Released: 2010, Supernatural Cat
Italy’s Ufomammut have been traveling the audio spaceways for over a decade now, although I have never heard of them. During that time, they’ve amassed a five-album strong catalogue of respected drone/doom metal; especially 2004’s SNAILKING. I’m always hesitant to listen to this genre as I often find it boring as the music doesn’t really go anywhere, but I was hoping Ufomammut would be different.
EVE is a one song “tribute” of sorts to the biblical first woman, Eve, who brought knowledge to mankind. The song’s 45 minutes are split into five distinct parts, but as these things tend to be, it’s a far more rewarding experience to listen to the album as a whole. PART I opens the album with a 14-minute psychedelic creep show that maintains its heaviness despite the lengthy atmospheric passages. Some of the sparse vocals heard on the album appear on this track in the form of hypnotic chanting buried deep in the mix. It might seem like an odd choice to keep the vocals down below the music, but it works perfectly here to maintain the spacey, off-putting atmosphere of the piece. PART 2 continues down the dark path with a ghostly guitar melody played over a sinister bass riff – here again, sparse, moaned vocals enhance the mood, along with some minor vocal sampling. This lasts until the band explodes into another heavy passage to finish the track.
By now you’ll be completely entranced by the album, but if not, PARTS III & IV will drag you out your shell. PART III is a pure ass-kicking stoner metal behemoth that punishes you for three minutes, before the spacey, but still driving PART IV. This part also includes the only true guitar solo on the album, and it’s effective in its atonal fury. Finally, Part V returns to the spaced-out psychedelics of the earlier half of the album, lifting one last bass-driven metallic assault into the ether before drifting back down into the aural atmospheric mire, quietly bringing back the guitar melody from PART II to finish.
One the whole, EVE is an absolutely captivating piece of work. It will not appeal to most people, but those who are fans of stoner metal-based drone music will love this and the powerful riffs have the potential to pull in non-fans as well (me among them!). Fantastic stuff.