Italian psychedelic doom trio Ufomammut contemplate the universe on the boundary-pushing 8 | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Italian psychedelic doom trio Ufomammut contemplate the universe on the boundary-pushing 8


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When I saw Italian psychedelic doom trio Ufomammut debut in Chicago on their first-ever U.S. tour in 2015, my only complaint was that the set ended too soon—they’d played for at least an hour, but their blankets of spacey haze, locomotive riffs, and earth-shaking grooves were so entrancing that even another hour would’ve melted away like minutes. This time around, I’m happy Ufomammut are able to play here at all—or anywhere, for that matter. Last month bassist-vocalist Urlo nearly died in a motorcycle accident, and he’s postponing the knee surgery he needs till after the band’s spring tour—and with commitment like that, you can see why Ufomammut have had the same lineup since forming in 1999. They’ve released eight albums since then, with each one pushing hard against the musical boundaries established by its predecessor. Recorded live with just a few vocal and synth overdubs, 2017’s 8 (Neurot) focuses on the intrinsic bonds and unstoppable movements in the cosmos. The topic might make you feel insignificant, but it feels so good to immerse yourself in the group’s massive sounds that you won’t care if you matter in the grand scheme of the universe. American rock fans may not yet know Ufomammut they way they do Neurosis, Sleep, or Yob, but if you love far-reaching, doomy metal, these Italian space lords should be among your favorites. Members of Ufomammut also make up two-thirds of celebrated art collective Malleus Rock Art Lab, who will present an Ufomammut pop-up shop at Sideshow Gallery that runs from Friday, May 25, till Sunday’s concert. The shop will feature concert posters, merch, and art books, including last year’s The Art of Ufomammut: From Space 1999 to the Infinity and Beyond. Consider it an opportunity to indulge your mind before it gets completely blown away.   v

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