When a band eight albums deep into a storied career has not only the honesty to look itself in the mirror and admit it doesn’t like what it sees but the boldness to admit such to its fans, that counts for something. And that’s exactly what UFOMAMMUT did during its thankfully brief hiatus over 2020. Some even wondered if there would be another album. Well, founders Urlo and Poia have returned, new drummer Levre in tow, and Fenice is the result.

‘Dust’ begins, distant waves, heartbeat pulse of rhythm, electronic blips, a band coming back from coma/hibernation, let us say. Electonics take a central role early on, which stands to reason, each member proficient in keys/synths, an element that has always set UFOMAMMUT apart. Around three minutes in the chrysalis slow build becomes a frantic transformation, shrouded caterpillar to armored and fire breathing butterfly, the struggle and emergence of the trio as a new being. There’s a ferocity – a hunger – that we haven’t heard in ages from the guys, and damnit, it sounds good!

More sound collage than song, ‘Kepherer’ leads into ‘Psychostasia’ almost shamanic vocal intonations reverberating over something that might be at home on a recent ULVER record. Trip-hop, yeah, maybe. Space dust communion for the journey, either within or to outer realms, angular riffs arisin’ atop mountainous rhythms.

‘Pyramid’ is cataclysmic from its start, slathering, orgiastic; and it’s clear by this point in the album as it should’ve been all along that this is a band reinvigorated – a band having fun again.

Ending with a bang, nary a whimper, ‘Empyros’ burns with a passion other acts struggle to ignite/incite in the listener. Fenice is the sound of its namesake, the phoenix; a rebirth in a very literal sense, and exactly what UFOMAMMUT (and its fans) deserved.
Review By: Lord Randall

Neurot Recordings
5 / 6