning cosmic foray into the realm of the infinite, and that of a return to more ‘basic’ principles of album recording and production. Even more so, to shift the potential of said processes towards that of the live performance. The term ‘basic’ used earlier is not one that applies to UFOMAMMUT‘s detriment in the case of their latest offering, it entails a highly apparent shift in the trio’s attitude towards their music. Where Ecate blew minds with destructive amounts of forceful and powerful fuzz, 8 instead allows us to travel to a realm wherein we can envision ourselves beholding them playing the album in real time.

This change is marked drastically in the way this album was recorded. With 8, the pursuit of the recording, in their terms, was to be similar to their approach to playing a live show. All three members playing in real time, recording directly from their amps as they played in their own occupied space as it were with vocals and synths added on top afterwards.

The result? A production value that is not as ‘sonically defined’ as seen with previous material, but gives off different nuances that feed off each other in the overall mix. Each instrument occupies its own space in the recording, with the synth effects drawing from their playing rather than the inverse. Colourations such as deep, roomy echoes emanating off the lead guitar sound much more natural as it would within the studio, or in fact in a large concert hall. The only concern is that this approach mas hampered the capabilities of the lead guitar in terms of low end, such as the case of where pick scraping or light palm mutes have much of their power to cut through sadly taken away. In effect, the volume of the lead often conflicts with the volume of the bass guitar. However, there is so much more to this band and this release than the standard meta of doom bands attempting to isolate the insane wattage of powerful amps into clear cut digital recordings.

To continue from the above point, the aptly named 8 is not simply named thusly due to being UFOMAMMUT‘s eighth recording or the fact that it contains eight songs. It is supposed to represent the continuous nature of the album itself, each song channelling into the next with no interruption, constantly swelling and diminishing with sonic soundscapes, droning passages and almost thunderous grooves. The onset of the album’s discourse instantly thrusts the listener into a swarming mass of well fuzzed out tempos, each track henceforth gravitating into acid-rock inspired guitar leads with warped and booming howls as vocals before landing back into trance-inducing passages where the riffs simulate a repetitive motion that reflects concentration.

A well-thought out departure from the standard album as a collection of songs, 8 chronicles a journey into the abstract universe UFOMAMMUT creates with their music, and also reflects their prowess as a group of musicians whose capabilities are as infinite as this album’s concept.

Rating: 8/10

8 - Ufomammut

8 is set for release on September 22nd via Neurot Recordings.

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