Overall Score: 9/10 Themes: 9/10 Artwork: 9/10 Chugging Riffs: 8/10 Pros: A completely immersive and beautiful piece of work Cons: You can’t fault it, just don’t listen if you need to be somewhere or get something done soon, because you’ll get lost in this…
Fenice see’s Italian intergalactic broadcasters UFOMAMMUT return with album number nine in their cosmic discography. With a pandemic-sized break behind them, a slightly tweaked line-up and a slightly adjusted attitude to boot; Fenice sees the band reaching even further into new spheres to bring us some awesome new music to get lost within.
While UFOMAMMUT are generally accepted to occupy the doom metal meets space rock territory, we’d never accuse them of being generic. With constant style shifts and changes of pace, Fenice is far from background music. This album will suck you into a black hole if you are not careful.
Duat, the first track of six, is a prime example of the concoctions that this band create. Imagine TRENT REZNOR programming the synths for TOOL while SLEEP are providing the riffs. It’s a fizzy dry ice filled cocktail of doom, industrial and space rock all carefully blended to soak into your bloodstream as fast as possible. And when the riffing kicks in at the end, it’s almost like we’ve crashed landed into some garage rock for a moment.
New drummer Levre slides into the outfit seamlessly but it’s not all business as usual here for UFOMAMMUT. Most noticeably there is an increase in vocals. In the past, the band have been very sparing with their addition of lyrics to their compositions but on Fenis, Urlo is chattier than ever. The almost monotonous vocal tones add to the sci-fi soundscapes perfectly.
Elsewhere, the band are really pushing the boundaries of where they take their music. This collection of songs was originally intended to be just a single song, but has been split up neatly into six, still sizeable tracks. The variation across the album, however, is huge. One moment you’ll be soothed by ambient space themes, the next you’ll be dragged straight into a claustrophobic nightmare of riffs and synths.
It’s a journey through heaven, hell and some far out constellations in one album. As ever, the cover is adorned with some beautiful Malleus work which all adds to the space-psych vibe immensely and really makes this LP the complete package.
With Fenis, UFOMAMMUT have never sounded as big, as easy and as free as this. The album changes moods and turns corners relentlessly, yet it’s so easy to immerse yourself into, it’s almost like a therapy session. This is an absolute masterclass in what can still be achieved in this often-generic style of music.
Fenice is available now via Neurot Recordings.
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