Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ufomammut: Eve (2010) Review

A lot of people have characterized Ufomammut as stoner doom metal. I don't know what they're smoking (but I can guess). This is definitely post-metal, so I'm sticking with that theme for a second review in a row.

Their style is firmly rooted in the sludge metal that spawned the genre in the first place, sounding much more like Neurosis than Pelican. They use caveman vocals similar to those of Neurosis or Isis, but sparingly.

On Eve, the Italian group has taken post-metal to its logical extreme by offering up a single 45 minute song. They've divided it into five movements, designated by Roman numerals.

The only way to really describe this is to go track by track. "I" is mostly just buildup, but really gets interesting just before the 11 minute mark. "II" begins like the music from a slasher movie--it could have been composed by John Carpenter. A very nice bass melody comes about the 5 minute mark, and it picks up the pace around the 7 minute mark. "III" and "IV" are much more immediate (clocking in at 3 and 4 minutes, respectively). The former has a very heavy groove and some sci-fi sound effects, and the latter is much more bass-driven, though it does have a very cool guitar solo. Finally, "V" starts out with more sci-fi sounds (a little like what you might find on a Foreigner song), gets really cool around the 2:45 mark, and changes up about 4:45. They introduce a new rhythm about 6:20, speed it up a minute later, and finally end with some more horror movie music in the background. It really ends on a whimper instead of a roar, and this is perhaps the only real disappointment along the way. The ending is a hell of a bad place to disappoint, though.

The Verdict: Like I said, it takes post-metal to the logical extreme; if you like post-metal, there's a good chance you'll like it. But by focusing on only a handful of musical themes for this long, others will say they jumped the post-metal shark. It's good, but not great, and I give it 3 out of 5 stars. A stronger finish would have improved it significantly.

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