Review by Ben for Ufomammut - Idolum (2008) Review by Ben for Ufomammut - Idolum (2008)

Ben Ben / February 15, 2023 / 2

In recent years I've come to realise that my metal tastes are actually much broader than I thought. I've always been fairly clear cut when it comes to my likes and dislikes. I like death metal, but I don't like grindcore. I like doom metal, but I don't like stoner metal. etc. It's for this reason that I limit my searches when looking to discover new music to those genres / subgenres that sit in the like category, while disregarding the rest. I've always had sludge metal isolated into the dislikes column, but having challenged myself in the past couple of years to check out some of what the genre has to offer, I'm pretty sure I categorised it as a dislike without really having any awareness of what it is. Last year's Mizmor & Thou collaboration along with Primitive's Insurmountable already had me questioning my loyalties, but if this Ufomammut album is a pure sludge metal release, then sign me up to the sludge metal fan club. I'm all in!

With the exception of the drums, which have powerful clarity, the instrumentation and vocals on this release are fuzzy and sometimes distant. It's not always clear whether your hearing the bass or the guitars, as they often merge together into a wall of heavy haze. The male vocals feel like they're behind the music, or at least coming from within it, making them feel more like just another instrument than something deserving of your main focus. Even the female samples that pop up in the majority of tracks struggle to overcome the surrounding noise. Rather than being a negative though, these production choices add an immense amount of atmosphere, and make Idolum incredibly effective at what it does. There are some brilliant moments on this album. As an example, Nero's tribal drum patterns combined with psychedelic drenched doom riffs is downright amazing, but when there's a woman's voice coming through the mire, instructing me to look into her eyes and to come closer, I have little choice but to give into it / her. Stigma and Ammonia are other big highlights for me, and if it wasn't for the 27 minute closer Void / Elephantom, which isn't terrible but definitely tests my patience with it's lengthy droning centre, I'd definitely be giving this 4.5 stars.

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