Ufomammut, XV: 15 Years in the Cosmos

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The concert DVD is about as dead as dead gets. They still make them, and they’ll continue to for some time, but with streaming on demand, YouTube, festivals live-streaming their events and so on, bands might as well put out VHS tapes and at least get some retro novelty points out of the deal. All the same, every now and again there’s a worthy occasion — in the case of Italian cosmic doomers Just send us your "http://www.gemeinde-bildstein.at/?best-online-writing for me" request, and you'll get a comprehensive essay in a couple of hours. Our writers conduct profound research on the specified topic and use several reliable sources to create a high-quality paper. They analyze many sources, and then magic happens Ė they start to create a perfect essay for you. When the work is finished, the members of Quality Control Ufomammut, it was their 15th anniversary — and it seems prudent that some band-sanctioned document of it exist into perpetuity. 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Ufomammut¬†wanted to take a step back and see how far they’ve come before moving ahead again with their next record? Well, that seems fair.

Ufomammut‘s late-2013/early-2014 “Magickal Mastery Tour” was something special because where the trio of guitarist/keyboardist¬†Poia, bassist/vocalist/keyboardist¬†Urlo¬†and drummer¬†Vita¬†generally keep their focus more recent when it comes to live shows, this time they dipped all the way back to¬†Godlike Snake¬†and the preceding 1999¬†Satan¬†demo for “Superjunkhead” and covered a little taste of everything between that and “Sulphurdew” from¬†Oro: Opus Alter. A single set spanning a seven-album run isn’t easy to put together, particularly when¬†Ufomammut have grown a tendency to write long-form material, but they did it and for fans, it was something apart from their own version of the “ordinary.” If you’re an ardent disbeliever in the form of concert videos,¬†XV¬†isn’t likely to change your mind, but it’s something the band have clearly put thought and effort into, where so many are slapped together from three-camera shoots and just sort of plopped out there like an unbaited fishhook to see which fans will bite. The feel over the course of¬†Ufomammut‘s 80-minute set is more like a music video. They run the performance footage, captured live at¬†SOMS “Il Progresso”¬†in Sarezzano, Italy, by longtime engineer¬†Lorenzo Stecconi, through a range of psychedelic effects and intersperse strange still images, all the while¬†bouncing between more cameras than I can count, GoPros, hand-helds, and stationary. It’s a feature-length, live music video more than a concert recording. If there was an audience that night in Sarezzano, they’re never showed. Possible the band rented out the space so they, as¬†Malleus, and¬†Barbra Baader Meinhof¬†could have freer access with cameras, but I don’t know that.


They bounce gloriously around their catalog and unsurprisingly are planetary in their heaviness throughout, but again, if you’re absolutely unable to get on board with a concert DVD, their switches between color, black and white, blurs and visual swirls are probably going to leave you cold. Wisely, and I’ll admit more intriguing¬†to me as well, is the documentary portion of¬†XV. in which the band (with subtitles) tell their own story and check in with those who knew or helped them at some stage or another in their career. Their story isn’t one filled with drama —¬†Poia¬†and¬†Urlo¬†played together in a band called¬†Judy Corda¬†that broke up, they started¬†Ufomammut, found a killer drummer in¬†Vita, were well received and set about growing their sound — but there is a lot of humor and charm throughout. Of particular note is when¬†The Flyeater, who apparently handled Korg for them for two shows, makes an appearance in the same luchador mask he wore on stage, and we get to see¬†Stecconi, who has become a big part of¬†Ufomammut‘s sound since making his debut behind the board for them with¬†Idolum, which the band describes as their darkest album. If this is to be their moment of reflection, they make the most of it, and it’s fascinating to hear them putting their work in context with itself, moving from one record to the next while conscious of the creativity at play. They wind up discussing¬†Oro¬†and then move into some of the theory behind where they are as a band, playing live — there’s some¬†Roadburn¬†footage in there — and developing the visual side of their approach. At the very end, we even get to hear from¬†Lu, who contributes to¬†Malleus¬†but not¬†Ufomammut¬†proper. She speaks over psychedelic visuals and backed by airy guitars, and they finish out by thanking everyone who’s helped them along the way and showing fan footage during the credits, people from around the world extolling the virtues of the band.

Honestly, I could probably do the same, if you wanted or if I haven’t already in this review. It’s hard not to think¬†XV¬†as closing a chapter in¬†Ufomammut‘s career, but the truth of the matter is each record they do does the same thing: They make an album and then move on. With a new full-length due out next year as a follow-up to this and¬†Oro, that evolution seems to be continuing unabated, and hearing the band talk about their processes and what goes into making them who they are, I look forward even more to finding out what the next stage might hold. And as for the concert DVD being dead? Well, sometimes these dead formats have a tendency to come back to life, and just in case, having a copy of¬†XV¬†on hand might not be the worst idea.

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