Review by Jason Guest
Putting themselves to the best possible use – which is all any conscious entity can do – Ufomammut have transcended the feeble limitations of mortal man’s high gears and gone straight into interstellar overdrive with Oro: Opius Primum. Their spacey doom explores, plunders and pillages every astral orifice it encounters. This, the first instalment of a two-part series, consists of five movements, or, rather, extended passages that segue into each other, interleaved through melodies, motifs, and dynamic devices, the whole being greater than the sum of parts that are, individually, already great, huge, and, put simply, vast.
Opening track ‘Empireum’s simple melody appears, star-like, its dim glow slowly forming in the vast empyrean sea, the track’s ominous weight expanding across the movements that make up the album. ‘Aureum’ breaks the event horizon, the thunderous bass tones bearing the heaviness of Sunn O))) and the distorted samples and crashing drums rupturing the galaxy’s tranquil vacancy. ‘Infearnatural’ chugs its way through the cosmos, synth sounds winding their way through the infinite cacophony. ‘Magickon’ returns to the melody of ‘Empireum’, an embryonic oasis in the desert of the heavens, this time played out on the bass-heavy instruments and bringing with it a monolithic doom ambience. The choral voices that flood the final movement, ‘Mindomine’, are haunting, Kubrickian in their cosmic reign. Taken together with part two (to be released in September) this will be incredible. But as a stand-alone album, this is enormous, a vast depiction of inner and outer space whose atmospheric depths are ghostly, heavy, and psychedelic. In short: astounding.
9 out of 10
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