By Dr. Abner Mality
Apparently UFOMAMMUT was so burned out during the pandemic that they actually closed up shop for a while. Obviously, that didn’t last long, because they are back in action with “Fenice”, which is Italian for “phoenix”. The band says they were unhappy with their recent albums and decided to do a reset, recording “Fenice” as if it were the band’s first album.
Honestly, there’s no huge change in sound here and “Fenice” is instantly identifiable as UFOMAMMUT. I do notice an increased usage of electronics here...the synth drones and effects are more up front in the mix. But otherwise, the six song album is the same mix of the tribal, the psychedelic and the massively heavy that UFOMAMMUT has always been. After a prolonged patch of synthdrone, “Duat” slams in with burly, bass-heavy doom. Vocals are very much an afterthought on the album...not absent, but not really a big part of what’s going on. “Kepherer” is relatively brief and very spacy. I’m often reminded of a super-heavy version of HAWKWIND when I listen to UFOMAMMUT and with “Pyramind”, that’s more obvious than ever. Lots of swooshes and bleeps mixed in with hammering sludge. Lots of repetition on all tracks, sometimes becoming hypnotic, other times dull. “Metamorphoenix” is the most overtly psychedelic of all the cuts and also the most monotonous.
“Fenice” fits in well with the rest of UFOMAMMUT’s catalog. I’m glad the band is feeling refreshed but this is no huge reinvention of their sound.