Yes: on ‘8’, ‘the Italian alchemic juggernaut’ that is Ufomammut bring the fucking noise – and they seriously bring the fucking noise. It takes some nuts to open an album with an 8-minute churning grinder, but with sinewy top-end screeeding out over a bowel quivering bass, ‘Babel’ ably and abundantly assails the listener with a heavy sonic barrage.
From thereon in, it’s all about the riffs. And Ufomammut Btter away at them, hard. There’s nothing fancy, nothing extravagant, nothing that you might describe as decorative. The vocals are low in the mix, reverby and distorted, almost another instrument in the layers of overdrive and battering percussion. ‘Fatum’ hits a grating, metal-edged groove reminiscent of Godflesh, with mangled Ministry-esque vocals adding to the abrasion.
Slowed to a crawl and with thick, lumbering guitars scratching their way over snarling bass, even shorter songs like the three-minute ‘Womdemonium’ feel like an eternity in purgatory – in the best possible sense. ‘8’ is gloriously gritty, punishingly weighty, and yet built on texture, tonal shift, tempo change and dynamics. Far from being one- or two-dimensional, ‘8’ is a remarkably multi-faceted work, and there isn’t a weak moment from beginning to end.