• Andrea Tomas Prato
  • Ufomammut

Regular readers of my Beer and Metal column already know how much I love Ufomammut. I’ve been aware for months that this Italian doom trio had a new album on the way—their ninth studio full-length, at least if you count 2012’s Oro: Opus Primum and Oro: Opus Alter as two. And yesterday the Quietus premiered “Temple,” the first track released from Ecate (in English “Hecate,” a Greek protective goddess associated with entranceways, light, ghosts, and necromancy), which comes out March 31 on Neurot Recordings.

Ufomammut (it’s pronounced Italian style: OOF-oh-MAMM-oot) specialize in magma-thick riffs that recirculate hypnotically, so that it can be tough to keep track of where a pattern begins. “Temple” strings together several such tail-swallowing grooves, often in nonstandard meters with five or seven beats per bar—not that you’d necessarily notice, given their irresistible narcotic weight. The song changes tempo a couple times, but aside from that you can nod your head straight through it. I think my favorite bit is when a suspended organ note dive-bombs into a swaggering 7/4 stomp at 5:09.

This year’s Maryland Deathfest lineup includes Ufomammut, so with any luck I’ll finally get a chance to see them in Chicago sometime around the festival dates in late May.

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. You can also follow him on Twitter.