Ufomammut – Oro: Opus Alter
Posted by Terrible Certainty Zine
Unrepentant space-cowboys Ufomammut have completed their set of 2012 Oro records with this second installment, Oro: Opus Alter. Oro (gold in their native Italian) volumes I and II see the trio ranging from their trademark astral atmospherics to thick, crunching riff-based meditations. Vocals are buried beneath the mix, seemingly coming from inside the spacecraft that the rest of the band insists on floating outside of. Generally speaking, if Opus Primum was rooted in the weightlessness of somersaulting through the zero gravity of space, Opus Alter is the sound of landing on some foreign planet, encountering foreign terrain and strange inhabitants.
Oro: Opus Alter contains some of the most jarring and willful material Ufomammut have recorded. Sure, openers “Oroborus” and “Luxon” are business as usual–after all, trippy is their business and business is good. But by the time the looming “Sulpherdew” kicks into gear with its resinous chugging riff and insistent drumming it’s obvious that this is a more offensive-minded, agile Ufomammut. These guys nearly always sound blissfully rooted to their back foot, relying on deep Electric Wizard-like grooves awash in psychedelic spaciness, so to hear them on their toes, knives out is a breath of fresh air. Rather than the massive groove you expect, Opus Alter is often sharp; on edge and unsettling. Of course, beneath it all is still the swirling mass of chirps and whirs that provide the otherworldliness you’ve come to expect.
Ufomammut is a band on top of its game. Eve was a massive album, a triumph of psychedelic doom. To follow it with this outstanding set of albums that complement rather than duplicate one another is yet another step in the ongoing ascension of this unique band. Gold, indeed.