UFOMAMMUT — Oro: Opus Primum (review)

UFOMAMMUT — Oro: Opus Primum album cover Album · 2012 · Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Time Signature

Genre: psychedelic doom metal

Italian space doomsters Ufomammut are back with another slab of crushingly heavy psychedelic doom metal.

After a spacey and atmospheric intro which slowly and materfully builds up power and intensity, slowliy leading the listener into the dark and doom-laden psychedelic scenario that characterizes the entire album, in the form of the almost 14 minutes long 'Empireum', 'Auerum' kicks in with a slow and lumbering doomy riff accompanied by spaced out effects (which also figured in the intro), and when the drums and the riff proper are initiated, there can be no doubt that we are dealing with heavy doom metal with a touch of psych and a touch of noise (in the form of a heavily distorted bass).

True to the genre, the songs on Oro take their time in building up, and repetition of heavy riffage is an overarhing feature of the album, as is the use of sudden changes from one slow pace to another with the occasional detour into more uptempo, but no less bleak and oppressive, passages. It's simple,, but absolutely crushing and heavy. 'Infernatural' petty much continues down the same road as 'Aureum', subjecting the listener to slow and heavy sections characterized by bleakness and a minimalistic dark psychedelia. 'Magickon' takes us back into more atmospheric terriitory, slowly building up towards heavy and doomy carnage, and is, with its 7:57 minutes of running time, the shortes track of the album, and 'Mindomime' follows a similar pattern.

While the music on this release is mostly instrumental, Oro does feature vocals, but these are kept quite low ni the mix and panned out so as to have a more atmospheric effects than serving as the central carrier of melody. This, of course, contributes to the generation of bleakness, which is already very strong due to the focus on repetition and the absence of lead guitars and any other overt carrier of melody. It all reside in the riffage, the heavy drum beats and the heavily distorted bass.

Let's face it Oro is not for everyone, and I think that even some fans of doom metal might find it challenging, but if you like heavy, spacey and bleak doom metal with lots of oppressive psychedelia and a focus on repetition, then chances are that Ufomammut's latest album will be right up your alley.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)
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