Italian Doom Metal outfit, Ufomammut, kick off their North American tour with a psychedelic wall of sound from another world.
Ufomammut is known for several qualities. Firstly, they have produced a synthetic, psychedelic, stonerific sound that is endemic to no other heavy metal act. Their consistency of producing LP after LP since the start of this century, on average every 18 months, stands as a feat that few bands can top with such fruitful results. That being stated, the challenge of seeing Ufomammut live has proven to be arduous to say the least.
Which brings us to the second quality that has become ubiquitous with the band in recent history: the difficulty of seeing them perform in the States. For the past few years Ufomammut has been slated to play, but then obligated to back out of, the great Maryland Death Fest. Ergo, between their amazing sounds emanating from their studio efforts coupled with their continued inability to cross the Atlantic, their current tour stands highly anticipated and long overdue.
And then we come upon their best value yet: their live performance delivers.
The niche band from Italy filled the house at Reggie’s. Armed with basic tools of any rock band; a Rickenbacker 4000 series, a Gibson SG, and a Ludwig rocker, they brought the audience into their realm of molten earth and stardust. They also included a video installation which contributed a lovely accompaniment to their sonics without stealing the show.
Perhaps the most understated and most respectable quality of Ufomammut’s concert was their ability to create the more synthed out sound elements, as heard on their studio recordings, live – without the aide of a laptop or the dreaded, “back tracks.” Using a series of illuminated and numbered pedals, laid sprawled out next to their tonal pedals for their axes, bassist Urlo and guitarist Poia were able to craft soundscapes with their feet while still playing their respectable instruments.
After performing their set and encore, thus energizing the masses, Ufomammut could finally declare, “Veni, vidi, vici.” Their conquest of North America continues until June 13th.
Touring in the direct support slot is Usnea, hailing from Portland, Oregon. For those that are new to taking in this act, expect a very low BPM that rivals between the rates heard in Drone or even Funeral Doom. Headbanging is nearly impossible though swaying at the behest of a metronome with a beer in one’s hand seems to become the dance of the masses. The act’s minimalism, darkness, and hum bring about a sense of introspection that would make doing one’s household chores an exercise of Tai Chi.
Opening up the night we had two Chicago acts that should not fly merely as, “that local opener.”
Bloodiest‘s sludgey and original post-rock vibe is the latest sound to come out of Chicago’s own gem, Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Led Zeppelin 2). Their haunting, heavy, echoing audio would be fitting for a night in the woods on a full moon night with ominous ghosts bellowing in the distance. This act’s take to progressing heavy metal is their own while still keeping loyal to the bashing and head-banging qualities that lay true to the genre as a whole. They are currently signed to Relapse Records and you should all have a copy of their Descent, (2011) LP.
Lastly, opening up the evening was Cokegoat: the sextet that creates massive music and harmonies that will shake the paint off of any venue. You’ve been warned. Keep on eye on them as they continue to find success and grow their sound.