Ufomammut: Fenice LP
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For over twenty years, Ufomammut has combined the heaviness and majesty of dynamic riff worship with a nuanced understanding of psychedelic tradition and history in music, creating a cosmic, futuristic, and technicolor sound destined for absolute immersion. Fenice (meaning “phoenix” in Italian) symbolically represents endless rebirth and the ability to start again after everything seems doomed. The album is the first recording with new drummer Levre, and truly marks a new chapter in Ufomammut history. While the band are well-known for their psychedelic travels into the far reaches of the cosmos, Fenice is a much more introspective listening experience. It was conceived as a single concept track, divided in six facets of this inward-facing focus. Sonic experimentations abound in the exploration of this central theme: synths and experimental vocal effects are featured more prominently than ever before, as the band push themselves ever further into the uncharted territory of their very identity. The towering synths on the opening track “Duat” evoke an almighty machine rising from the depths of primordial ooze. There’s a shift to a frenetic garage-psych pace before mellowing out into a more familiar doomy stomp. “Kepherer” is a respite, albeit a slight one, returning to the pulsing rhythms of the album’s intro before plunging the listener into the menacing build and release of “Psychostasia” next. Each oscillation of this extraordinary album feels inevitable—Ufomammut are after all, masters of their craft, and when it comes to creating enveloping sonic journeys into the unknown, it’s their uninhibited sense of exploration that breaches new sonic ground. Fenice is the sound of a band whose very essence has been rejuvenated, and are welcoming the chance to create music in the way they know best: by unfolding carefully and attentively, by melding those extreme dynamics which render Fenice as a living and breathing creature—and by writing gargantuan riffs that herald their very rebirth.