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BEING THERE: Ufomammut @ Johnny Brenda’s

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Photo by DAN LONG

We were a collection of blissed-out bobbleheads beating the air in unison last night at Johnny Brendas as the Italian psych metal trio Ufomammut delivered unto us an onslaught of riff-borne aggression within a haze of deafening sonic bliss. Touring in support of their latest album, Ecate, Ufomammut’s performance followed the space age post-metal atmospherics of Philadelphia’s Ominous Black and the scream-laden slowed up doom of Portland’s Usnea, an interesting duality culminating in Ufomammut’s third act as the band churned out weighty blankets of reverberating tone and rhythmic density that would violently unwind. While none of the bands last night engaged the crowd with more than a few words, there didn’t seem to be any room for humorous anecdotes or “Are you ready to rock?” posturing. Instead all energies dispensed were fully invested musically, Ufomammut realizing the headphones-revelatory immensity of their studio releases in a live setting, which seemed no small feat for a three-piece band. I could feel the low end in my breastbone, a tremorous reaction that could only qualify as impressive. Against a backdrop of film clips featuring giant eyeballs, shaky footage of trees and shape shifting visuals, the band worked in a constant state of payoff, an immediately satisfying array of riff and rhythm at times complimented by sonorous robotics and bassist/vocalist Urlo, whose voice was bathed in ethereal effects. With no breaks in between songs and no breathers for the audience to wait through, it was at times difficult to know when a song ended or when another began. After a solid hour and a four-song encore, the band launched into a four-second finale of thrashing instrumentation. Urlo lifted his bass to the crowd in salute and applause ensued. Once the lights came on it was as if oxygen had returned to the room. – SEAN CALDWELL

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