Ufomammut – Ecate (2015), 8 (2017)

Ecate

UfomammutEcate (Neurot Recordings, 31 March 2015)

Ufomammut8 (Neurot Recordings, 22 September 2017)

 

The name Ufomammut seems to be one that we Americans tend to struggle with. But fortunately the band has been kind enough to explain its origin: “ufo” (OOH-foe) is the Italian word for “UFO,” while “mammut” (MAMM-utt) means “mammoth.” Therefore the correct pronunciation of the name would be “OOH-foe-MAMM-utt.” Got it?

The etymological origin of their name is also one of the most accurate descriptions a band has ever given itself, as this trio combine the mysterious spaced-out vibe of a flying saucer with the earth-shaking immensity of a prehistoric pachydermic behemoth.

And now, for the first time in two years, they are bringing this spectacle to North American soil: hitting Maryland Death Fest this weekend, as well as Northwest Terror Fest in early June, and then surrounding these dates with a month-long loop around the whole country that kicks off TONIGHT (Wednesday the 23rd) in Providence. Of course we’ll supply you with details about all these shows later. But first, an introduction to the band’s music for the uninitiated …

 

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Opera IX – Back to Sepulcro (2015)

Opera IXBack to Sepulcro (Dusktone, 01 November 2015)

 

This year marks three full decades since guitarist Ossian started Opera IX in Biella (Piedmont region, in the foothills of the Italian Alps). The band has put out an extensive discography in thirty years, and undergone numerous line-up changes, as they gradually morphed into the titans of occult black metal they would become known as.

One major shake-up occurred back in 2014 with a wholesale replacement of the entire band (other than its founder), including the departure of bassist Vlad who had been around since very early on, and vocalist of the previous decade-plus M. the Bard (who sadly departed permanently late last year).

With a brand-new ensemble — including M:A Fog (drums), Alessandro Muscio (keyboard), Scùrs (bass) and Abigail Dianaria (vocals) — in tow, Ossian proceeded to put together an album (in late 2015) that featured brand-new recordings of several songs from Opera IX albums past.

In today’s post we’ll check out Back to Sepulcro — as well as discussing what the band has been up to since that time. (Spoiler alert: a new album anticipated later this year, plus an appearance at MDF later this month!)

 

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Happy Groundhog Day!

XXX F CADDYSHACK 04 S GLF

 

Hey! I know I promised recently that we’d be getting back to reviews soon. That was before I spent the majority of January just getting caught up on listening to stuff from 2016 so that I could belatedly finalize my list of the year’s best releases! But that’s finally online now, and our first review of 2017 is scheduled to be published tomorrow. First, though, it’s time for another quick news update.

In this edition: charity donations at Bandcamp; tour news from Katatonia, Conan, and North; album release news from Ever Circling Wolves; plus more news about new videos and shows!

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Noothgrush / Coffins – Split (2013)

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Noothgrush / Coffins – Split (11 November 2013, Southern Lord Records)

 

Well, the long weekend is over (for a large number of readers: yesterday was Memorial Day in the U.S. and Spring Bank Holiday in the U.K.) and it’s time to return to boring, mundane reality. I’m sure it’s much more of a system shock for those of you who attended Maryland Deathfest this weekend. I’m still jealous of how many awesome bands you got to see over the past several days, though, so I don’t feel bad for you. For the rest of us, I’ve got some more music to share, which comes from some more bands that we missed out on seeing this weekend. This split LP, issued by Southern Lord several months back, serves as a nice little primer for two excellent sludge/doom bands — Noothgrush (who performed at MDF Saturday, 24 May) and Coffins (who were there Friday night)…

 

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Seven Sisters of Sleep – Opium Morals (2013)

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Seven Sisters of SleepOpium Morals (20 March 2013, A389 Records)

 

Well folks, the last weekend in May is upon us, which means that most of my peers in the music-writing industry (and many of my other metal-loving friends as well) have made their annual pilgrimage to Baltimore for the year’s largest metal festival (outside of Europe, of course), Maryland Deathfest. Once again, a number of huge names jumped out at me from the announced schedule (Hooded Menace! Crowbar! Fucking Candlemass!!), but also once again, various factors have conspired against me being able to attend.

But — whatever, I’m not just going to sit around all weekend and whine about it. I’ve got plenty of good music to keep me company, and I fully intend to listen to all of it. All of the musics. For starters, although I will not be seeing Californian sludge band Seven Sisters of Sleep performing at the MDF kick-off show tonight (Thursday, 22 May 2014), I can always stuff their second full-length Opium Morals (which happened to rank among my favorite albums of 2013) into my ears. And while I’m at it, I can share it with you readers (who, I assume, are reading this because you also not at the festival in Maryland right now). So here goes.

 

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New Zealand’s ULCERATE Invading North America This Month!

ulcerate-interarma

 

ULCERATE: Vermis North America MMXIV Tour Now Underway

 

Sometime in the latter half of last year, the bands for this month’s Maryland Deathfest were announced, and as I recall, Ulcerate was one of the names that many people were really excited about. At the time, the name was somewhat familiar to me but the band itself was not.

Well, a bit more recently, my family acquired a new tv which has Pandora Radio built-in — which is nice for putting something on in the background while working around the house, because previously we’ve had Sirius-XM satellite radio through a satellite tv provider, and now these Music Choice channels through our local cable tv company, and believe me, each of those options are equally worthless. So anyway, within the past few months I’ve seen Ulcerate appear a few times (mostly stuff from their 2011 Willowtip release The Destroyers of All) on one of our Pandora stations (I’m not sure which, but possibly Agalloch, which is a household favorite), so finally I can see what all the hype was about.

Anyway, getting back to my original point, the New Zealandian band is heading for the eastern U.S. for an appearance at MDF; furthermore, and seeing as how they just put out a new record a few months ago (Vermis, their first release via Relapse), apparently they decided to make the most of the trans-oceanic trip by hitting a whole bunch of stops across North America along the way.

This tour, presented by Metal Injection, will be the band’s first appearance in this part of the world since they had a mini tour in conjunction with an appearance at MDF back in 2012. Fellow Relapse artists Inter Arma will also be appearing on a handful of tour dates. See below for the full list, and then keep reading for a peek at Vermis

 

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Carpathian Forest Frontman: “Fuck You All!!!”

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Formed more than twenty years ago (in Norway, despite the eastern European name) and with a plentiful number of releases under their (presumably studded leather) belts, black/blackened thrash band Carpathian Forest have remained relatively quiet over the past few years.

Naturally, as is often the case when longstanding groups lapse into a period of inactivity, whispers began to circulate through the grapevine that their dissolution was imminent, as well as a variety of reasons for this turn of events — most prominently (again, as is often the case) being attributed to a communication breakdown or a falling-out among the band’s members.

Recently, though, the band have been appearing on a gradually increasing number of festival line-ups for 2013 (including a first-ever appearance in these United States!), and so it has become clear that these rumors have been exaggerated — if not outright fabricated.

 

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