Oro: Opus Primum

BY Natalie Zina WalschotsPublished Apr 17, 2012

Ufomammut are an experimental metal act based in Italy. Their name is a portmanteau of U.F.O. (the abbreviation for "unidentified flying object," often used to describe what people believe are alien spacecrafts) and "mammut," the Italian word for mammoth. It's clear that they hope to evoke something both gigantic and nimble, embodyomg both immensity and mystery in their songwriting. With Oro: Opus Primum, they are entirely successful in this endeavour; you don't get labelled "space doom" for being straightforward and predictable. Their sixth full-length album is shockingly invasive, the squeezing, circular song structures wriggling deep into the listener's psyche. The record begins slowly, almost languidly with "Empireum," easing the into listener's mind, but by the time "Aureum" gathers its strength, the music becomes a greased probe directed deep into the core of your grey matter. Throughout the album, samples of distorted voices, radio signals, chants and feedback cause the songs to take on a strange, otherworldly quality. Even the most familiar sounds are stretched and recontextualized until they become alien, made new and strange. It often feels as though Ufomammut are manipulating gravity, allowing one to float weightless one moment and then slam you down crushingly the next. Invasive and unknowably vast, Oro:Opus Primum is an excellent listen if you're looking to be blown apart.

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