Italian psych doom warlords Ufomammut return with their now ninth album in the form of the six-track sonic trip that is Fenice. Set to be unshackled to the masses on the 6th May through Neurot Recordings and their own imprint Supernatural Cat, it’s one of the most anticipated long-players poised to hit the shelves in 2022.
Featuring a slightly revamped line-up with new drummer Levre, bassist and vocalist Urlo reflects on this new path the trio are now treading…
‘I think we lost our spontaneity, album after album’, then adds ‘We tried to make more complicated songs and albums, but I think at some point we just ended up repeating ourselves. With Fenice, we were ready to start from zero, we had no past anymore – so we just wanted to be reborn and rise from the ashes.’
As the build-up to the release gains momentum, we at The Shaman are elated to be able to bring you the first part of a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process, what hurdles they needed to overcome, and the overall thought process that went into the making of Fenice.
So sit back, click play below and watch the phoenix rise…
More On Ufomammut & ‘Fenice’
This May, Italian alchemists and power trio Ufomammut return with their ninth studio album, Fenice co-released by Neurot Recordings and Supernatural Cat, but not as we’ve heard them before, now ‘more intimate, more free.’
For over 20 years, the band 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.
Whilst the band are well-known for their psychedelic travels into the far reaches of the cosmos, Fenice is a much more introspective listening experience. Fenice 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.
Fenice was recorded at Flat Scenario Studio in summer 2021 by Lorenzo Stecconi (behind the mixer also on albums Idolum, Eve, Oro and Ecate).
Ufomammut formed in the late 90s by Poia (guitars, FXs) and Urlo (bass, vocals, FXs, synths), rising from the ashes of past band Judy Corda, for which both members took care of their own graphics – tape covers, gig posters and the like, together with Vita (drums).
Poia and Urlo are both founding members of rock ‘n’ roll graphic design collective Malleus, and of the label Supernatural Cat (who most recently put out the solo albums of Urlo, under the name, The Mon).
Like any good psychedelic trip, the music of Ufomammut has always been inextricably intertwined with visual art. Poia describes longer compositions ‘like a painting’ as if to reinforce the relevance and importance of visual art in Ufomammut’s music.
Poia – Guitar, Synthesizers, Sound Effects
Urlo – Bass, Synthesizers, Sound Effects, Vocals
Levre – Drums, Sound Effects